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It's Time to End the Tattoo Stigma

By Emily Hayes

The stigma around tattoos is one that needs to end. The younger generations have been making it clear that tattoos mean absolutely nothing about professionalism and the work an individual can perform. Yet, many workplaces deem tattoos as unprofessional, rebellious, and base their judgement of your character on your art. Many people are often turned down at a job interview because of their tattoos. This is ridiculous, and it truly needs to end. It is a form of discrimination that we allow to happen, and it is not okay.

Tattoos are a form of self expression. It isn’t any different than the color of your hair or what you like to wear. Yet, the discrimination against individuals with tattoos is still extremely high. Not to mention the fact that many minority groups have tattoos, causing a race issue here as well.

Now, obviously some tattoos are just not okay. Tattoos including hate speech, or anything like that are clearly not okay, but that is not the focus of my this. Simply, the general attitude around all tattoos is out of date.

Even within families, tattoos are a touchy subject. Some families encourage tattoos and others try to ban them all together. Within my own family, my grandmother and mother absolutely hate tattoos. I couldn’t tell them about my tattoos because I already knew their views on the female body.

But, their tattoo hatred is mainly biased towards women, which is harmful in it’s own way. Women who have tattoos are discriminated against heavily. They are seen as “unfeminine,” and that their body is now ruined by the tattoo. How do you think this makes them feel? To limit their self expression because of antiquated sexist beliefs is not okay.

I am at a loss for words as I write this, as I truly don’t know why we still have to have this conversation. Tattoo discrimination is real, and no one does much to stop it. For an entire form of self expression to be discriminated against is something that we all need to take a step back and look at. Not only for our future, but for everyone who was denied a job they desperately needed because they have tattoos. For those who have a meaningful tattoo and worry if one day they will find a job because of it. For those who have to cover their tattoos at work, or those who are complained about because their tattoos are showing. We all need to ensure that our right to self expression is no longer stepped on, and ensure that for others as well.

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