The Future of Tattoos, Piercings and Colored Hair in the Workplace

Rejani King
Staff Writer

PC: Clem Onojeghuo

Attempting to get hired for a job can be difficult for a lot of reasons, but what about for those who have tattoos, piercings and colored hair? Tattoos, piercings and colored hair are all forms of self-expression. Many of us have a dream job in mind, and having body modification can unfortunately affect an employer’s willingness to hire you. Usually, when hiring people, jobs have an image in mind and for quite some time, tattoos, colored hair and piercings have been seen as a hindrance to that.  It’s easy to try and categorize someone based upon their looks but doing so isn’t always right. If we were to live in a “perfect world,” those who applied for jobs would be judged solely by their past work experience, skills, quality of their interview and resume. However, this sadly isn’t the case.

Many aspects of one’s background and their appearance can affect their likelihood to get hired. A person’s religion, name and hairstyle can affect how they appear to employers. Most of the time, employers bring their own personal preferences or prejudices to the table when hiring people, which impacts who gets the chance to be hired. This is a form of discrimination that’s not discussed as often as it should be. Many Americans have tattoos, piercings or colored hair. According to a 2016 Harris Poll, about 3 in 10 people have a tattoo, and that rate for younger generations is increasing. Although this poll was done 3 years ago, based on the statistics, we can expect that the number of people who have a tattoo has increased. We’re seeing as time progresses that tattoos, piercings and colored hair are becoming normalized. However, many people still perceive them as being “unprofessional.”

Personally, I think tattoos, piercings and colored hair should be allowed in the workplace within reasonable limits. Human beings are more than their appearance. If someone has tattoos on their face or something explicit that’s visible on their body, then maybe that’s a reason to not hire them in certain fields. However, I think it’s okay for people to work with simple tattoos. I know this can be hard to grasp for people, especially if they are from an older generation where tattoos were not as normalized. However, I think it’s time for all of these forms of expression to be accepted. In my opinion, I do think attitudes are changing.

Due to the increase in professionals with body modification, I think this issue will gradually start to resolve. However, I think discrimination towards those who have any of these will be prevalent because there are still going to be people who disagree. Having tattoos, piercings or colored hair don’t make someone unqualified for a job.

Categories: Opinions

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