Lonni Pike is living her best life at 56 years old.
Anyone who comes across her Instagram account will be met with her joyful smile, tattoo-covered arms and youthful fashion sense.
Lonni is 56, but like her IG handle suggests, life doesn’t stop at 50.
We were so inspired by Lonni’s commitment to remain true to herself no matter her age or what people have to say about it, that we just had to chat with her.
Here’s what she had to say about not just breaking the social media influencer mold, but about breaking the stigma surrounding tattoos in mid-life and beyond.
On social media
“I just started my Instagram page this year,” Lonni who has amassed more than 4,000 followers so far told us. “I get a lot of positive response from people appreciating the fact that I’m not afraid to show the world who I am.”
Although Lonni asserts that her tattoos are only one aspect of who she is, they have gotten her quite a bit of attention on the social media platform.
She even coined the hashtag #grayhairandtattoos.
“The tattoos have come with my life story,” says Lonni. “I got my first tattoo when I turned 30. I was in a bad marriage and we were separated for a time. I got barbed wire around my ankle because I felt trapped and helpless. This was the beginning of my journey to let the real me out and be who I wanted to be.”
“I get a tattoo that represents what I’m going through, a feeling that I don’t want to forget, a person who I have lost, a message I want to spread…..the list just goes on and on,” she explains. “They tell my life story and I’m proud of my story” she says.
“I think it is important to know that my tattoos don’t make me who I am any more than any other part of me. My gray hair or my green eyes…just a part of the whole picture,” says Lonni.
Oh and if you’re wondering whether she’s done getting tattoos, that would be a no. “I always will keep the option open for more tattoos as long as life keeps unfolding,” she says. “I’ll just wait for it [to] tell me my next one.”
“I don’t walk into a room and wonder what people think, I walk into a room comfortable with every part of me,” Lonni explains.
“I don’t give anyone the right to respond negatively to me in any area of my life. My life is my universe and critics are not allowed,” she says.
“I have a great job, I carry myself as the professional I am and considered one of the top in my field so no, I don’t think there is anything negatively impacted,” she asserts, speaking on how being heavily tatted affects her image and people’s perceptions of her.
In other words, that long-held idea that people will regret their tattoos once their older…it’s not a thing.
On inspiring others
“I hope to inspire people to be themselves. I would love to show people that you can be yourself without the fear of what people might think. The freedom to let the inner you out for the world to see,” Lonni professes. “I don’t judge people for their lifestyle and would love to help spread the word on acceptance of everyone.”
It might be Lonni’s glow and stunning body art that catch the most attention on Instagram, but her positivity, kind spirit and wisdom are definitely what keep her followers connected and engaged.
Read also: 10 Midlife instagrammers we love