Body art in the workplace can be seen as barrier


Serina Sieng & Jake Marcelino

They always say not to judge a book by its cover, but does that really stop us? Body art is a great way of self expression and seems to be on the rise with young adults, but is it accepted in the workplace? Will having visible tattoos and piercings be the one thing that stops you from getting the job? There is no obvious yes or no answer, but it’s always good to be prepared.

As much as I value self expression, you have to be realistic. Not every company wants the same image. A bank may want a more professional look consisting of slicked back hair and no visible body art. On the other hand, corporations such as Starbucks may allow hair dyed vibrant colors along with piercings and tattoos.
I think it would be awesome for all jobs to let employees be self expressive through body art without it ruining their public image, that’s just not the reality of things.
What do you expect employers to do? They have to consider their customers. They have to consider their employee’s visible piercings and tattoos may be off-putting or offensive to their clientele, investors, or even the public at large.

But I get it. I don’t necessarily want to feel obligated to take out my septum piercing every time I have a job interview. But guess what, if taking out a piercing or covering a tattoo is what I need to do to get and keep a job and help me take steps forward with my occupation, then that is exactly what I’m going to do.
So, if you know you’re going into a job field that doesn’t care what kind of body art you may have or if it’s visible or not, I suggest you go for it and be fully self expressive.
However, if you know a job would see that piercing you value so much as a disgrace to their public image, then taking it out while at work or for an interview is obviously in your best interest. You may get tattoos that are easily covered in the workplace.

As much as employers may or may not feel like companies limiting their appearance is against their rights, there is reasoning behind it and employees must stand by that.
At the end of the day, private businesses have the right to hire whoever they want.