Judge ability, not inked skin

Tattoos are no longer looked down upon in the workplace but are instead beginning to be valued as they bring diversity.

According to a poll done by Harris Interactive, one out of five adults in the U.S. have at least one tattoo. Because of the increasing number of individuals choosing to sport tattoos, various workplaces are becoming accepting of body art.

However, there are still those who view tattoos, along with other forms of body art, as a characteristic that could prevent an individual from being hired or a current employee from being promoted. In professional fields that value creativity, such as design, music, fashion and sports, individuals with tattoos are openly welcomed, as they bring something unique to the table.  

  Young people in America are changing the appearance of professionals. In an age where many of the faces of pop culture have multiple tattoos, it’s beginning to become relatively popular among the younger generation.

With the growing number of individuals choosing to get tattoos comes the growing number of industries accepting this popular form of body art. However, not all industries are as accepting. According to Epstein Becker Green Wickliff & Hall PC attorney, David Barron, “In the past, there were very general dress codes. Now, I see dress codes that are five pages long.”

Employers who believe the form of body art is distracting to fellow employees and customers are beginning to create very specific dress codes concerning body art, drawing the line between what is acceptable and what’s not.

“Do whatever you want to your body, but I don’t want to be subjected to it in the workplace,” said Woodie Neiss, CFO of flavoring company Flavorx, after an employee went to work with an eyebrow piercing. This kind of attitude should be thrown out and replaced with a more accepting and diversity-minded management technique.

Raised in a family where tattoos are common, I find them stunning in every way. It seems as though our body is similar to a journal, and each tattoo received is a representation of something meaningful. Tattoos need approval from no one but ourselves.

“Beauty is skin deep. A tattoo goes all the way to the bone,” photographer Vince Hemingson said.

In no way does the appearance of our bodies, tattooed or not, represent our capabilities. In a society where we were raised being told to never judge a book by its cover, a vast majority of people seem to do it more often than not.

Judge not by someone’s appearance but by one’s ability.

Reach the columnist at Brooke.Ramos@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @brookesramos

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