Growing up, my generation was always told not to get tattoos or, at the very least, get them in places that are hidden to ensure that you were still appealing to future potential employers. I recently read online that 36 percent of millennials and 40 percent of Gen X have at least one tattoo, if not multiple. I, personally, am pro-tattoo and find that the discrimination against those with ink, both within a workplace environment and out, is an outdated mindset that needs to be shifted with the progression of society.
I believe that tattoos are simply a way for individual's to express themselves in an artistic and creative way. People buy clothes or accessorize or dye their hair to ensure that their exterior appropriately represents who they are, so why are tattoos any different? Because I'm such a proponent of tattoos, I asked a few of my friends who have tattoos to talk about their perspective and perhaps demonstrate why people get them and why they should be widely accepted in society.
"I think tattoos are a beautiful expression on ones self! I think they should mean something to when you get one. I'm definitely getting more when I have a bit more money. I have a heart made out of a treble clef and bass clef. I got it because I've been singing since I was 3-years-old and because I used to read music every Monday in high school. Music is in my heart and that's where it will stay. And I want a good bit more and already some picked out that I'm saving up for. I think its sad that there is so much discrimination about tattoos in the work place because tattoos don't determine whether you can do a job or not and it's sad that so many people have to cover up who they are."
"I have the phrase 'The Road goes ever on and on' from JRR Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" in elvish on my bicep, and the symbol of the Rebel Alliance from "Star Wars" emblazoned with a rose on my forearm. The first I got after high school as a reminder to always remember that life goes on, no matter what you're dealing with or going through. My second I had done as a reminder to always be true to my beliefs, and to fight for what I believe, however that may be accomplished. I think that tattoos are a way to preserve the ideas and things that make us who we are on us forever, and think they stand as a outward expression of the interior self."
"I have four tattoos. My first one is a daisy on my hip that I got when I was 18 as a way of giving myself a present and accepting that I can do have attractive and pretty things be part of me. My second tattoo was a "Friday the 13th" tattoo on my ankle to just get a cool looking thing on my body as a fun thing to do with my friends, then I got some stick-n-poke tattoos in exchange for Taco Bell to decorate my feet because they were cute. My third tattoo is the phrase 'Girl Power' divided up on both of my elbows because I needed to feel confident in the face of feeling sort of culturally shut down by men. My fourth is a rose on my thigh, because I eventually want a garden there. For me, tattoos are a way of decorating this body I came in. It helps me adjust the first impression people are going to have of me. For example, everyone knows I'm a feminist because of my 'girl power' tattoos. I feel more ownership over my body when I can decorate it how I choose!"