Wait, you have tattoos AND a job?!

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I’ve been inspired to write this post off the back of a shocking anti-tattoos meme that I’ve seen being shared on Facebook recently.

Pauly Unstoppable meme

The above meme gives the impression that just because you have tattoos and piercings, that you won’t be able to get a job and you’ll blame it on everyone else. Now don’t get me wrong, this does happen in the real world and people who are part of the ‘alternative’ scene do still get discriminated against in this day and age; however there are a few home truths that need to be set straight about the above picture in particular.

The person in the above photo is Pauly Unstoppable, now known as Farrah Flawless. Farrah is fairly well known in the body modification circles for doing those body mods that others dare not do. Despite this, Farrah held a management job in a large retail store for quite some time before moving back to work in the body mod industry. As such, has no reason to blame the government for anything.

Now that’s cleared up, it still saddens me that in our modern, “open minded” age, people still feel the need to share things like this and show anyone with an alternative style in bad light.

While I know that there are people who are tattooed that are unemployed, they shouldn’t have to cover themselves up just to get a job. I know people who are tattooed, some of whom are heavily tattooed, and they are aware of the way they look and how this may effect their chances of employment but they certainly don’t blame anyone else for this.

Like I said above, I know that this continues to happen however this is discrimination on the most basic of levels. Basing judgement just on how someone looks is just as bad as any other form of discrimination you can think of and how people still get away with it is beyond my understanding.

Luckily though, times are changing! With the rise of social media and 24/7 access to celebrity culture and personal celebrity profiles, we are getting even more exposure to tattoos and slowly changing the opinions and acceptability of tattoos in modern culture. Main examples of this are Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, One Direction and Cheryl Cole.

One of the main stepping stones for me was watching shows such as Miami Ink during prime viewing hours and my parents not asking me to turn over. They were appreciating the tattoos for the art and for the meanings rather than just seeing someone rebelling against mainstream society, although this didn’t stop my mum’s disappointment when I came home with my first tattoo!

While modern culture is well and good and on its way to accepting tattoos, the professional world is still plagued with policies and guidelines to hide those with tattoos away, whether this be by covering up any tattoos or making those with tattoos take up non-customer facing positions. However, those with tattoos are fighting back!

You only need to look at Facebook groups such as Tattoo acceptance in the workplace and Tattooed and Employed to see that acceptance is growing. However, is it enough? From my own experience I only really tend to see tattooed employees in the low paid jobs at the bottom of the ladder. Now don’t get me wrong, there probably are some tattooed individuals towards the top of some smaller ladders although I can’t say I’ve seen any visible tattoos on suited workers on larger ladders.

It’s time to shun the old stereotypes.

Not everyone with a tattoo is rebelling.

It is art.

It is personal.

It is part of everyday life.

Don’t discriminate.

Please leave your thoughts and comments below.

Mike x

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