Tattoos should be accepted in the workforce


Tattooed professionals are becoming more common, unfortunately so is discrimination against them.

Imagine studying for four or more years for your degree, landing an interview for a job you are more than qualified for, only to be denied the position because of a visible tattoo.

According to a article, 14 percent of college graduates and 25 percent of college attendees in the U.S. have a tattoo and therefore, will likely face this problem. Plain and simple, the discrimination of tattoos in the workforce is an issue that has the potential to affect the lives of 45 million Americans.

Tattoos are becoming increasingly popular with younger generations, but there are currently no laws in regards to discrimination of interviewees nor employees with tattoos. This leaves tattooed individuals unprotected from bias, unlike other “minorities.” The same article found that 37 percent of hiring managers cite tattoos as the third most likely physical trait that could limit career potential of interviewees.

Even when interviewers are accepting of tattoos, customers may not be. Per a article by Chris Baumann, customers show a marked preference for front line staff without tattoos. Whether this preference be intentional or not—it exists nevertheless.

Discrimination against tattooed individuals does not end here.  It was stated in a U.S. Money News article that tattooed professionals are considered less intelligent by 27 percent of people.

People who chose tattoos to express themselves are no more deserving of discrimination than anyone else. It is almost preposterous to think that there are no laws to protect these individuals from unfair bias.

Appropriate tattoos should not detract from a person’s qualifications nor others’ perception of their intellect.

Fact of the matter is that if you were dying, you would not be discriminatory of a tattooed doctor who was actively working to save your life.

Gone are the days when tattoos were exclusive to outlaw bikers and felons. Tattoos are becoming more widely accepted in society, so it is necessary for this acceptance to spread to the workforce.

If no action is taken to curb this bias, companies will be missing out on employing nearly 1/5 of college educated and qualified applicants. This could lead to higher unemployment rates and have an overall negative affect on the economy.

However, if this stigma surrounding tattoos in the workforce was to die off, employment opportunities could potentially open up for those with visible tattoos. In addition to that, unnecessary judgments and a long-standing taboo could be eliminated.