In today’s working community, having a tattoo that is visible during work hours is frowned upon and sometimes deemed unprofessional. In my opinion, this is an example of discrimination.

We have a right to do whatever we want with our bodies and the fact that a tattoo could keep me from getting a job just makes no sense whatsoever. If I am qualified, then why does it matter? A tattoo is just art that is on my skin. Everywhere you walk, there is art on the walls, desks and the streets. But just because it’s on my skin, I “look unprofessional.” You could argue that it’s not discrimination because the dress code has everything to do with the employer and not the employee. But I would say if a tattoo was my choice, then it doesn’t make me a bad person or less capable of anything.

What I want to know is who was the first person to say, “You can’t work here because you have a tattoo.” In my opinion that’s discrimination. It’s basically saying, “You can’t work here because you are African American, or Asian, etc.” There is literally no logic behind it. When you go in for a job interview, if you have a tattoo you automatically are associated with bad people. It’s being prejudice towards anyone who decided to get art on their body.

I have a tattoo, but chose to get it in a place where it is hidden with a shirt on. I would get more but unfortunately it could possibly keep me from getting a job and with the job market already being extremely competitive, I do not need anything extra to make it harder.  If you have a tattoo that doesn’t show, you are in luck. In most cases, the employer isn’t against body art; he/she simply doesn’t want it to reflect on his/her business. But here’s the part that confuses me. Why does it have to reflect on the business? The only reason it reflects on the business negatively is again, like I said before, because people are prejudiced toward them.

I get everyone has his or her own opinions and that’s perfectly fine. But you could keep that opinion to yourself and still hire that person because a tattoo isn’t going to make them any less of a worker than someone without tattoos.


Cyrus Lyons can be contacted at

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