As merely a freshman in high school, there were individuals, including my friends, who were getting tattoos. During this time, my grandmother was going through the beginning stages of Alzheimer's with no hope of improvement so I decided I wanted a tattoo dedicated to the memories that I cherished with her so that I would always have a piece of her wherever I was. After a lot of internal conflict and debate, I finally decided to bring it up to my parents. At this point, I was sixteen and still wanted this more than anything. So I went home one day to my two loving parents and asked if they would sign off on a tattoo for me that meant something very important, I would pay for it myself with the money I earned from my part-time job and would not be obnoxiously large (thinking that would get me further) As quickly as I brought it up, they shut me down with the reasoning "It will be on your body forever and it's trashy!" I didn't understand at the time. Why would they not let me have a tattoo? What was so wrong with wanting to express myself so that everyone can see? How was a tribute with flowers and a hummingbird trashy?

As I advanced through high school, graduation was soon approaching as was the ominous "Senior Project." This is where you create a presentation on what you would like to do for the rest of your life and some aspect of that job. As we were preparing to do this, we were informed that we would be taught how to dress professionally for this project by a guest speaker who had the job of hiring individuals for her team. One of the first things she pointed out was that you should never have any tattoos showing. She admitted to disregarding many individuals when they walked in the door due to their outward appearance. Even if they had a great interview, showing tattoos was always a mark against them. The fact that they were looking for a job in the first place, with some sort of education and willing to come for an interview never seemed to be a factor to her.

The fact of the matter is, during the era that today's employers were from, the only types of people who had tattoos were delinquents and, on the opposite side, individuals that were in the armed forces, in which case, they were already technically employed by our government, so they weren't looking for work, and even if they were, they were respected for their service, and the tattoos seemed to be disregarded. When employers look at who walked through that door and saw any type of body modification, they were immediately turned off due to the fact that. This has translated into today's world in the fact that that is always how they will see these works of art. This is not true of all employers, however, but it is true of quite a few. The tattoo argument is very much attributed to the generational gap. Individuals that decide to get tattoos nowadays are people you would never expect. Teachers, healthcare providers, lawyers, you name it.

Having a tattoo does not automatically imply that you are some sort of menace to society anymore. However, this is how the generation before us who are now our bosses think of them. Of course, if someone walks in the door with some sort of symbol involving hate or persecution, it is seen as a huge deterrent to their possibility of employment to anyone of any age.

Overall, I do not believe that is how today's generation should be judged for the simple fact that the way someone expresses themselves does not determine their personal quality. Tattoos are no longer a determination of someone's social class or personal lives, it is an expression of individuality and commitment. Don't judge a book by its cover, whether it be colorful or not.