Are tattoo studios ‘artists’ studios’? Pittsford says no

Yet another case of a tattoo studio not being allowed to open due to some creative interpretation of zoning laws by people who clearly just don’t want tattoo studios in their town.

…since tattoo artists are licensed by the state Department of Health and the state defines the premises from which tattooists work as a “tattoo studio,” DiProjetto’s and Wight’s proposed business could not rightly be considered an “artists’ studio.”

Limbeck also maintained that tattooing was not a “retail business,” despite LoveHate Tattoo having a retail license from the city of Rochester dating to 2001.

It comes down to Pittsford not wanting tattooed people in their town doing business. It’s okay if a tattooed person is pumping your gas, but a tattooed person opening a business in Mayberry won’t fly.


Filter drummer: Brother’s Bar in Denver barred me due to neck tattoo

DENVER — The drummer of a popular rock band said he was denied entrance into a popular Denver bar and grill because of his tattoos.

I have mixed feelings about this story. On one hand, a private business is allowed to enforce a dress code and tattoos are allowed to be included in their dress criteria. Had this happened to a regular guy walking in off the street (which I’m sure it does on a regular basis) it would not be in the news. It also would not have been news if they turned him away for another dress code violation, like wearing shorts or flip-flops.

The other side of the story is the fact that the band had lunch at this same restaurant earlier in the day and nobody had an issue with the tattoo. I would also imagine that a large number of people visited the restaurant in order to get a chance to meet the band. The very people who were bringing a ton of money into the restaurant that night were then not allowed to enter.

If they owners enforce their policy fairly and consistently, there really isn’t much that can be done.


Inked-up politicians brand Air NZ’s tattoo policy as hypocritical

In the wake of my recent Tattoos and Employment post, there is a big story making the rounds about a woman who was denied employment by Air New Zealand because of a Ta Moko (traditional Maori tattoo) on her forearm which violates the company’s no visible tattoos policy.

Air New Zealand stood by its policy yesterday, saying it was primarily a tourist business and many cultures would consider tattoos frightening or intimidating.

Many are claiming that the airline is being hypocritical because the airline uses a Maori symbol in its logo and on the tail of their planes.

National Party MP Tau Henare had four tattoos, two of which would breach the airline’s policy.

He said Air New Zealand was displaying a double standard.

“If somebody’s got a koru on their arm, is that going to scare the tourists? I think it’s a bit rich that Air NZ … are outlawing on their staff something that’s on the tail of the plane.”
He felt there should be some leniency for traditional tattoos.

As a follow-up to this story The New Zealand Herald is currently conducting a poll to capture their readers feelings towards tattoos. With over 13,000 votes so far, a large portion of respondents say that they don’t want to see tattoos and would prefer that people kept them covered. 11% actually responded that they “despise” tattoos and won’t associate with anyone with tattoos. This survey clearly shows that there are lots of people out there who would prefer that tattoos are covered. Air New Zealand is running a business and the needs and wants of their customers need to be a top priority.

What makes this case different than cases like it in the U.S. or other countries is that tattoos are an integral part of Maori culture. The New Zealand Civil Rights Association states: “Traditional Māori moko is an expression of and celebration of Māori culture and identity. A person of Māori descent may not be denied employment, entry to premises, or declined service because they wear moko visibly.”

It will be very interesting to see how this plays out.