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I might be in the minority here in having this opinion, but I hope the general public doesn't stop seeing tattoos and tattooed people in a negative light. I have a hard time having sympathy or patience for people who claim that they're discriminated against because of their tattoos, especially when these people work in shitty low-wage, low-job security jobs. Where I work I saw a guy with a nice neck tattoo have an interview to be a busboy. Guess what? He didn't get the job, because if you're getting your neck tattooed while applying for jobs that

pretty much any chump off the street can competently do, you're a dumbass. I probably wouldn't hire you either.

For me, part of getting tattooed and becoming an increasingly heavily tattooed person is accepting and taking on something that most people don't understand and being okay with it. I think that responsibility, that willingness to put yourself at the margins, is an important part of getting tattooed, especially when into getting into less concealable areas.

I think the kid going for a job as a bus boy is such an interesting example. When you have no skills you are basically at the mercy of everyone, in the context of menial work you are going to be judged for your tattoos; because frankly you haven't got much else going for you!

The way I see it the answer is not to spend your life doing shit work and not getting the tattoos you want, but as @Graeme says, embrace the margins. If you can develop a skill set that demands you be judged on the quality of your work rather than your tattoos, then you got the best of both worlds.

There's a guy who drinks at the bar I work in who I've become friends with, older guy in his mid 40's who has made a very successful career in fashion buying. He's got one the the best collections I've ever seen, two Thomas hooper sleeves as well as hands, bailey Robinson, Chad, Steve Byrne and many many others on his legs, Ian flower on the back of his neck...you get the idea. One of the other barmen asked him if he had ever worried about it effecting his job opportunities, in his thick Manchester accent he replied 'nah, I know who I am, and I'm fucking good at my job'

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And here I was, thinking I was going to come and post an opinion opposing the norm...

I totally agree with the last few posters. If you want tattoos that you can't hide, or even tattoos at all, you should be prepared for the consequences. Such as not being able to get certain jobs.

Do I agree with certain businesses not hiring tattooed people? Fuck yea. If you could potentially lose business because a customer doesn't want to see a tattooed person working there, you'd be ignorant to hire the warped tour bodysuit kid. Simple business.

If you want visible tattoos, you have to have a skill set that compensates. Plain and simple.

Also, I think them even using the word "discriminate" in that article is unfair. Discrimination is based (in my mind) on factors out of your control, like race, gender, sexuality, etc. Not something you willingly chose to do to yourself. Just my $.02, as a tattooed youngster working on being heavily covered one day.

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If I may weigh in here: I don't really grasp the ramifications placed upon me by getting tattooed. I'm not sure I necessarily care. I don't want to change my life and experiences for a job that will forget me a week after I retire.

It's tough for me to keep thinking that tattoos represent my individuality when looking at my interests it all becomes a "uniform" after a while. Like going to a cannibal corpse show and everyone is tattooed, smoking, drinking whiskey, wearing black, etc etc. they aren't exactly being unique even in cultural recesses.

I was exposed to heavy tattoos at a very young age and loved them before I knew what taboo meant.

I feel like I am at that stage in my life where I'm just doing things I really like trying to determine if I can still be an individual.

Oddly enough I also feel that many people get tattoos today to fit in not to be outsiders.

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Oddly enough I also feel that many people get tattoos today to fit in not to be outsiders.

I'm seeing women in their 30's feeling peer-pressured to get a tattoo. One told me she didn't think she wanted one, but if she did, she was thinking about the feather turning into birds. I didn't say anything. (But she always wants to see updates on my back.) The next time we talked some months alter, I asked her again if she was thinking of it. She said she was, hesitantly ... and I asked about the feather/birds. At least she told me she wasn't considering that one anymore because it seemed like everyone was getting that one. She's in a field where tattoos are fine.

It's kinda sad. She is a smart woman but I sense that she's waiting for a tattoo idea with meaning to come to her so she can get over that hump of feeling like she should do what everyone else is doing.

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@Pugilist, of course having tattoos makes you no more or less an individual than anyone else and subcultures are about belonging too.

By saying that someone with tattoos is voluntarily placing themselves on the margin, I didn't mean that they are making some noble choice to assert their identity. Rather that within the sphere of certain employment, tattoos place you in a marginal position because of the dominant culture of the job.

My dad is a sociologist at a uni here in London, he hates tattoos but since he's been tenured for over 30 years he could do whatever he wants regarding his appearance. But a young PHD student looking to get their foot in the door may find the normative values of a bunch of middle aged white men a hindrance.

Anyway it's an interesting conversation, a lot of good points made.

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Agreed, @jimmyirish - lots of good points, here!

