By Deanna Kay Phillips
To get a tattoo or to not get a tattoo, that is the question. In today’s society there is a growing interest in getting tattoos, but some people judge others very hard for the amount of tattoos that they have or what the tattoos look like. Tattoos are more common now than what they used to be, but people still aren’t entirely accepting of other people getting them.
Having a visible tattoo can affect a person getting a job. In a survey run by Salary.com, 76% of the people they interviewed felt that having visible tattoos and piercings would hurt an applicants chance of being hired after an interview with their potential future boss. With that same survey, 39% of people said that visible tattoos and piercings on workers reflected poorly on the employer. Why would a tattoo reflect badly on the employer? The person could have gotten the tattoo after she or he started working at the job. Also a tattoo should not reflect badly on a person who does not have one or chooses not to have one. The only time a tattoo truly reflects badly on any person is when it’s the tattoo of an ex’s name, and they are stuck with that reminder.
The older a person is, the more likely she or he is to be offended by the someone with a visible tattoo. This also applies vise versa; the younger a person is, the less likely the person is to be offended by someone with lots of tattoos. Why are older people so offended by the sight of tattoos? I believe it’s because some of that older generation grew up at a time when it was considered odd to have a tattoo. They grew up during a time when only those who had tattoos were outsiders who didn’t have much to look forward to in life. People who were rebels used to be the only ones who got tattoos, which again brings us back to the point that more people have tattoos today than they used to even 10 years ago.
Today tattoos are not only worn by those considered rebellious, but by people from all walks of life. People have found a way to express themselves for others to see through the art on their skin. Just because a person does not understand what a tattoo means or why the person would want a tattoo like that doesn’t mean others have a right to judge that person. Tattoos are being used to make light of painful memories, to use as strength because a person has been weak, or because that tattoo represents something or someone in life that has had a major influence.
In asking some fellow students about their opinions on tattoos, one person replied with, “You do you.” This was that person’s way of saying he doesn’t care if you have a tattoo. It’s your body; you do what you want with it. Another person said that “It’s a way of expressing your emotions/feelings and letting other people see them.”
People shouldn’t judge others for the things that give them strength and reminders. In the end, a tattoo isn’t all that different from an item that holds a dear memory. A tattoo is a visible way of showing people how one feels about something that happened at some point on their life. They can see what someone else holds near and dear to his/her heart, but they might not be able to figure it out right away until they hear the person’s story. Tattoos aren’t bad, and neither are the people who get them. In a way they give someone a glimpse into another person’s life.
Salary.com. (n.d.). Survey: Tattoos Hurt Your Chances of Getting a Job. Retrieved at www.salary.com/tattoos-hurt-chances-getting-job/
Deanna Kay Phillips is a student at Mabel-Canton High School. She is one of seven area students participating in the Journal Writing Project, now in its 19th year.