COLUMBIA CITY, Ind. – If you use TikTok, chances are good that you’ve stumbled upon the viral video of “Tat Granny.”
Earlier this month, 82-year-old Judy Dede of Columbia City, Indiana, appeared in a TikTok video to voice a rather unique desire, considering her age.
“I told the girls I was going to blow their mind,” Dede told her granddaughter earlier this month, as seen in the video. “I wanna get a tattoo.”
Dede’s granddaughter, Brandy O’Reilly, said she was instantly taken aback by the request.
“When she told me that she wanted to get this tattoo, I was completely in shock and blown away,” said O’Reilly. “I was like, ‘OK, hold on a second. I need you to say that one more time,’ and I had to get it recorded because I couldn’t even believe that she said that.”
Not only did Dede blow her granddaughter away, but “Granny” has also blown up the internet. O’Reilly’s TikTok video has garnered more than 3.5 million views.
“I just I never dreamed it,” said Dede. “Next thing I know, [O’Reilly] is telling me ‘Grandma, we just got a message from somebody in South America.’ Messages have come from all over the world. … It just blows my mind.”
Dede’s idea of getting tatted was inspired by an article she read in a magazine, in which an 80-year-old woman got a tattoo as her 80th birthday present.
“Then she laid it on her family and they had a fit,” said Dede. “Well, I told my family ahead of time, and now we’ve got four generations going to get tattoos.”
On Saturday, O’Reilly shared another video on her TikTok account — this time showing Dede in the tattoo chair, getting her chosen design inked into her arm.
The plan, according to the family, is for Dede, her daughter, her granddaughter, her granddaughter-in-law, her two grandsons, and both of their wives to get tattoos on Saturday at Black Sheep Tattoo and Art Gallery in Fort Wayne. They’re all getting the same design, too: A music note with a “fishing hook look” to it, along with a cancer ribbon.
“My father just passed away in July, so there’s a lot of meaning to the tattoo,” said O’Reilly. “Our family has just always been very musically inclined. I have a son who plays the drums. I have a son who plays the guitar and the bass. And then my oldest was in show choir all through high school. So yeah, it’s just, it’s very meaningful to all of us.”
Dede said this becoming a family affair means the world to her, too.
“I don’t think I can even explain how I feel about that. It’s just … I’m going to cry,” said Dede. “I just try to live each day as best I can because you just never know.”