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About tattoos?

(143 Posts)
Morethanalittlebitconfused Mon 18-Aug-14 07:59:30

Before I start I need to say I am quite heavily tattooed myself - albeit in places they can be hidden

I've read an article on Facebook today calling for a law to be passed stating people who are tattooed cannot be discriminated against in the world of work. AIBU to disagree with it?

People commenting on the article, and the article itself, say it's unfair people with neck, face and hand tattoos get turned down from jobs due to 'their expression of their personality' and think it's out dated and draconian that people who are capable of working get turned away

So AIBU to think if you want a professional job you either cover up or don't get tattooed in the first place?

Frogisatwat Mon 18-Aug-14 08:01:09

Id say yanbu but hold tight for a bumpy ride grin

Shouldwego Mon 18-Aug-14 08:02:29

YANBU. And interesting to hear you say that as a tattooed person.

fluffyraggies Mon 18-Aug-14 08:04:10

My gut reaction is that it will be hard to police a law that calls for no discrimination against people with tatoos in the job market. With such a huge number of people chasing each job at the moment it will be easy to pick and choose and give other reasons why a tatooed (sp?) person didn't get the job.

LineRunner Mon 18-Aug-14 08:04:27

Interesting one. The same could be said of clothing, piercings, hair styles, jewellery preferences.

It's not really feasible to allow all 'expressions of personality' in the workplace. I don't really want to be served at a till by a man in his underpants, for example, or a woman wearing a Peter Andre face mask.

Fairylea Mon 18-Aug-14 08:05:11

I'm in two minds really.

My dh is tattooed from the neck down. Literally everywhere. He wears a suit to work and works in management and you'd never know. He won't get his neck or hands done as unfortunately lots of people are still very judgemental. He says he will get them done when he retires.

I don't think people should be judged on appearances. But at the same time an inner part of me thinks since tattooing is a choice I'm not sure it looks particularly fitting if it is visible when wearing a professional smart suit etc.

It shouldn't matter but somehow it does. Unfortunately mainly because I think a lot of people still judge those with tattoos.

HemlockStarglimmer Mon 18-Aug-14 08:12:13

I agree too. I'm quite old though, with old fashioned views. And two tattoos.

Proclean Mon 18-Aug-14 08:13:30

I have no personal feeling either way about tatoos but I would not feel able to employ a person with facial tatoos because of perception of my clients.

My clients in general would not feel trusting of a person with facial tatoos, also I think facial tatoos, as opposed to more discreet ones are perceived as an expression of not giving a fuck about professional appearance and dress codes and in the workplace that is not a great attitude.

Its hard enough to find quality staff anyway without them having an outward appearance of not caring what anyone thinks.

People are surely aware if they get a facial tatoo, their chances of employment are then considerable reduced as they have deliberately chosen to look undesirable to the majority of employers. It was an informed choice, unlike disability or scarring.

FacebookWillEatItself Mon 18-Aug-14 08:17:15

I don't see how they will be able to prove discrimination though. Even if people cannot legally specify 'no tattooed people need apply' if they think you look ridiculous or downmarket or just inappropriately presented for the job then they just won't offer you the job.

It will be in exactly the same way that we are all judged on our appearance (to a degree) at interview and first impressions will sway the opinion of the interviewer - it will be no different for tattooed people than for very obese people or very ugly people or people with a very peculiar dress sense, or some other immediately noticeable quirk. First impressions are immensely important and can have huge consequences. Most people interviewing will react (sometimes subconsciously) negatively to any kind of extreme, or anything that immediately jars the senses or makes them feel unsettled.

It will be almost impossible to be able to say for sure that you failed to get a job because you were too heavily or too visibly tattooed, in the same way that it would be impossible to say for sure that you didn't get a job because you were ugly. But like it or not, we all know that it is easier to get on in life in your looks or presentation style do not make anyone feel turned off or uneasy. Whether that is rational or not is not the point.

hormonalandneedingcheese Mon 18-Aug-14 08:24:59

YANBU. I like some tattoos, some i think i are waste of time but some are really fascinating or have a history behind them. That said if you get something tattooed in a place where it will be on show like face or hands then you should expect it to be taken into consideration.

I also think the 'type' of tattoo is important too. A man down the road, nasty piece of work that he is, has 'cunt' tattooed on one hand and 'fuck the bitches up' on his neck. Someone like that should be judged on his tattoos, they reflect what a misogynistic piece of shit he is and while his personality would probably shine through anyway, the tattoos will give more than a hint to any employer.

JennyOnTheBlocks Mon 18-Aug-14 08:25:30

I can imagine the reason 'not the image we want to present for our company' being cited for not employing a person with tattoos, but I have to ask what image is that then, because to me a tattoo means a person has chosen to decorate their skin.

unless they have 'all bosses are wankers' on their foreheads then I don't understand how a skin decoration offends to the point of exclusion.

