So there’s been all kinds of talk on ‘getting with the times’ and ‘entering the 21st century’. Well, let’s talk about that.
Tattoos and piercings in the workplace. (Oh yeah, I’m going there.)
At the age of 20 I got my first tattoo. I got it on my back, in between my shoulder blades. This tattoo has never been a problem covering up at work. You would never even know I had a tattoo if you didn’t see me outside the workplace. Heck, sometimes I even forgot it was there. At 21 I got my nose pierced. That one was a little harder to disguise, especially during the healing process, but five years later and I still have it.
Last month my sister came to town from San Diego, California. She and I have been talking about getting matching tattoos for quite some time. We knew that we wanted something that would be meaningful to us, as sisters, and we were deciding on where to get it. Final decision: wrist.
We chose to get them on opposite arms because she’s a lefty and I’m a righty, so watches would be the perfect cover up.
In today’s world of self-expression, individualism, acceptance and desire to embrace diversity, why are we still covering up tattoos and removing piercings for work? Why are we only letting people express themselves during the ‘before and after’ hours? Is there a higher purpose being served by making everyone identity-less for eight hours a day?
Personally, I have never left an establishment of any sort and said, ‘Wow, not a single employee had a visible tattoo or piercing! How impressive! I’ll be back again for sure.’
Instead, the basis of my returning business might sound something like this, ‘Wow, she was awesome. I never had to ask for a refill. She was attentive without hanging out at the table making us feel like we should ask her to join us.’ (We’ve all had that server, right?)
Or, ‘I think I’d rather live here. That girl in the office was extremely personable and super helpful. She even recommended a few different places for us to look at so I know she’s naturally helpful and that is what I’m looking for.’
And I’m not saying that if you have tattoos on your ta-tas that cleavage should suddenly be an allowable part of your uniform. Of course there should be guidlines as to what is allowed to show and what should remain covered up. Chances are your current dress code goes into detail about how big or long your earrings can be and maybe even how many rings you’re allowed to wear on each hand; why not add tattoos and piercings into the mix?
With the ever-evolving and growingly tolerant world that we live in, don’t you think it’s time for employers to wake up and smell the ink?
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