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Tattoos and piercings shouldn’t be restricted in the workplace

Tattoos and piercings shouldn’t be restricted in the workplace

Tattoos and piercings shouldn’t be restricted in the workplace
November 08
12:02 2019

With 2020 only two months away, the start of a new decade allows people to make new changes and decisions in their lives. Many people, college students especially, tend to get tattoos and piercings for a variety of reasons ranging from self-expression to family memories.

About 42 percent of Americans have a tattoo, and that percentage continues to rise. Whatever the reason may be, tattoos and piercings are becoming more and more common, and American workplaces need to catch up with the times and stop placing so many physical restrictions on their workers. Despite almost half of Americans having some form of tattoo on their body, many workplaces continue to reject resumes and refuse consideration of those with visible body piercings and tattoos.

Oftentimes, “professionalism” will be used as a means of rejection for having visible body modifications, however, this is an outdated and antiquated belief. Thousands of professional and educated people have tattoos, and associating tattoos with “bad” crowds creates stereotypes and has no place in the consideration of an employee. 

One of the most common reasons for a company to lose business is poor customer service, not their employees having a few tattoos or a nose piercing. Dozens of big companies like Google, UPS and Target are branching out into tattoo-friendly work policies, and other organizations and businesses should follow along as well. 

Another reason thrown around to restrict tattoo policies at work is relating to health concerns. However, there is no additional risk associated with new, and especially old, tattoos or piercings. During the healing process, a tattoo is no different than a skin abrasion or small cut. The bandages and coverings used during this time work as a covering from contaminants similar to how a band aid covers a cut. If you would hire someone with a band-aid slice on the side of an employee’s arm, their tattoo shouldn’t stop you either.

With all this being said, I’m not asking employers to allow free reign on whatever kind of tattoos an employee wants to have visible. I fully support not allowing workers to showcase their racist or discriminatory tattoos at work.Personally, I would feel really uncomfortable if I saw a worker with a KKK tattoo, and I understand not wanting to associate certain hate groups with a company. 

Personally, I have a nose piercing and one tattoo — and I plan to get more in the future. Oftentimes, my tattoo, which is a small word on the side of my wrist, is not seen by most people I interact with. However, I have had to take nose piercing out for almost all the jobs I’ve had and it is just an unnecessary hassle. I understand it in some cases, but in others, removing it is simply the company’s way of trying to “keep a good image” to the public. We need to stop seeing people with visible tattoos or piercings as lesser than or uneducated. 

If you are looking for a job with tattoo/piercing friendly policies, here are a few companies that are in Denton to look for positions at: Sally’s Beauty Supply, Target, Barnes and Noble, Big Lots, Best Buy, Petco and Home Depot. There are loads of stores out there — you just have to go out and look.

It’s almost 2020. American workplaces need to catch up with the times and stop being so restrictive on tattoos and piercings on the job. 

Featured Illustration: Miranda Thomas

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Natalie Taylor

Natalie Taylor

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