Growing up I always heard people say that people with tattoos and piercings will never get good jobs because they don’t look “professional.” I was never a person to believe that though. I always found tattoos and piercings to be really cool and wanted a lot of tattoos myself. When I would tell people, “I want a lot of tattoos when I get older,” I would have a fair share of people tell me things like, “You’re so pretty. Don’t do that to yourself,” or, “Don’t get too many or you won’t get a job,” or even, “You’re going to regret it later when you get old and wrinkly.” Over the years I became used to remarks like this which is astonishing because I didn’t even get a tattoo or a piercing until I was 18. What bothered me the most about people having some crazy thing against tattoos and piercings is that people seemed to believe they meant you were unprofessional.
To me, tattoos and piercings are a form of self-expression. People wear different clothes, style their hair, and even do their makeup all to their liking because in most cases that is how they show their self-expression. Tattoos and piercings are pretty much the same thing. But how come tattoos and piercings are so major on getting employed? Does someone with tattoos or piercings look scary or even unclean? Do they automatically have a bad record or might be on drugs? Yeah, there may be some people with tattoos and piercings that are criminals and are bad and scary, but it is not because of their tattoos or their piercings. Saying that everyone with tattoos and piercings are unclean, unprofessional and criminals is like saying people with skin cells are terrible people. Of course, that didn’t make any sense, but that is the point. It doesn’t make any sense to judge someone strictly based on their tattoos and piercings.
Now in a professional setting, I believe that this is still true. If you hire someone based on whether they have tattoos and piercings, you might be missing out on a lot of great people to hire. In my personal experience, I have met many smart and hardworking individuals who have tattoos, piercings, and even both. Someone could be covered in tattoos and may have a PhD and one of the smartest people in the world, but the moment someone sees their tattoos they wouldn’t even think of them as an owner of a PhD. Think about it this way. Imagine you are in the emergency room and they give you the best doctor at the hospital. This doctor finds out what’s wrong with you, takes care of you, fixes the problem, and gives you great service. You think this is an amazing doctor and the best hospital visit you have ever had because of them. When you are about to leave, you see this doctor’s sleeves rolled up and all the tattoos they have. Would you still think he is an amazing doctor or would you judge him for his tattoos and think he is terrible for having them?
Some of you may be thinking, "Well people have to follow dress code which they have no control over.” Trust me, I understand that. When I go to work, I take out my septum piercing and if I would have to, I would cover my tattoo. This is just like any other dress code policy though. Dress codes, in most cases, don’t really allow for there to be much self-expression because most places want their employees to generally look the same or uniform. And I also understand that tattoos that are racist, drug related, or offensive can be a problem in a work setting as well. I would have a problem with that too. Dress codes aren’t the problem though. The problem is that there are companies out there that are so quick to judge people for having tattoos without even giving them a chance to show their true talent and hard work. They make assumptions based off of physical appearance and it is not fair. I know this may not always be the case, but it happens a lot more than you think.
I work hard. I have a job and I am working on getting a degree as a full time student. I graduated top ten percent of my class with Honors, National Honors Society, and Beta Club in high school. I still make good grades in college and those grades mostly consist on A’s and just a few B’s. I also have a tattoo and piercing and would like many more tattoos. Why do I want more tattoos? I want more tattoos because it is how I want to express myself. It isn’t because I am some criminal on drugs because I am far from that and so are many others. Tattoos and piercings do not represent unprofessionalism. They represent art and self-expression.