Tattoos, quite simply, should not be taboo.
Considering nearly 14 percent of Americans have a tattoo, it’s time to stop treating the artwork of a tattoo as though it’s a mark of the uncivilized and unprofessional.
The taboo against people with tattoos in society occurs most frequently in the workplace. According to Business Insider, 37 percent of HR managers say that visible tattoos are the third most likely attribute to limit one’s career potential.
People with tattoos are often seen as unprofessional in the workplace, despite the fact that a tattoo has no affect on one’s job performance. The thing about labeling people with tattoos is that it runs across the same problem as labeling any other groups: it generalizes the many, based on the aspects of the few.
One reason why the stigma around tattoos exists is because tattoos are associated with criminals. While it’s true that a 85 percent of prison inmates do have tattoos, that’s a small percentage of the tattoo-owners in society. Not all people with tattoos are criminals.
Just because statistically most criminals have tattoos doesn’t mean that all people with tattoos are criminals. When someone has a tattoo and feels confident enough to showcase it to the world, it isn’t because they’re a criminal. Rather, they love the changes they have made to themselves and want to show off that art to the world. Tattoos are artwork on the bodies of those who choose to get them.
When it comes to the tattoos seen on most people on a daily basis they are a brainchild of the person with the tattoo. The superb artists at these shops take the client’s ideas and run with them, making spectacular works of art based on what the client wants.
At the end of the day, a tattoo artist is just that, an artist. Their work isn’t hung in museums, but on the bodies of their clients.
As with any piece of art, every tattoo has a story behind it. For some people, a tattoo helps remember someone or something recently lost. To others, it’s a way of expressing themselves or “feeling whole.” In Tonga and Samoa, tattoos play a huge role both in religious rituals and warfare, but for as many different cultures there are in the world, there are as many different reasons for getting a tattoo.
But these pieces of art don’t make them any different from anyone else in the world. Many people who get tattoos are extroverted, adventurous and/or just overall creative, three traits that don’t have a real overt negative connotation to them, and three traits that don’t have a real affect on someone’s ability to do work, or be a decent person.
Having a tattoo doesn’t make you less qualified for a job as someone with the same education and skills without one. Having a tattoo doesn’t make you a bad person or dangerous. It is time that as a society the stigma against tattoos ends, because more and more people around you have them.