The Worst Tattoos to Get When You’re Older

A good tattoo will last forever, but that’s not necessarily the case when it comes to older people and tattoos. The problem with many older tattoos is that they’re poorly executed, and looking at them can hurt your eyes just as much as looking at badly edited photos from your high school yearbook! The worst part about bad tattoos on older people is that they tend to look like mistakes, especially if they are located in places like the neck or the hand where you won’t see them if you wear long sleeves or gloves. Here are some of the worst tattoos to get when you’re older

Tribal tattoos

During your early 20s, you may have thought that a tattoo of a symbol or word represented who you were at that point in your life. But what happens when those once-cool tattoos no longer reflect who you are? It’s hard to believe, but 50% of people aged 40-49 have tattoos — and 12% have tattoos on their face alone. If you want something permanent on your body, consider how it will look as you age and if it’s likely to stay relevant in 5 or 10 years’ time. For example, a lot of people love tribal tattoos — but they do tend to age quite poorly. In fact, research suggests that nearly 70% of younger adults with tribal tats end up regretting them by their mid 30s.

Family tree tattoos

Like mommy and daddy, these tattoos can feel outdated by your 30s. The upside: no one’s going to ask about yours, either. That can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you feel about having your family tree on display at all times. Still, if you like it now, family tree tattoos aren’t out of place in any decade—the design just might change over time as your family grows (or shrinks). In that sense, they’re perfectly fine for people of any age. Also keep in mind that today’s tribal styles are tomorrow’s throwbacks… so even if you get one now, it may seem dated later on. As long as you love it and have fun with it!

Stars on the body

A lot of people get shooting stars tattooed on their body. When they were younger, they were fun and whimsical; however, as you get older, you may regret them. They tend to be quite large and usually on prominent places on your body. After a few years, these tattoos could look silly rather than stylish. If you plan on getting any stars inked onto your body, make sure they’re small or somewhere where they can easily be covered up later on in life when you don’t want them anymore. A lot of people regret putting tattoos like these anywhere near their face because aging tends to exaggerate flaws and you don’t want these visible unless you love them.

Roses and other flower tattoos

While you’re still young, florals are an ideal and popular choice—and they are timeless as well. But in 20 years, that beautifully designed rose tattoo may look like it belongs on your great-aunt Sally rather than you. If you do choose flowers for your future ink, choose a small design that is only made up of one or two large elements rather than a plethora of smaller ones. The fewer petals there are on a rose, the better chance it has of looking good with age. Smaller designs will be less likely to bloat over time, too. One last note: avoid any flower that’s traditionally connected with romance (i.e., roses) if your goal is to attract someone when you’re older!

Quotes with words too small to read when you get older

It’s never a good idea to get a tattoo with small words or quotes because they’ll become harder and harder to read over time. In fact, now might be a good time for you to take out that pen and paper again. Writing your desired quote or saying large enough so you can read it later on? That will save you from having a headache down the road.