Throughout my childhood, adults have always “warned” me about tattoos. They would say things like, “be careful where you place tattoos because it could determine if you get that job or not” or “tattoos are so unprofessional, if you’re planning on doing big things with your life just don’t get a tattoo”. These are statements that I have always heard when growing up in an environment where tattoos were accepted, but not so much for our working and learning environments. Why is it that we live in a society where tattoos are no longer “taboo” yet in some workplaces it is still seen as unprofessional to have tattoos visible?
I am currently 18 years old, and I have been working since I was 14 years old, and out of the 4 jobs I have worked so far, only one company was opposed to visible tattoos and piercings in the work place, which happened to be quite difficult since it was working as a lifeguard. Their reasoning for this policy was so we could be approachable to children at the pool, which seems quite strange to me, since so many people in our society today have at least one tattoo. And the norm today is tattoos. Usually tattoos are beautiful or exquisite pieces of artwork that have a very personal meaning to the person wearing it, and why would a young child be afraid to approach a girl with a dreamcatcher on her ribcage, or a young man with a bible verse on his chest?
Of course, if you went back 20 years, the policy would be relevant and make sense, because tattoos were
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In my opinion, tattoos can have significant meaning. It is understood that some people have gang related or derogatory art, however, a good portion of them are related to something that once happened in somebody’s life. Businesses
Tattoos have been around for quite some time now, and they have always been a symbol of belonging, cultural expression or for religion. These days, individuals choose to tattoo themselves because it is part of their lifestyle or personal image. While continuing to grow in popularity and becoming a lifestyle, people are facing issues with having visible tattoos in the workforce. Although it is a form of free expression, employers have a right to enforce certain rules about tattoos in their company because they have a public image to uphold. How you present yourself to the public is solely important, which is why tattoos should not be allowed to be seen in the workplace, since it may appear offensive or unconservative.
it’s not always just a body modification, it is sometimes more than that. For military families or those with deceased relatives, tattoos are placed on a person’s body as a remembrance or honor to their loved ones. It’s a permanent tombstone the person carries on their body. Employers should not discriminate against something that has such a deep meaning behind what is easily seen on the outside. Employees shouldn’t be forced to cover up something they truly desire and cherish on their
A large number of businesses do not allow tattoos that are visible. Many also prohibit piercings, other than single earrings on women. Some industries even take their policies to the extreme of not allowing any tattoos that take up more than 25% of a body part, and if a pre-existing tattoo is too large or obscene, it must be removed (Powers). This even applies if a uniform can easily cover the tattooed area.
In Jon Kelly’s article he brings more information on the stance taken against tattoos in the work place by potential employers. Kelly discusses how employers tend to discriminate
However, people should not be denied a career because of the art they have on their bodies. Just because an individual has tattoos does not mean they are unprofessional or unworthy of a high-paying job. Colleges do not deny people an education because they have tattoos. If a person with tattoos has a higher education and a better background than someone without tattoos who is going for the same job, then the person with tattoos should get the job. But due to the nature of businesses, the person with less experience would most likely be the candidate picked based on appearance. In the workplace, when people look at someone that is covered in tattoos they automatically discriminate against this person. It is almost as if they think that image determines their demeanor and professionalism. This person can be the most courteous and professional person in the world, but no one would ever know because this person was not given a chance due to their appearance and the judgment of others.
While tattoos have become more and more acceptable over the years, the question still lies on whether tattoos or any other kind of body modifications in the workplace should be allowed. It's beyond easy to make cases showing the negative impacts of discrimination against tattoos and piercings in the workplace. Plastic surgery, drawing on your eyebrows, getting fake nails, and coloring your hair are also examples of body modifications. Though not everyone agrees with or thinks they’re beautiful, employees are not told to cover up these modifications. Tattoos and piercings are purely another form of beautification and what makes each person their own unique individual. Beauty is personal.
Three-fourths of businesses require employees to have no visible tattoos or piercings. A majority of companies agree that tattoos and piercings detract from a personal appearance and are irrevocable. In a recent article on Fox News a Starbucks’ employee faces firing for a small tattoo on the hand. Kayla told Fox News her managers informed her she has thirty days to begin a removal process or she would lose her job. Discrimination of professionals is very typical.
People feel that there is no way that you can have job if you have tattoos. Some people will take people with tattoos less seriously if they have tattoos seeing them as childish or naïve. To back up these accusations, here is a quote: “No matter how much meaning they have for the owner, they are just not attractive nor professional looking. It does affect my decision-making process when hiring.” Emily Olson, who was a bus girl at a restaurant in Wisconsin, was great at her job. Her employer promised to give her a promotion when she turned eighteen, which would take her from a busser to a waitress where she could earn more money. On her eighteenth
Only 32% of students surveyed in Arkansas, California, and Ohio believe that having visible tattoos would hinder a person’s chance of getting a job. (Bevill, Bracy, Dale, Glasgow, & Roach, 2009) It is just what they believe, not what is true.
People argue that tattoos should never be shown in a professional setting. Most places of employment even have a dress code that requires you to cover them while working. Employers, in some settings, say that tattoos would or could be offensive or obscene. It was hard to find any article that was against tattoos in the workplace. After a while of searching the internet and databases, I found an article titled “Tattoos in the Workplace: The Research Forbes Was Too Lazy To Do” by Annie Singer. Written on February 26, 2016 and updated February 26, 2017, Singer’s research found that “consumers showed a preference for non-tattooed front-line staff.” She also found that “visible tattoos had a predominantly negative effect on employment selection, driven by the hiring manager’s
This leaves possible employers in a situation requiring them to decide whether or not to allow tattoos. More and more employers are seeing past the typical views on tattoos and allowing their employees to
Tattoos have become more popular over the last few decades. Many people today see tattoos as a way of
Tattoos today are recognized as totally different than what they were pictured as in the past. “Tattooing is recognized by government agencies as both an art form and a profession and tattoo-related art work is the subject of museum, gallery and educational institution art shows across the United States.” [ (Levins,
There are many employers that have the opinion that having visible tattoos is unacceptable for the professional work environment. Someone with a tattoo is seen as uneducated and possible dangerous. However, there is no solid evidence to support either of those beliefs. The stigma of sporting a visible tattoo has no validity. A person with tattoos is just as knowledgeable and capable of working as a non-tattooed person. Tattoos, whether visible or covered, do not change a person’s individual work ethic or how educated they are.