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Husband Never Let Her Get A Tattoo, Then He Died. Now Her Whole Body Is Covered In Them


If you tell someone they can’t do something, how do they usually react? The same way that kindergarten kids respond better to “Jump over the puddle” instead of “Don’t jump in the puddle”, holding someone back is never a good way to quell an urge. A great example is Charlotte Guttenberg:

  • She wanted a tattoo
  • Her husband forbade it
  • Her husband died
  • She immediately got a tattoo

She’d always wanted them, and in 2006 when her husband passed away she decided to follow that urge and start getting inked. She probably didn’t plan on it, but 10 years later she was in the Guinness Book of Records as the “Most Tattooed Senior Citizen (Female)”.

Let’s take a look at the art gallery that is Charlotte Guttenberg: 

At 67-years-old, she qualifies for the senior citizen title but doesn’t act like the stereotypical grandmother.

Her body is 91.5% covered in tattoos, and she plans on getting more. Space is the only issue now, but she’s planning another one on her head.

Guttenberg is a writer in Florida, who also has her personal trainer certificate and does some life coaching.

Her first tattoo was purchased for herself as a birthday gift just after her husband died, and she never looked back.

She considers herself a “walking art gallery” comparing to anyone else who buys artwork for their home or office. She just carries it around with her.

For those that think this was just to get the record, Guttenberg disagrees: “Every tattoo I have has a meaning to me. They all have one theme and flow into a story.”

 The former record holder, Isobel Varley died in 2015 and Guttenberg decided she wanted to honor her by following in her footsteps. Calling her a great ambassador for tattooed people” she says that she had immense respect for Varley.

“I want to be like you when I get old” is the most touching thing she’s been told by young people when they approach her, saying that they wish their grandparent’s were “cool” like her.

Guttenberg lives with her life partner Chuck Helmke who she met after she’d started accumulating tattoos.

Helmke is the current record holder among senior men, with an amazing 93.75% of his body covered in tattoos.

 Helmke got his first tattoo in the Army in 1959, but stopped for forty years before continuing his collection in 2000. He’s also a writer who was a former defense trainer following his time in the military.

The 75-year-old Helmke has competed in several tattoo competitions, winning prizes and notoriety for his incredible artwork.

For Guttenberg, it’s more than just a hobby. She believes body modification is a “powerful ancient art form” that should be respected.

The current world record holder for most tattoos is Lucky Diamond Rich, an Australian circus performer.

 He’s amazingly covered his entire body in a black ink, enveloping old tattoos. He’s now begun tattooing white ink overtop of that black layer, ensuring 100% coverage.

While Rich took it to an extreme level, Guttenberg and Helmke are happy with their quiet Florida life and continually growing galleries. They are proud to go into the record books together, saying that it’s “magical, amazing, and unbelievable.”


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