Society isn't quite ready for facial tattoos

Society isn’t quite ready for facial tattoos

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Society isn't quite ready for facial tattoos

Mike Tyson facial tattoos (CNN) –

"I am a canvas of my experiences, my story is etched in lines and shading, and you can read it on my arms, my legs, my shoulders, and my stomach." — Kat Von D, tattoo artist Related

Tattoos have come a long way.

Once lambasted as professional kryptonite and social sabotage, inked skin has now rooted itself in mainstream culture.

In May, NBC News/Wall Street Journal released a poll that found 40 percent of Americans have someone in their household with a tattoo, up from 21 percent from 15 years ago. Last year, Forbes magazine said tattoos were becoming "increasingly unproblematic across the board," even in the workplace.

But the workplace doesn’t seem to be ready for tattoos in certain areas — mainly the face, head and neck.

In 2011, 31 percent of employers nationwide told job website Career Builder that having a visible tattoo would hinder a candidate’s likelihood of being promoted.

Earlier this year, Army Regulation 670-1 enforced new rules prohibiting soldiers from displaying tattoos on the head, face, neck, wrists, hands and fingers.

"Tattoos are getting more and more accepted," said Alivia Foley, a 24-year old tattoo artist who has been inking clients full-time for six years in Seattle. "But we’re not there yet.""People will start treating you differently once you become a heavily tattooed person," said Foley, who has head and neck tattoos.Potential employers, law enforcement and even landlords can look askance at facial tats, in her experience."I just don’t think they’re for everybody," she said. The accepted few Of course when Foley says highly visible tattoos are not for everybody, she means everybody who wants a professional job.For years American society has openly accepted celebrities who choose to sport highly visible tattoos.Boxer Mike Tyson, who had his face tattooed with a tribal symbol in 2003, was an early adopter of the look. Rapper Gucci Mane said he inked an ice cream cone on his cheek because he’s "cool as […]