Opinion: Tattoos should be accepted in the workplace

Opinion: Tattoos should be accepted in the workplace

Even though one in five adults have a tattoo, according to NPR, there are massive controversies about their presence in the workplace. Tattoos should not only be accepted at work but embraced.

Tattooing is a booming business, and Americans spend more than $1.6 billion on them every year, according to Statistic Brain. A large chunk of that money is spent by students like us, with 36 percent of 18-25 year-olds having at least one tattoo.

Ironically, that number climbs to 40 percent with the older age group of 26-40 year-olds. About 45 million total Americans wear ink on their skin, and companies should not turn away 45 million potential employees based on their looks.

Tattoos are no longer taboo. In fact, they’ve become a symbol of self-expression where the skin is the canvas.

However, according to a skinfo list, 63 percent of people 60 years and older feel that visible tattoos are inappropriate at work. They feel that tattoos are unprofessional and offensive.

Not every large corporation agrees with them, though. The hundreds of customers swarming the isles of the new Whole Foods on Barrett Parkway are supporting a company that allows both tattoos and piercings.

In fact, businesses such as Target, Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Google and Applebees are just a few of many tattoo-friendly companies. If the biggest companies in the market are thriving under policies supporting their employee’s decision to ink-up, then others can too.

People should be judged by their work and their character, and never their looks. Job interviews should be a chance to find out a person’s ambitions, work ethic and place among other employees. Interrupting the flow of an interview because you have to justify your tattoo to a prospective boss is unacceptable.

Let us not forget that some of the greatest people in history had tattoos. Theodore Roosevelt, 26th president of the United States, author, explorer, soldier and naturalist, supposedly had a tattoo of his family crest on his chest according to an article by Mic. Winston Churchill, prime minister of the UK who led London through WWII, had a little anchor tattooed on this arm.

I’m going out on a limb to say companies would hire these men regardless of their tattoos because their character overwhelms any concern about ink. Employees in the workplace should be considered no different when it comes to their tattoos.

It is an individual’s choice to put art on his or her body. A workplace superior does not have a place to dictate what anyone does to their body. America is supposed to be a place where anyone can work their way up toward success based on their own hard work, and tattoos should not be a wrench in the machine when it comes to an employee’s success at his or her job.

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