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Stereotypes Associated with Tattooed People

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Imagine you are having a job interview today on an office environment. You expect to get this job because you have the knowledge and abilities required for the position; considering that you are so tired of being working in retailing for so many years. You prepared your resume, you practiced the common interview questions, got well dress up in professional attire with good attitude but then you just forgot about one insignificant detail: to cover up your tattoos of your neck and wrist; and then the nervousness begins.

Tattooed people fall into the stereotype of being an irresponsible, unemployed people, drug users, delinquents, or someone dangerous part of a criminal gang. I believe not all tattooed people are a criminal that would rape you or would steal from you. I believe tattoos are fascinating, and beautiful, they represent a form of self-expression like an art, showing the personality from each individual. After watching Alex Atala episode on Chef’s Table, one of the things that intrigued me was how was difficult to him on getting a job because of his tattoos or how he felt when he was asked to cover his tattoos on the kitchens as a requirement of discipline.

Atala shared, “Having a tattoo was not so good. In Brazil and everywhere, it was shameful, so I started to work covered.” Chef’s Table (2016) Based on that, I questioned myself if does it really having a tattoo can affect or create more complications on getting a job? If it is really necessary to cover up tattoos before going to an interview and not risk the possibilities of being a future candidate to the desire position.

It is important to inform parents with tattooed teenagers, high school or college students looking for jobs or internships, and people of all ages that are considering in getting ink what does it really can cause in your career having tattoos. It really implies following the dress code policies of the business to which a person wants to be hired. That’s why it is necessary to convey this information to everyone of them.

Based on the Title VII Protected Classes from the Civil Rights, the Manual Compliance from the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the US department of Labor, the National Labor Relations Act, and the Texas Employee Rights, as is amended in the US code “Employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin is prohibited” (Pub. L. 88-352). Right now, there are no current laws that can prohibit discrimination against people with visible tattoos. Some people get tattoos based on their religion, that is why, businesses have a professional attire dress code in their policies that requires employees to cover up their exposed skin and tattoos so at the same time not to violate and respect the civil rights for discrimination based on religion.

Thanks to the statistics made by the STAPAW movement, it informs us that 76% of employees feel tattoos and piercings hurt your job interview chances in obtaining a job. However, 73% of people say that they would hire staff with visible tattoos. (Support Tattoos and Piercing at work, 2018.) These results can give us an idea that time is really different now. Getting tattoos are not that bad because they are now more like a trend or a mainstream style. People should feel more optimists in going to their interviews without worrying about to covering their tattoos.

Some recommendations that advice to people with tattoos before heading to their interviews is to determine what your potential employer will expect you to wear based simply on the job’s responsibilities, to find a balance between professional and personal expression, or to realize that when we are in the workplace it’s not about the interviewee, it’s all about the customer, and some customers can become offended if they are helping with someone with tattoos. We can just ignore or forget the perspective of conservative and more traditional people over tattooed people. They still consider tattooed people as criminals or someone without education.

As STAPAW movement slogan cites “My body is not my Resume.” Employers or interviewers should be focusing more on the abilities or qualifications that a future candidate can have while demonstrate their capabilities, and strengths.

I strongly believe that as long as tattooed employees have respected the company policies and work hard on their job duties, being tattooed is just not harm to any business. However, my recommendation for tattooed people is to cover their tattoos because it’s like playing a game of 50/50. Sometimes at the end, on interviews is all about competition against other candidates, and I believe that in these situations, an insignificant detail about a person with their first impression to the interviewer can make the difference when they decide to which candidate to hire.

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Stereotypes Associated with Tattooed People. (2019, August 27). GradesFixer. Retrieved August 16, 2022, from
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Stereotypes Associated with Tattooed People [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Aug 27 [cited 2022 Aug 16]. Available from:
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