Tattoo Taboo

Nowadays, tattoos are not a rare sight. Everyone knows someone who has one; it has been reported that 1 in 5 adults in the USA and Britain have a tattoo. So why are they still looked down upon as being a taboo-like topic? As an owner of two small tattoos myself, I have been asked numerous times: 'What about when you look for a job?' 'What will your employers think?' Should these questions be appropriate for this day and age?

Tattoos have traditionally been strongly rooted in class and were largely reserved for, generally speaking, the working class. But today, body art is so commonly seen on such a broad spectrum of people, let alone an increasing number of people, it is difficult to see why there is still such stigma attached to getting a tattoo.

My first tattoo

It is still a wide-reaching view that people without tattoos will be favoured by employers over those who do, that people with them will be forever limited in their choice of careers because of their decision to get 'inked'. But if, as many have argued, tattoos are now a part of our mainstream culture, opposed to their previous role as a symbol of rebellion, why is their still prejudice within the world of work?

The point is, if this embedded discrimination does in fact still exist, it shouldn't. If tattoos are part of our modern life, this acceptance should be incorporated into the workplace too. Only one of my tattoos is visible, and although it could be hidden, a part of me does still worry that I will be judged for it in a job interview or other similar situation. But getting a tattoo didn't have any effect on my intelligence, common sense, or ability to do a job well; it should not be a factor by which an employer has the right to judge you.

My second, last, and more personal etching

Some might look and think, 'they must have got it when they were young or didn't know what they were doing', but so many forget the fact that most people get tattoos because they want to get one, because it means something to them. They are not just art, they are also often extremely personal, and this is another reason such prejudices against tattoos should not exist. Many contemplate whether to get one, what to get, and where, for a long time, and are rarely hasty decisions.

I personally feel like I am judged or even looked down upon by not my own age group, but those older than me- and I only have two teeny tattoos! Yet just because I have permanent artwork on my body, it hasn't compromised me as a person, or any of my attributes. And that is what people who judge others for their inkings should remember.

Do you think prejudices over tattoos still exist today, or have you been judged for them? Let me know your thoughts!


  1. I have 5 tattoos currently and two of them are not able to be covered without wearing long sleeves. I love my tattoos and they ALL have a specific meaning to me. I got my first one on my 18th birthday (the legal age here in Texas) and I have never once regretted my decision. I'm only 20, so I haven't had as much discrimination (I don't know if that's the right word to use), but I did have one job where I had to cover them up.

    I honestly don't see what the big deal is as long as they aren't offensive or gang symbols. I hope, by the time I graduate college, that the workplace will be more open about tattoos, so I don't have to cover mine up. The ones that are seen are pretty small and they are inspirational words (Believe on my left wrist and Hope on my right arm by my elbow).

    1. I'm the same age; hopefully as they're becoming more common and part of everyday culture, attitudes in the workplace will change. I always have my parents' friends asking, 'but what about when you go for an interview?!'. Err so what?! I agree though that if they're offensive (swear words etc) a company kind of has a point if they ask you to cover up!


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