I think it might also be something I ponder often because I really like tattoos, but I usually don't feel "part" of the culture -- I feel out of place in many shops because I'm not heavily covered at all, and I don't know a lot of the things that people who are into tattoos usually know, like the names of all the Japanese figures and scenes, or what particular styles are called, or many of the most famous tattoo artists, etc. I guess I just usually feel like I'm not quite in the culture, but not quite an outsider either. I do like reading about tattooing, though -- and lately I have stumbled across several artists whose work I love, and who I'm excited to follow a bit, etc. So that's always fun. I dunno. I try not to take any of it -- or myself -- too seriously and just enjoy it! This forum helps :)

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@jimmyirish - agreed on all counts. I just think tattoos are not the big stand against the man that young people sometimes think they are!

@keepcalm - I also don't "look like" a tattoo person due to my very strategic coverage and my bookish appearance, but have been lucky enough to get to know people in this community that see past that, respect the work I do have and return my own respect for them, and they have been very welcoming. Lately I have started to feel more "a part" of the community than I ever expected to with my almost bare arms. It's funny how this particular subculture can work (or rather, collection of subcultures). Anyway, that's a whole other topic, but I'll just say that I am very grateful to live in a place with a really awesome and warm tattoo community.

Back to the thread topic - I had to give a lecture in a very warm and tiny room yesterday, so halfway through I could not help but take my jacket off. The dress I was wearing totally exposed the top of my backpiece, so I just made sure not to turn around, haha.

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It's kinda sad. She is a smart woman but I sense that she's waiting for a tattoo idea with meaning to come to her so she can get over that hump of feeling like she should do what everyone else is doing.

I see this all the time. I wanna scream, "Tattoos don't have to mean anything!" but there's no use with some people. And I don't mean for that to sound harsh. I just mean that some people have their minds made up and nothing I could say would change that.

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My artist and I were just talking about this last weekend. She was excited to get to be doing a cool tattoo and that I let her take the reins on design. She said most people come in with an overcomplicated idea packed with meaning and symbology and they usually want it to be small, or smaller than it should be; it's hard to get them to understand that it won't all translate into a good tattoo. She even had someone stop in while I was there who wanted a very specific tattoo in a specific (small) size and she had to tell them that in a few years it would just look like a blob.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Tattoos on a professional - unexpected, intriguing and always makes me turn my head. I love how it shocks (even though tattoos are more common place now).

I have discreet finger tattoos, but barely anyone who I work with knows. When someone spots them, they're usually surprised, but I'm respected enough now for my professionalism to speak for itself.

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I'm just another blue collar, coverall wearing shift worker. Who also happens to be visibly tattooed, I guess.

Our higher ups couldn't give two shits about tattoos as long as I show up and take some pride in doing what I was hired for. I know plenty of kids want the comfy desk jobs or fancy job titles these days, but I more enjoy the reliable paycheck and 30yrs & out with a solid pension route. Whatever floats your boat.

Some of the old timers nearing retirement make some cheap shot comments about the "tattooed kids today", but it's usually in reference of their own children and usually more about their behavior than the actual tattoos.

Show up daily with a good work ethic, pay your dues, and suddenly not a fuck is given about any tattoos you may have. I'm assuming that can be said about quite a few areas of work.

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Don't feel too secure, DBD. I witnessed four good blue collars laid off this week because of how an upper manager screwed up our business. 30 years and a pension may be guaranteed still in some countries, but not in the USA!

Thru the ether from my LP2

Oh, I'm aware. I've worked for a couple places now (both union and non-union) that have closed up shop and moved down south. But it's the line of work I'm in. I guess I should of stated that I more so enjoy spending my days in coveralls over the idea of getting behind a desk.

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I work as a researcher in an unmanned systems lab and I always show my tattoo off and I have had some lab mates come up to me months later and ask when I got my tattoo done. They did not even notice I had a tattoo after months of working with me.

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I have 1 maybe 2 tattoos that would be considered visible-only if I was wearing short sleeves and even then it's only a small part of ONE of them that shows

My parents think I have totally limited my career in whatever I go into unless it's a musician, artist or as they think some blue collar high school drop out job.

I mentioned to them that executives probably have tattoos but we never see em cuz they always have to wear suits. I also think that my tattoos are very tame compared to what I see plus only 1 is truly visible except with long sleeves. I can see how very certain professions that work with people, especially older conservative people, would not hire/allow tattooed people. I think if it were truly an important important thing for a company, they would ask you in the interview-assuming your are wearing a suit (men) if you had visible tattoos. Otherwise, the most they can do is tell you to cover up and maybe look at you in some sort of a way but WHY would you wanna work for someone like that anyway?

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WHY would you wanna work for someone like that anyway?

Ungodly amounts of money? It might be worth the grief.

