Please note that I will not be arguing for the idea of having tattoos and piercings in the workplace, I will be discussing my observation of it. The presence of visible tattoos and piercings has been a long, drawn out discussion about whether it is appropriate to have them in the workplace.
Just a few months ago you could not get a job if you had an earring size bigger than 18 (the smallest and most used size), and you had to cover any existing tattoos. Here lately, however, I have noticed that more and more businesses have been employing people with forearm tattoos, wrist tattoos, and piercings including gages, nose, and lip, without asking them to cover them up. Just the other day I handed money to a man with size zero gages (that is pretty big), and snake bites (a lip piercing on each side of the bottom lip). Multiple times have I spied a forearm tattoo as my cashier slide my Yoo-hoo across the scanner (I buy a lot of Yoo-hoo). Most of these places have been convenience stores, such as Dollar General and Walmart, or gas stations. We are even starting to see tattoos on doctors and police officers! I feel as if their presence, even if not fully accepted by “professional” work enviornments, is indeed noteworthy.
You can argue that it is the new generation that has spurred this new movement of having tattoos and piercings in the workplace and it not be a preposterous notion. We have really kick started the tattoo and piercing trend. Everything from matching tattoos with your best friend, to getting nose piercings to promote your girl power. With 90 percent of us sporting visible tattoos and piercings, in more than just the ear lobe, employers have been faced with having to accept them. Although, until recently we have been commissioning spacers and sleeves to conceal something that is becoming common for people of all ages. Although there are still people that speak out against the new trend, and places where it is seen as inappropriate to have visible tattoos, it isn’t slowing down the acceptance of tattoos and piercings in our culture and now our places of occupation.
So what has sparked this tattoo rage? Tattoos have been around for approximately 200,000 years. Tribes would cover their entire bodies (some still do). They were not as popular in the more “developed” cultures, though. Tattoos were most commonly employed by soldiers and others who wanted to look tough in their profession in America. It wasn’t until a few years ago that tattoos became popular for the general populations, and “cool” dads and drunk frat boys started hitting up the tattoo parlors. Now you hardly find anyone that doesn’t have or want at least one tattoo. And it has definitely effected our culture. Allowing an old taboo into our places of employment, not letting such a common thing get in the way of the hiring process, it certainly is a new era for our young country.