Tattoos in the Workplace

Tattoos in the workplace

Tattoos have become more of an accepted way of self-expression in recent years. However, people with tattoos are still getting reprimanded for them.

There has always been a stigmata with tattoos within the workplace, and what is considered acceptable from employers. You were probably told as a child and young adult that getting a tattoo would severely effect your chances at finding a good job, or any job at all in the future. So why is this prejudice still alive and kicking in 2019?

Big Companies such as Google, UPS and Target have a tattoo friendly policy for their employees. These companies are some of the biggest in the world, so if having a Tattoo Friendly policy works so well for them, why do others not follow in their lead?

These companies show that when you’re accepting of all people it can create a wonderful work space and growth of business. They are great advocates to show that being inclusive works. 

According to an Employer Survey taken in the UK in 2017, 70% of Employers views were unfavourable towards tattoos.

People with tattoo’s are considered:

  • Less intelligent
  • Less attractive
  • More rebellious
  • Less spiritual
  • Unhealthy

Why is it these are considered traits of tattooed people when the art of tattooing has been around for centuries? Why is there still biased views towards one of the oldest art forms to exist and when tattooing is still so apparent in popular culture?

What happens if someone beautiful, highly intelligent, religious, fit, and white collar decide to get a tattoo? Do they suddenly morph into a hideous troll who forgets everything he knows and starts eating out of bins? Of course not! Because these “traits” attached to tattooed people are just prejudice myths.

Why is there still judgement in 2019?

Firstly, lets break these labels down into parts and debunk them so we can gain a clearer understanding of what is being judged:

Less intelligent – 

How does your intelligence correlate with wanting or having a tattoo? There’s thousands of highly intelligent people in the world who have tattoo’s such as Thomas Edison the inventor, Dorothy Parker, a Poet, Writer and Critic and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill just to name a few! 

Less attractive

Attractiveness and tattoos are all based on your personal preference. Beauty is all relative at the end of the day.  For example, when you see Jason Momoa and his beautiful Hawaiian tribal tattoos, he is a prime example of someone sexy who is made even sexier by his trademark tats, but this is again, personal opinion. This is all dependant on preference and is not actually factual. 

Less spiritual

Do all the the religious tattoos i’ve seen not make that person just as spiritual as his neighbour? Showing their love of their religion on them in the form of a tattoo is a lifelong commitment. How religious people decide to physically show how they much they love their religion is up to them.

More rebellious

What about all the memorial pieces that grieving people get for their loved ones? What about the idea of remembering an important or beautiful memory forever? This is all context, and unless you’re getting a specific tattoo specifically TO be rebellious then this point is moot. 


This just sounds like an excuse from someone who has no idea about the process of tattooing and dislikes them in general. How is it unhealthy? If anything, you need to be generally in good health to be able to get tattooed to begin with! This ‘label’ seems like more of a need of being educated in tattooing.

So what about Tattoo Removal?

23% of inked folk regret getting a certain tattoo, probably due to being young, getting drunk on holiday, a bad breakup or simply not doing their research and getting a bad tattoo.

There can be many reasons, and tattoo removal shouldn’t be seen as a negative outcome to getting something permanent. People make mistakes, it’s how we learn.

Tattoo Removal has become increasingly popular in the past few years. Style changes, people change and grow, and circumstances alter, so there can be a smorgasbord of reasons for removal.

You may have heard recently of Mel B (Scary Spice) from The Spice Girls getting her ex-husbands name surgically removed from her ribs after years of being abuse. She decided against laser removal and got the tattoo removed because she did not want to go through the pain of laser treatment over a long period of time.

This was a rather brave yet harsh decision and should always be carefully considered and talked through with professionals. Laser removal is probably the better option for most people instead of going to the extreme that Scary Spice did. 

There can be many reasons people choose to get tattoos removed and nobody should be judged by others for the choices they make about their own body.

So what now?

There is still a long way to go for full acceptance of tattooing and the industry, even when the art of tattooing has been around for thousands of years. Popular culture has made tattoos more widely accepted, but it is only with open-mindedness and education of tattoo history will things get better.