Tattoos and the Workplace

Rites of passage, marks of defiance, forms of artistic and emotional expression ―tattoos had and still have a spectrum of uses and meanings.

For a while, especially in the early 20th century, the practice of permanently marking one’s skin was looked down upon and even considered taboo for it was associated with gang members and incarcerated men.

Now there is a huge contrast in the way tattoos are seen today. With its popularity beginning in the seventies and continuously booming in today’s fads and trends among not only the youth, but the rest of the population, it is safe to say that tattoos are rapidly integrating into our everyday lives.

 “It’s in style to have tattoos” Said Nia Richardson, a freshman in Stephens College in Missouri.

As a result of Tattoos’ recent welcome-back into society, views towards it slightly changed in the workplace—but not much.

Stores who keep up with the trends and fads, such as Hot Topic, are fine with hiring tatted people for it enhances their hipster brand. “Our old assistant manager was all tatted up” Said Crystal Somaza, an employee of OneClick.

However not all work-places are the same.

Upon the revelation that an applicant for a job has a tattoo, some employers would automatically view the applicant as less qualified for the job– especially if it’s a high qualifying job. In their eyes it’s unprofessional to bear the unmistakable mark of permanent ink.

According to a study by The Patient’s Guide, of the people who got their tats removed, about 40 percent, cited employment reasons as their motivation for having the procedure.

This happens in places such as hospitals, business related jobs, jobs involving politics, and in News Casts.

Have you ever seen a news anchor person with a tattoo? Probably not.

It all boils down to how professional the workplace is, but as long as the tats are concealed, all is well. An employee at Victoria’s Secret said that employees can have tattoos but “It should be in a place they don’t see—not in the face, not in the neck—because we are a classy place”


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