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TEENS: A little ink in the workplace doesn't hurt

Haley Selvidge
Haley Selvidge

In many establishments in society today, there are many restrictions when it comes to individuals having visible tattoos. In most I’ve come across, tattoos must be completely covered for someone to be able to work in said establishments. 
 
Ever since I was little, this restriction has always confused me. Why should someone have to cover their tattoos? It would be more understandable if the tattoos were of something inappropriate, but other than that, I just can’t find any issues. So why is this such a common restriction?

I’ve asked this question to many of my peers and I always get the same answer: they can make the customers uncomfortable. Yes, this is true, but the only instance I can think of where a customer would become uncomfortable with an employee’s tattoos would be if there were forms of profanity displayed, and there often is not. 
 
Tattoos are becoming more and more popular, especially with the younger generations. According to the Pew Research Center, 40 percent of millenials have tattoos, and that’s a lot. This means that 40 percent of the younger generation will face restrictions and limitations while looking for a job because of the art on their skin (that is, if it’s visible).

What people fail to understand is that tattoos have been around for thousands of years; the oldest recorded one being an iceman from 3,100 BC. They were meant as symbols of protection and status among those from early civilization. One may argue that some tattoos come from very skeptical backgrounds, which is true. It’s not uncommon for tattoos to be a symbol of status in gangs and prisons, but this doesn’t apply for those outside of these places and organizations. People who have tattoos are more than often painted in a bad light, but hardly anyone considers there’s a story behind the ink on their skin.

Another thing I would like to point out is how hard tattoo artists work; not all tattoos are given from a bad source. In any tattoo shop you see, there will almost always be employees there who have dedicated years of their lives getting to where they are now; when becoming a tattoo artist, one must become an apprentice first, and this is often without pay!
 
The point I’m trying to make is I firmly believe employers should consider removing their restrictions on tattoos.
 
The ink on someone’s skin isn’t hurting anyone whatsoever!
 
Haley Selvidge is a senior at Streator High School. She can be reached via stephanies@mywebtimes.com.
 

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