Divorce tattoos proudly mark new beginnings

MICHELE A'COURT
Last updated 05:00 21/05/2014

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Michele A'Court

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OPINION: It is entirely possible I have missed the right moment in my life for getting a tattoo.

I regret my non-tattooedness. I would like to be the kind of person who had had the courage at some point to permanently ink a vine of flowers on to my forearm or a tui on my shoulder or a word of wisdom on my wrist.

I admire them on other women - the stunning vintage-inspired artwork or culturally significant designs that tell me upfront the owner is confident and sassy, and doesn't spend a lot of time worrying about what other people think.

Sociologically, tattoos are the opposite of beards - beards are only properly attractive when everyone else is clean-shaven, according to surveys.

This is not great news for hipsters constantly out shopping for beard oil and moustache wax. Whereas tattoos really come into their own when they're a fascinatingly individualised tribal marking.

I thought seriously about getting one - a tattoo, not a beard - for my 40th, then decided it was too much of a cusp of middle-age cliche. Same again - though well past the cusp - at 50. I got married in Vegas instead.

And I totally missed the "divorce tattoo" boat twice. Divorce tattoos are hot with women right now - big, visible statements marking the end of one chapter and the beginning of the next.

Old-school butterflies and hearts are out and skin novellas are in, according to the people who pay attention to tattoo trends. Words of wisdom are worn on the body the way those of us less plucky scrawl an affirmation on a post-it note and stick it on the bathroom mirror.

I've seen the photographs. Some of it is inspiring, though you'd have to think it through with at least as much care as you put into marriage given tattoos, unlike marriage, can't be dissolved.

One says, "Sometimes you need to let things go" which is great advice, but not the kind of thing you'd want in the tramp-stamp position in case it ends up looking like a warning label for what happens just below.

"Always a lesson, never a failure" is undeniably a positive spin on emotional turmoil - though again, placement is crucial. You wouldn't want just that last word peeking out at the world from under your T-shirt.

"This too shall pass" is another irrefutable pearl of wisdom. Though not terribly encouraging when read etched on your spine by your next partner.

There is always Cher's approach. According to legend, she celebrates each new lover by having their name tattooed on her bottom, then covers it with a rose when the relationship is over.

Which would make for a charming rose garden. Though in later life, when things are generally less taut, it might appear there'd been a little land slippage.

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Still, the divorce tattoo is a better option than the wedding tattoo given you can always be sure your divorce will last forever.

- The Press

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