LadyLuck10 Mon 18-Aug-14 08:30:23

I personally feel that visible tattoos have no place in a professional environment.

AggressiveBunting Mon 18-Aug-14 08:36:46

I'm not sure it would be enforceable, because as long as companies can insist on a dress code/ uniform including limits on jewelry etc, then they can insist on no tattoos, because otherwise the law is upholding the principle that employers cannot insist that their employees conform to the required physical appearance. Therefore, policeman etc. could just wear whatever they want to work.

It's similar to where people want private schools outlawed but home schooling permitted- how do you frame the legislation so as to uphold the principle?

MrsWolowitz Mon 18-Aug-14 08:47:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Pipbin Mon 18-Aug-14 09:08:19

It is so interesting how attitudes to tattoos has changed. I think I'm the only person I know, except DH, who doesn't have one.
Go back 30 years and any tattoo anywhere was quite shocking and reserved for sailors and bikers.

Today many people have one, mostly when they can be hidden.

However, I would feel uncomfortable being served in a shop, seeing a doctor or talking to a police person who had cunt tattooed across their forehead.

If someone goes for a job interview dressed in jeans and a grubby t-shirt, or in full goth or punk get up then they are unlikely to get the job.
As said above I think it would be very hard to prove that your facial tattoo prevented you from getting a job.

That said, there is a lad working in my local
John Lewis with visible neck tattoos.

shakethetree Mon 18-Aug-14 09:08:37

It depends what job you're going for I suppose. I doubt you'd get a job as a hotel receptionist at the Savoy, but in a Tesco warehouse or bar work, no problem. It's all about 'company image' -

MrsWedgeAntilles Mon 18-Aug-14 09:21:02

Personally, I don't like tattoos, I think in pretty much every case they look horribly ugly and make people look less good than they did before.

That said, I've worked beside and been managed by heavily visibly tattooed people and its not affected their original ability to do their jobs at all. If a person is rubbish at her job and doesn't care, not having a tattoo won't change that. Conversely some of the most amazing staff, people that I count myself lucky to be able to work beside and learn from, have tats peeping out everywhere.
With the exception of offensive material like Hormonal's neighbour, and if the individual is otherwise reasonably turned out, I think we all just need to get over letting it get in the way of otherwise talented people doing a good job.

chubbyhez Mon 18-Aug-14 09:22:12

Not that long ago a reputable artist wouldn't tattoo hands or above the neck. That seems to have gone out the window now.

NoArmaniNoPunani Mon 18-Aug-14 09:25:06

I have my make up tattooed on my face, it hasn't been a barrier to employment.

Suzannewithaplan Mon 18-Aug-14 09:31:18

Imo covering up your tattoos in certain, usually more formal situations is akin to dressing appropriately.

Just as you would wear smart businesslike clothes to an interview in order to stand any chance of getting the job, so you would also keep tattoos covered.

In time this may change, it's all about aligning yourself with what is appropriate for the situation, demonstrating that you are the right person for the job.

Serotonin Mon 18-Aug-14 09:31:48

I think also it depends on quality as well as content - a shite tattoo done by a scratch artist is a whole different kettle of fish to work done by a professional. I love tattoos and it wouldn't put me off using a service if the art was good, however obviously poorly executed tattoos would leave me uneasy.

DontGiveAwayTheHomeworld Mon 18-Aug-14 09:33:21

A lot of reputable artists still won't, or will at least check that you're totally, 100% sure about it before doing it.

Neck/face and hand tattoos are only really ok if you're a tattoo artist or insanely wealthy (and so don't have to work.) Anyone else should keep them easily hidden. I have one on my back, and it's only on display when I go swimming or wear certain dresses.

People shouldn't be judged on their looks, but in the real world people will judge. It's just something we have to accept.

MrsCosmopilite Mon 18-Aug-14 09:36:20

Unless the tattoos are offensive then I don't see that it matters. The only reason it is seen as 'unprofessional' is that we don't see many people with tattoos in professional situations. As long as someone is capable of doing their job I don't care if they have green hair, a ring through their nose and tattoos all over them.
Just because someone 'looks' professional it doesn't necessarily follow that they are.

Bunbaker Mon 18-Aug-14 09:37:00

"but I have to ask what image is that then, because to me a tattoo means a person has chosen to decorate their skin."

Like it or not, the general public and many employers still do judge. Decorating your skin is one thing, but as another poster has pointed out, some tattoos aren't merely a piece of decoration. They give out the message of "I don't give a toss", and many employers will think that this carries through to their attitude to work.

Some very heavily tattooed and pierced people look rather intimidating as well, so they wouldn't be considered suitable for customer facing work or caring roles for instance, no matter how good they might be at it. It is all about perception.

ThrowAChickenInTheAir Mon 18-Aug-14 09:39:06


The surge in popularity for tattoos seems to be a British thing atm judging by the lack of them on the majority of people on holiday in France. Just something I idly noticed.

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