Tattoos date back to times as old as the ancient Egyptians, who displayed signs of adornment, religious beliefs and personal symbols on their bodies. Even the famous Iceman, the perfectly preserved corpse found in the Alps, had tattoos, perhaps displaying a rite of passage from his people. Needless to say, tattoos are no new invention to the world.
Throughout the years, tattoos have become even more popular among all races and age groups. They still are forms of identity, whether the association is from a prison gang, a tribe, a tight-knit group of friends or fraternity brothers. People view tattoos as a form of art and a way to make themselves unique and “personalize” their bodies.
If tattoos are so common, date back to ancient times and can be attained at 18 without parental consent, then why are they frowned upon by so many?
The majority of jobs today require that if you do have tattoos, they remain hidden in the workplace by covering them up with garments or even band-aids. Those who have tattoos which are not able to be hidden encounter problems finding jobs that allow them to be shown.
What’s the issue with a tattoo? Does it make a person less worthy or capable of performing the tasks at hand? Does it make them unapproachable when working a service job and make what they have to say less accurate?
As a person with four tattoos of my own, I can assure you that the deposit of ink into your skin pigment does not make you less approachable, less knowledgeable, unable to work or unworthy of a job in any field.
Yes, we unfortunately live in a judgemental society, but no matter if someone has a tattoo of a dragon, a butterfly, a Chinese symbol, scripture or a baby’s footprint, the tattoo is theirs and only theirs. The reasoning behind it does not need to be explained and approved.
My tattoos are personal to me in my own way, something I can’t necessarily describe to friends and family. And that’s okay. Yes, tattoos can be bold and distracting when seen in the workplace, but so can something a person says or stands for.
In my opinion, the employers of today need to look at society and understand tattoos are non-threatening, nor some “new fad” and should not limit the availability of jobs for people.