Tag Archives: Workplace

Tattoos in the Work Place

In the new and growing environment of a work place filling with millennials, changes and approaches to how the work place is run are being introduced. On one hand, more interesting appearances are coming into greater view, and on the other hand managements are struggling to deal with evolving trends.

One of the biggest controversies that occur with employee appearances are tattoos. They are often bright, colorful, and attention grabbing, and oftentimes permanent, and therefore not easily covered. While most other changes to one’s appearance can be changed or modified to be considered appropriate for the work environment, tattoos do not provide such a luxury, and so employers can be hesitant to offer opportunities to applicants with tattoos.

The question, however, is why should they?

Tattoos have long been seen as unprofessionally, but given the rising popularity of tattoos and the ever increasing number of people who get them, it is becoming harder to view them as anything other than a common method of self-expression. When something has grown commonplace among the public, it is difficult to argue that potential customers could be put off by tattoos, especially if they themselves have some.

As time presses on, so to do we find ever-evolving shifts to popular culture—both in the workplace, and out. While this does not necessarily mean that employees will be able to go around covered in tattoos, piercings, or extreme hair styles, it does encourage more freedom in what is considered appropriate for work.

A few tattoos may be just artwork to some, but to others they represent something deeper—a permanent and personal fixture of their body that tells a story, and shouldn’t have to be hidden just to be considered for employment.

At the end of the day, though, we are who we make ourselves—whether inked from our head to our toes or a sanitary slate, our bodies remain the one thing we can say without a doubt is ours to control. Whether the professional environment can keep up with the trends of a new society is anybody’s guess, there is no doubt that we as a culture will continue to press on regardless.

 

Photo from STAPAW

Makeup is not Freedom

As I go into the final stretch of my undergraduate education here at Radford University, I’m preparing to enter into the adult world of employment. I, like many of my peers, am searching online sites and talking to different professors about potential job opportunities in my field. For the first time I’m looking at jobs that offer an annual salary and health benefits, wondering which ones I qualify for, and what to do to ensure I get the job I want. What to wear to an interview, and what to put in my resume. That’s what I’m focusing on in the last four weeks of the semester, not, for the first time in years, on my finals.

As a woman, I have a whole slew of things I have to consider when it comes to presenting myself to future employers. How high my heels are, how short my skirt, how to style my hair and most importantly what is the exact right amount of makeup. These questions are debated over and over until I finally perfect my interview outfit.

I’ve been told by many people that makeup is a tool. It’s a form of self-expression and it’s freeing. Strong women wear makeup, and they use it to show off their inner beauty. These same people were also trying to sell me thick concealers and foundations so maybe they were a little biased.

Here’s the thing. I love makeup. I’m the kind of girl that owns bright purple lipstick that I will wear around the house just for fun. But makeup isn’t freedom. It’s not strength. It’s definitely not a sign of great feminism. Women are expected to wear makeup in the professional world. Women who do are paid more and are more likely to be given promotions. Women who don’t are told they aren’t dressed appropriately. There are real-life consequences for me if I don’t put this gunk on my face.

No matter how people want to spin makeup to me, it still doesn’t change that fact. Girls can love makeup. They can become amazing artists and even make careers out of the field. But this one fact remains. Makeup isn’t freedom. It’s another way that society has made women feel like they are not enough. That we need to cover up our very skin in order to look appropriate to work in a cubicle. That’s damaging. Don’t buy into the idea that makeup is for strong women because that only deludes you into believing that you are benefiting from a system that preys on your insecurities and weaknesses.

Tattoos and Piercings in the Work Place

Tattoos and piercings are two of the many ways that people like to express their individuality. If you walk down the street you are most likely to see someone with a tattoo, some form of body piercing, or both. People spend hundreds to thousands of dollars on designs and jewelry to show what they are passionate about. However, with the growing number of people that have these modifications, it is harder for them to get a job or even get past the interview stage in certain companies.

tattoos in work place
“Employers will sometimes bypass a great candidate for their company solely because they have “abnormal” piercings or visible tattoos.” Photo from: https://purposesearchers.files.wordpress.com

Employers will sometimes bypass a great candidate for their company solely because they have “abnormal” piercings or visible tattoos. In a way, this violates the First Amendment, which we all know is the freedom of speech. Tattoos are a way for someone to express their beliefs, thoughts, and feelings, so some think that they should be protected under the First Amendment. Title VII and even the Civil Rights Act of 1964 are also somewhat violated because they prohibit discrimination based on race, sex, color, religion and national origin. Paganism is a religion that believes in piercings and tattoos, so employers would be “technically” breaking a law for discriminating against someone with tattoos (1).

Now, this goes to say that some companies have lightened up on their policies regarding tattoos. There are some companies, including Wal-Mart, Sea World, and Walt Disney World, that have policies against visible tattoos (1). Most policies just ask them to be covered up, which most people do not mind doing. However, piercings such as gauges are even more largely discriminated against, more than regular piercings (1). This is because they are facial piercings that can be seen with a uniform on, thus breaking a certain code for the company.

Employers should not have a say as to what a person does to his/her own body. Because the First Amendment is very much a big deal in American society, why can’t tattoos and piercings be made a direct example of freedom of speech?

1 – http://projectcensored.org/body-art-discrimination-violation-first-amendment/