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Opinion and Editorial

Tattoos in the Workplace: How do You Feel About Them?

When people put together their resumes and portfolios, their first thought usually isn’t, “Will my tattoos be accepted?” People get tattoos for many reasons, it’s a personal decision whether or not you want to tattoo your body. Right there is the key point: your body, so why do some employers not accept applicants with tattoos? It comes down to what they view as professional, but professional can mean something different to everyone.

Brenna DeWalt, a student at Central Penn College, said, “I think that as long as they are not offensive they should be able to be shown not matter what your job profession is. I think that they are all professional unless they are on the front of your face then they are unprofessional or something that is offensive then they are unprofessional as well.”

Some people view professional as no tattoos, or no visible tattoos and others might not see anything wrong with having tattoos visible to the public. Think of it like this, if one applicant is well qualified for the job, has everything the company is looking for and has visible tattoos but is denied the position and another applicant has less of what the company is looking for, is under-qualified, has no tattoos, but is given the job, how is that professional? With this being said, not everyone will be denied a job based on his or her tattoos, but many people have been.

Kaity Dinklocker, owner of Kaity Dinklocker photography, gave credit to both sides of this issue and stated, “In a way, I believe you should be able to express yourself through body art/modifications if you are professional, your looks shouldn’t matter. At the same time, it is not natural and you wouldn’t go into a professional job with pictures, quotes, and collages on your shirt, let alone your skin. The fact that every tattoo has to be covered is kind of silly though. Unless it’s a huge distraction, I don’t see an issue.”

Check out this short youtube clip about tattoos in the workplace via a CNN news report. Also, social media sites such as Facebook and Pinterest have pages specifically devoted to tattoos in the work place.

One person in particular stands firm with his decision to show off his tattoos, Fray Kelchner, who works security at Far Beyond Driven Tattoos, said, “When I walk into an interview my tattoos are showing because I look at it like this, if they are that closed minded to judge me or not consider me for employment based on my tattoos then they are not worth me working for.”

One reason why tattoos are frowned upon is because of stereotypes. Having a lot of tattoos has the stigma that someone may be a delinquent, untrustworthy or lack morals when in reality there are many people with tattoos that are not only good people, but are also making a difference in the world today.


This man saves lives every day, and you wouldn’t know if he had tattoos because they have to be covered while working. Why look at him differently when he is in uniform as compared to when he isn’t?

A Bloomsburg University student, who would like to remain anonymous, said “I think tattoos shouldn’t be stigmatized in a professional setting. To me they’re the ultimate sign of expression, and if someone feels so strongly enough to place something like that on their body, then they should be commended; not judged. I try and place mine strategically so that they remain covered up, but if someone with full sleeves is qualified to work along side me, I say why not?”

Many different opinions and views surface from this topic and that is exactly why I wanted to bring this into a discussion. I believe it’s time to set the stereotypes and stigma aside and be more open minded. It all goes back to that saying “Never judge a book by its cover.” You make think you know an individual’s story but make sure you look through the pages first because people really can take you by surprise.



Disclaimer: offensive tattoos in regards to race, religion, ect, are not associated with this article