Tattoos In The Workplace: Are We Still Prejudiced?

long sleeve dress

Brought to you by Catherine L.  –  Once reserved for rebels and rockers, body art is now increasingly popular in the mainstream. Where tattooing necks, faces and hands was previously considered taboo, particularly for women, more people are now experimenting with tattoos from head to foot and everywhere in between.

However, the news that tattoos are now socially acceptable has failed to reach employers. A recent study by the British Sociological Association revealed that people make hasty judgements about tattooed interviewees, saying they seem ‘dirty’ and even ‘repugnant’. They were also concerned about the impression that a tattooed employee could give to their clients. On top of this, a survey in America showed that while one in five adults in the States now has at least one tattoo, more than forty percent of those without them find tattooed people less attractive.

long sleeve dressGiven this research, many who do choose to get inked opt for designs that can be easily concealed. While hiding the tiger across your back or a flower on your ribs is fairly simple, women with artwork on their arms might be interested in browsing this season’s dresses with sleeves.

Even if you’re not concerned about your employer’s opinion on your ink, it’s worth putting some thought into your design, as getting one you later regret can be a real nightmare. Needless to say the laser removal industry remains healthy from the profits of spur-of-the-moment decisions. Getting the initials of your first boyfriend tattooed on your bottom might have seemed daring and cool when you were younger, but could make for some pretty embarrassing situations later down the line!

Then again, is it not silly mistakes like these that made you the person you are today? Perhaps people are too prudish when it comes to tattoos – after all they’re a form of personal expression, just like make-up, hair colour and clothing. An employer should know better than to form an impression of a candidate before they’ve even spoken, and perhaps that kind of judgmental working environment isn’t for you. Attitudes to body modification have changed and will change further, so rather than stand in the way of progress perhaps we should be less quick to judge a book by its cover and a person by their ink.

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1 Comment

  1. October 12, 2013 / 3:53 AM

    I'm glad that I decided against a tattoo. I had a temp tattoo on my lower back when I was 25 which lasted for about 4 years and this was just perfect at the time. My friends liked it, my employer hated it and I always had to cover it up before meetings.  I'm now 42 and glad that my body is free from ink. I don't want to watch my body art wrinkle away as I get older.