Lonni Pike is known as “Grey Hair and Tattoos” on TikTok where she has 1 million followers.
Pike uses her platform to challenge the stereotype of women with tattoos in their 50s.
Pike told Insider that people assume she’s in a biker gang because of her ink.
Lonni Pike, a California social media influencer, has gone viral on TikTok after challenging stereotypes about women in their 50s.
Pike, 57, uses the handle @grayhairandtattoos on TikTok and YouTube, where they makes videos encourage women to embrace their individual style, regardless of society’s expectations.
In one of her first TikTok videos, posted in November 2020, Pike said that 56 are “not what you think it looks like, because that’s what it looks like.” The 15-second clip has been viewed more than 4 million times since Thursday.
In May 2022 she reached 1 million followers on the platform.
Speaking to Insider, Pike said she has started making videos to challenge “the age gap between tattoos” being placed on women.
“I hear women, especially in their 40s, say, ‘You’re too old.’ And they say, “We like to wear band T-shirts. We have tattoos. People tell us we’re going through a midlife crisis,” Pike said. “And I’m basically just telling them that whatever you hear, whatever society tells you, it’s okay to be yourself.”
“That’s like the whole age difference between tattoos, because when you’re younger, you’re told that your tattoos won’t look good when you’re older. And when you’re older, you’re told you’re too old to get tattoos. According to society, there is never a good time to have a tattoo,” she added.
Pike also encourages women to embrace their own fashion sense, regardless of what society decides is appropriate for their age. In a TikTok video posted on June 27 which currently has over 840,000 views, she can be seen wearing ripped jeans, a white strappy top and sunglasses. She captioned the video: “Wear what you want at any age!”
Pike got her first tattoo 27 years ago
Pike told Insider she got her first tattoo — barbed wire around her ankle — after she separated from her husband at age 30.
“To me, it represented how I felt trapped where I was, because barbed wire keeps people in or out,” she said. “And that was the duality of why I got that… I wanted to remember that I never wanted to feel that way again.”
She said she now has an estimated 25 or 30 tattoos, including ink behind her ear, on her lower abdomen, her back, both sleeves and calves.
“People’s perception of tattoos is so different than it really is,” Pike said. “People have in their minds, this ideology of, people with tattoos are uneducated or they’re criminals, or, you know, you have no idea how many people think I have a Harley Davidson and I’m in a biker gang. I’m almost 58 years old – I can’t even ride a bike.”
“It was such an incredible honor to be able to stand in front of the whole world and say, ‘No, you’re wrong.'” she said.
“You know what? We’re moms, we’re grannies, we’re students. We’re women. We are who we are, and we just stamp ourselves to remember who we are,” she added.
Read the original article Insider