Ok, before I start this post, I want to mention that in pretty much every industrialized nation in the world, it is illegal to discriminate in the workplace based on physical appearance. That means that an employer can’t pass you over for a job because you have an eyebrow piercing. Know your rights!
But that said, people hire people, not resumes. If you look good on paper, but look aggressive and offputting in real life, and your interviewer is getting bad vibes from you, their prejudices could potentially put your career to a halt. The truth of the matter is that a septum ring and two full sleeves and a bright pink mohawk don’t exactly make for the most welcoming face for a lot of people, no matter how sweet your insides. So the question then becomes: as students and young adults not yet fully integrated into the professional world, how should we go about making the highly personal and individual decision of body modification?
I have two tattoos, but only one can be easily covered up, and I’m currently working on building two full sleeves which will hopefully be finished by age 27. (I want to take my time!) I’ve spoken about my first tattoo before here (in case you missed it, I have a big one on the back of my leg). A pant suit will cover it right up. The second one however, will show quite easily if the sleeves of said pantsuit rise even an inch- like when I’d be reaching out to shake the hand of my future interviewers.
I knew this going into the tattoo shop that the placement of my quarter sleeve on my forearm would make it difficult to hide, and therefore potentially disadvantage me in the workplace. But I went ahead with it anyway. Why? Because, quite frankly, if anyone chooses to pass over my skills and talents just because I love body art, and they cannot see past archaic and outdated ideas about the definition of “professional image,” then I don’t particularly want to work for them.
I think that’s the mindset with which you should approach the decision if you’re considering visible body modification before entering the workplace. If the people or industry you’re going to potentially work for see your personal choices (which are frankly, none of their business) as reason enough to ignore your job related skills, then you don’t want to work for them anyway! It’s the same if you’re considering coming out in the workplace (or at least, choosing to not be closeted). If they judge you for it, then you’re better off without them!
These are just my personal views thought- what do you think about body modification at the age/stage we’re currently at? By the way, from experience, I’ve found that most employers under the age of 50 don’t really care- most find them cool, especially when I’m upfront about the fact that I have a tattoo that, even with the dress code, will occasionally be visible. Every job that I’ve had working for someone else has just told me to do my best to keep it covered.
But still, I want to here from you- body modification for professionals: yay or nay?
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