#WorkLife: Are Tattoos Still Taboo?

It’s 2016. Times have changed when it comes to what is and isn’t work-appropriate. Right? Women are allowed to wear pants to work. Hell, women are allowed to work. People of African descent can wear their natural, unprocessed hair to work. In most places. We have business casual workplaces and “dress down” Fridays. Workplaces have undoubtedly loosened up a bit over the years. Granted, heavy issues like equal pay, racism and gender parity, among other things, have yet to be fully addressed but, to paraphrase Robert Frost, we have miles to go before we sleep.

So, workplaces have lightened up a bit, but has that extended to tattoos, piercings and other types of body modification? If a qualified applicant shows up for an interview with visible tattoos or non-typical body piercings, do you automatically write him/her off as a ‘Do Not Hire’? If so, why? Why is personal expression via body modification viewed by so many as unprofessional?

Some may say I’m biased because I have and love tattoos but honestly, I thought this was an inane characterization way before I ever had any. Candidates should be judged on job-related criteria/qualifications ONLY. Period.


What are your thoughts on job candidates with visible tattoos/piercings?

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