Sorry, We Don’t Hire Tattooed

Erica Giannelli

2013, a year where everyone should be able to fully express themselves as individuals…Or is it?

Once upon a time, society was completely against the idea of self-expression in the form of different styles of clothing, piercings and tattoos. In today’s world, we have become more accepting of these differences; realizing that everyone has an individual identity that should not have to be hidden.

Even though we claim that everyone should “express themselves,” this is not true in the workplace. As society shifts towards a looser outlook on appearances, things in the workplace seem to remain the same. Walking into a job interview, it is relatively easy to be turned away once you roll up your sleeves and reveal an arm full of body art.

Honestly, what is the big deal? Can’t we just learn to accept everyone for who they are?

Although business attire may be a requirement when working for certain companies, tattoos should not be considered “against the dress code.” Tattoos originated as early as 2000 B.C. Becoming even more popular today, tattoos are often seen as representations of love, respect, dedication, and all things important to us. Many times the death of a loved one, or the birth of someone entering our lives, becomes a great influence on our decisions to obtain tattoos. Not only are these symbols an illustration of who we are, but they serve as artwork that will forever be a part of our bodies. Just like birth marks, freckles, and scars, tattoos are something that creates how individuals appear to the human eye. People in the workplace need to understand that tattoos are not to be looked down upon, but rather to be appreciated and accepted.

Just because someone looks slightly different from the typical, boring American doesn’t mean that they will not offer the same intelligence and creativity that someone else would bring to the career table. Diversity is supposedly very important in the workplace, so why are individuals being turned away for being unique?

Appearances should not be an issue when it comes to hiring someone on account of their skills and values. Workplaces need to overcome this fear of self-expression and understand that tattoos do not define us. Our bodies are empty canvases and we can alter them however we please.