By Cynthia Hornig – I am not sure why, but I have always been fascinated with tattoos and have wanted one for as long as I can remember. When I was a teen and into my twenties, I could have been classified as a sort of secret rebel wannabe – a wannabe because the repercussions of being a true rebel scared me enough to keep me in line. I have also always held an immense amount of respect for my parents, which clearly made me much more of “a good girl” rather than the “rebel without a cause” I really wanted to be.

Although not considered that rebellious today, when I was a teen, tattoos were taboo. I had told myself that if I still wanted a tattoo at 21, I would do it. As good as it sounded then, time kept passing by, and I was just never able to muster up the courage to follow through… that is, until now! At 43, I have finally gotten my first tattoo!

In retrospect, I don’t know why I waited so long. It’s probably a combination of things – not knowing what image I would want that I could live with for the rest of my life, an utter hatred of pain, and if I’m being totally honest – the fear of my mother. Yes, at 43-years old I still look to my mom for her approval – the perennial good girl I guess.

Although none of these things have changed, I have changed. I have finally learned to embrace the fact that you can spend your entire life thinking about something, or you can go and just do it, fears and all. It took me a long time to find my “true self”, which I attribute in some part to the recent death of my father, but that’s a story for another day.

Tattoo InspirationYesterday, I did something completely and totally for myself and myself alone. Those that know me know it’s a pretty rare occasion. So yes, I’m sure my mom will be colossally pissed off and likely be really disappointed with me, but she’ll get over it and I will get over it too.

Knowing that I was fully and totally true to myself, gives the tattoo an even deeper meaning for me than I thought it would. It also now serves as a reminder to grab life, take calculated risks and that a little rebellion can be a good thing.

Special thanks to Jen, my business partner and friend, for accompanying me and documenting the moment, and to my kick-ass tattoo artist Stephanie Tamez at Saved Tattoo, for being patient, kind and more talented than one person should ever be!

Tattoo Talk

Stephanie drawing

Tattoo placement



Completed tattoo

Bear hug

My first tattoo

Cynthia Hornig is Co-Founder & Editorial Director of Women You Should Know.