Mommy & Me Tattoos

Matching outfits are for wusses. The latest in family bonding is getting inked together

When Susan Sarandon, who is 63, told David Letterman in December that she and her 24-year-old daughter had gotten permanent body adornments at the same time, the Late Night host didn’t respond with a what-will-stars-do-next quip. These days it barely raises eyebrows when the middle-aged take on ink, and now that parents are bringing their offspring into the lifestyle, the once-lurid practice has become as family friendly as a rec-room game of Wii tennis.

“It’s something different from just going shopping with your mom,” says Marta Goldschmied, a Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising student who lives in the Hollywood Hills. Her mother, Michela Goldschmied, an interior designer and longtime body art enthusiast, brought Marta to Tattoo Asylum, in Venice, when she turned 18. More than a dozen sessions later, Marta still regards tattooing as a mother-daughter experience. “I’d rather do it with her than with anyone else,” she says.

Shyanne Arteaga feels a similar connection when she drives from her Rancho Cucamonga home to Under the Gun, an East Hollywood tattoo parlor. (Her favorite artist, Mike Hernandez, works there.) Not only has she gotten tattoos in tandem with her mother (and has one of her mother), she’s shared needles (metaphorically) with her 61-year-old grandmother. “It’s a bonding thing,” says Arteaga.

When Natasha Vineyard, a Long Beach accessories designer who skates with the L.A. Derby Dolls Roller Derby league, heads to HB Tattoo in Huntington Beach, it’s with her 54-year-old mom in tow. As a child, Vineyard entertained herself with rub-on illustrations while her mother got the real thing. Vineyard is passing on the passion to her six-year-old daughter, who sketched an idea: two hearts tied together with a ribbon. “She wants one,” says Vineyard. “The good thing about me waiting until I was 18 is that I can use the same rule for her.”

Illustration by Kristen Ulve