Tattoos: Personal Preference Professional Persecution Even in 2014 when people are decorating their bodies with everything from ear gauges and skin surface piercings to branding and doll-like plastic surgery, tattoos hold negative connotations, especially in the work place. Though America is a place people come to celebrate the differences that are not necessarily appreciated in their native land, such as religion, sexual orientation and political views, there remains a lot of judgment associated with body art and the people who have it. Tattoos are a personal preference, and in no way affect anyone other than the person with said tattoo, however some employers seem to disagree, and potential employees experience a sort of professional persecution that often denies them a fair chance at the job.
Tattoos are common in this day and age, with a recent Pew Research survey showing that, “About 23 percent of Americans today have a tattoo, and 32 percent of people ages 30-45 have at least one.” However it is still a company’s and employer’s prerogative whether or not they want to hire someone, for whatever reason. Although there have been laws put in place that protect applicants from being discriminated against for a myriad of reasons, such as age, gender or religion, tattoos are not yet protected under that umbrella. In fact, some research suggests it is still quite common for a potential employee to be overlooked due to their body art.
It is not always even be the employer’s personal preference for or against tattoos that is increasing the applicant’s chance of professional persecution. It is more likely that it is based on customer or client response to body alterations, and how their perception of a person changes because of them. Even tattoo artists know, and warn clients about, the potential judgment and hindrances in the professional environment often associated with visible tattoos. Seattle tattoo artist Alivia Foley explains in a recent interview, “Tattooing has gone from being counterculture to being something everyone is doing, but societal repercussions are […]