Heard about an acquaintance who is in the process of being moved from his current role. Seems like they gave him reasons to do with decisions on his part, which he will struggle to find fault with. But I heard that another issue not directly put to him is that he got a neck tattoo (some black and grey thing). Still frowned upon by the old boys and it didn't go down well.

Some guys who know I have a lot of work have been pointing out that I did it "right" because I can still pass in a suit and tie. I guess I have 'normalised' heavy coverage in at least their minds.

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Sorry guys, I am new to the site, so please bear with me! Also, my iPad keeps freezing when I try to write a post, so the third time is a charm!

I found this topic to be really interesting and have enjoyed reading the different takes on it.

I, myself, work for a very corporate Intellectual Property Law Firm, and never show my tattoos at work. I wear pencil dresses, tights, and boots all year round to avoid showing any (colourful) skin. It's written into our contracts that no visible tattoos are acceptable, nor visible piercings - with exceptions I think for cultural ones, though I don't think I could claim mine as such!

Last year for our firm's Christmas function I asked permission (out of respect, not requirement) from the firm's partners to wear a short sleeved dress to the event, and they agreed only because no clients were to be attending.

Although the rate of tattooed people in New Zealand is very high, it is uncommon for tattoos to be displayed in our workplaces - depending of course on the profession. I don't really mind tbh, and it's rarely warm enough in Wellington for long sleeves to be uncomfortable.. Just means that if I run into a colleague outside of work, they either don't recognise me, or are shocked/taken aback by my 'unprofessional' casual appearance.

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no visible tattoos are acceptable, nor visible piercings - with exceptions I think for cultural ones.

Interesting is the cultural acceptance.

I think I may have made mention to this here previously, but it states in the Anti Discrimination Act here in Australia that a person can not be unfairly treated because of race, religion, nor because of their cultural origin.

It doesn't say specifically anything in relation to tattoos although with HR it seems cultural related tattoos they don't fuck with because of bordering the discrimination card with cultural origin.

Now, I work for a Govt body, in Corporate Services, at a management level dealing directly with Directorates from every stream. I rock Exec meetings in short sleeves and jeans most days and don't have a problem. A. Because I'm full time and there's fuck all they can do about it and B. Well, I just don't give a shit. My work, as in my job speaks for itself.

But, in saying this, I know there's people who loathe my appearance and would have me stitched up in a heart beat.

This is why I've made it very clear that my tattoos signify my cultural origin (I'm Anglo Saxon) and symbolises my religious beliefs.

Haha! Who are they or anybody else to say that my symbolism isn't just as significant to my culture than say s person from Polynesian decent?they know Id take them on all the way if they tried to HR me out of my job if it wasn't performance based.

I keep a running log on all my KPI's and initiatives and written feedback in my personal files also....just in case.

We are discriminated against, but we become very resilient in the way we overcome mainstream prejudice.

Fuck mainstream and their rules and expectations.

I do know though my chances for further promotion has come to a halt. That's ok with me though, I ain't in it for the prestige, I'm in it to supplement our life style.

"Booze, Blues & Tattoos"

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Haha yes I do suspect that the HR policy is to avoid issues with workplace discrimination, especially with New Zealand Maori Moko being of cultural significance (not that I have seen one in person) - I can imagine the publicity and backlash for any employer who dare touch those tattoos with a disciplinary action!

Awesome that you're able to be so bold in your workplace! I definitely don't have the balls to take the Anglo-Saxon cultural stance! But then, I suppose, there's more than one way to skin a cat.. If the firm weren't happy with my tattoos showing, they'd find another excuse to push me out of a job. Tbh, I find it hard enough being a female in law, and am already discriminated against because of my age - 23 year old HOD hasn't gone down too well with most of the oldies. The last thing I need is another thing haha.

I like having two personas really, one corporate & one reckless :)

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Your absolutely correct! The corporate system is just as corrupt as any, and even though it would never be mentioned publicly that the real reason for termination was based on our right to express our individuality/ or culture, they'd find a way to push us out regardless. That's the reason I keep an individual Action Plan based on evidence. I tell them it's for accreditation purposes as my role is based on legislative requirements, but I've used what they have taught me for my own security.

Where I'm lucky is...that I work for Govt. The infrastructure has solidified their own existence through Enterprise Bargaining Agreements and unfair dismissal clauses that it's near on impossible to sack an FTE even through performance file notations, and even so, with the assistance of HR and an industry lawyer, it can take years to fuck somebody off. If it ever got to that stage, boom! I'm filling out workplace incident reports for psychological stress, that it would be me putting in a common law claim. I've seen this so many times that I know when someone has the balls to take them on, I back down and put it in the too hard basket.

It's fucked in a way because even with people who have to go, the system is so tight, people with a bit of nouse work it in their favour.

"Booze, Blues & Tattoos"

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