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Are Tattoos In The Workplace Still 'Unprofessional'?

Updated: May 31, 2019

abeeney May 28, 2019 The Odyssey Online Newspaper

Tattoos in the workplace have a stigma attached to them. Some people see them as unprofessional or unappealing. However, tattoos are becoming more casual or normal in the workforce these days.

"You know those are permanent, right?"
"Those aren't going to help you get a job."
-Almost every parent when we get our tattoos, yet we still get the tattoos we like, why's that?

Tattoos. They're so common and popular for our generation. Tattoos and piercings have become ways for people to express themselves in order for people to see. We get everything from meaningful quotes to funny or pointless things tattooed on our bodies, but so many people don't think about the effects of getting these tattoos. Sure, they might look really good when you're twenty and in good

Personally, I love tattoos. Tattoos and piercings can be such amazing artwork and astonishing ways of expressing yourself, your interests, and your personality. However, professional workplaces aren't as accepting of this expression of people, just like our parents might not be. At the end of the day, we all want (or need) a good paying job, but we also want to be our best and happiest selves. Tattoos can help us along the way to becoming our happiest selves, but on the idea of finding and getting a good job, they might get in the way, depending on the job or career we want.

Some careers are very open to people with tattoos, and that is fantastic! One in five adults today actually have a tattoo. Many studies have been done on this topic, including one done by This survey included 2,675 people, and showed the following:

Studies have also shown that people today aged between 18-25 years old are the most accepting of tattoos. Despite a large number of people who are not accepting of tattoos, or companies who don't want tattoos in their workplace, there are companies who actually encourage those with tattoos or body piercings to apply. According to the Bank Of America spokeswoman Ferris Morrison, the company has no restrictions when it comes to corporate inked employees: "We have no formal policy about tattoos because we value our differences and recognize that diversity and inclusion are good for our business and make our company stronger."

It's 2019 though, and a lot of professions are becoming more accepting of tattoos, however. Another study done by showed that among many careers that the 2,675 people pursed, agriculture/ranching, hospitality/recreation/tourism, and arts/media/entertainment are among the three highest of tattoo-accepting careers, or are careers that people with one or more tattoos have taken up. Agriculture/ranching had 22% of its employees having at least one tattoo, with hospitality/recreation/tourism following with 20% of its employees having tattoos, and the arts/media/entertainment having 16% of its employees with at least one tattoo.

Many jobs have policies about tattoos, despite it being 2019 and them being quite common, as you can tell. In fact, actually found out that 23% of people have specifically said that they have examined a company's permissiveness regarding tattoos and piercings when deciding to take a job offer or not. This number actually surprised me, considering I thought it was going to be less.

As I stated before, personally, I love tattoos. I think they are great ways of expressing ourselves and they can be beautiful if they're well done! I mean hey, it is body ART! Tasteful tattoos can look very good on people, in my opinion. However, I do believe there are types of positions where you should maybe have fewer tattoos than others. I don't think tattoos should ever make or break someone's ability to get a job though. I think the world shouldn't be discriminatory to those with body art since it's just someone's way of expressing themselves. So, are you thinking about getting those tattoos for your 21st birthday? I support you fully!! Help break the stigma!!

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