Tattoos and Employment

Articles about tattoos in the workplace have been popping up everywhere and I have received a number of emails from engineering students who are questioning how tattoos might affect their chances of getting a job after graduation.

Every time the topic of tattoos and employment is brought up I give the same answers, so I thought it was time to write a little more about it. Referring back to one of my earlier posts which is now well over 2 years old, Some Basic Tattoo Advice, I said this

Think about how tattoo placement will effect your possibility of future employment. Qualified or not, I doubt these guys are going to be hired any time soon.

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Tattoo acceptance in the workplace

The Facebook group ‘Tattoo acceptance in the workplace’ currently has over 1.6 million page likes. This is written on their “about” page:

Our goal is to take away the stigma attached to people who have tattoos in the workplace. Tattoos are art. Some of us have chosen to express ourselves not with vibrant shoes, or a colorful tie, but with body art. What is the difference?

I agree with the sentiment, but I really don’t know how I feel about this page lately. It seems like they exclusively post 4 things on their wall. First the good things:

1. Pictures of employed tattooed people. These posts are at least a step in the right direction and do help to support the cause of the page. But they usually fall short in my opinion. They range from detailed stories to simple captioned pictures. The better submissions contain information about the type of job the person holds as well as whether they are allowed to show their tattoos or not. Some of the less useful posts don’t give much info at all.

2. Advertising, advertising and more advertising. Every other post lately seems to be about either promoting their tattooed and employed t-shirts or one of their other pages like “Inked animal lovers” or “Inked and sexy”.

3. Asking for opinions on random pictures of tattoos. I really have no problem with this type of post, but I don’t think they do much to further the acceptance of tattoos in the workplace.

4. Finally, there has been a large number of terrible tattoo related memes which are usually full of grammatical errors. Just look at the 3 most recent ones:

First of all, I don’t consider tattoo a lifestyle. Using this terminology only helps reinforce the idea that people with tattoos are different in some way. After all, it’s a whole different lifestyle. It’s obvious that the point of this image is to show that people with tattoos are capable of having faith, respect, comforting… Wait a minute, shouldn’t that be “comfort”. As you continue reading you encounter more and more words that just don’t fit in. Healthy should be health, funny should be humor and cherish just doesn’t seem to fit at all. I know the people that run Tattoo acceptance in the workplace did not create this graphic, but they should have recognized how terrible it was before deciding to post it. The horrible grammar, misleading title and poor graphic design work all add up to something that takes away from the message the page is trying to convey.

apostrophe happy
Next up is this gem. Tattoo’s and Piercing’s, really??
80% of the comments were people saying “I see you don’t understand how to use an apostrophe, excuse me while I put my clothes back on.” Besides those glaring errors, the old style picture just doesn’t work for me here. The guy clearly doesn’t have any tattoos or piercings, or at least not anything visible.

I think this one takes the cake. What the hell is a pregnant? Again, I get the message they are trying to convey here, but it is so poorly written that it really can’t be taken seriously. Even if he would have said “pregnant women”, instead of “pregnants” it still doesn’t make sense. “…looks at others guy’s face like saying “You should be ashamed of yourself.” Whoever wrote that should be ashamed of themselves.

For a page that is supposed to be all about “taking away the stigma attached to people with tattoos…” I feel like recent posts are doing the exact opposite. If someone visits this page for the first time and all they see is a bunch of poorly worded crappy internet memes, what do you think they are going to think? Most of the comments on the site reflect my sentiment with more and more negative comments appearing with each new post.

It’s a shame that a page that has the potential to reach a very large audience and spread a positive message about people with tattoos is wasting time posting crap like this. Sorry tattoo acceptance in the workplace, you really need to try harder if you want to make a difference.


Misrepresentation of recent study about women with tattoos

I posted the article ‘Why are women with tattoos seen as promiscuous?’ a few days ago and wrote very briefly about it. This study, accurately summarized by the title of the article, claimed nothing about women with tattoos, but made conclusions about how they are perceived by men.

Today I came across a couple of articles referencing this study but using obviously misleading headlines for the sake of getting the attention of more readers and causing controversy.
“Study: Women who have tattoos are sluts.”
“Easy ink: Women with tattoos more approachable but have looser morals, study claims”

That first headline appeared on a celebrity gossip site that I have never heard of, so I expect them to print scandalous headlines. But the 2nd was from the New York Daily News and is a blatant misrepresentation of the finding from this study. There is absolutely nothing in the study to indicate that women with tattoos have looser morals and this is the type of practice that gives journalism a bad name.


Why Are Women with Tattoos Seen as Promiscuous?

Very interesting study. The results showed that men were more likely to approach tattooed women and also approached her more quickly when compared to non-tattooed women.

The findings of this study do help to confirm that women with tattoos are seen as more promiscuous by men, but really don’t sheds any light on why? The study said nothing about women with tattoos themselves, focusing only on the behavior of men observing women with tattoos.

Finding a statistically significant number of people who believe a common stereotype does not make that stereotype true.