Skin Deep Discrimination
We've decided to go a different direction- some companies might say as they turn away a tattooed job seeker. Tattoos provide us with a creative outlet to express what we love and who we are, but can also raise a red flag to some places of employment. This leads us to ask, should tattoo discrimination be illegal? (or, why isn’t it illegal already?)
If Abraham Lincoln had tattoos would it have hindered him from abolishing slavery? Doubtful. If Amelia Earheart had tattoos would it have stopped her from being first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean? Probably not. Yet there are Mothers being told they're bad examples to their children. There are people being denied promotions. There are people that go on interviews and are dismissed before the official interview starts.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited discrimination of sex and race in hiring, promoting, and firing individuals. You'd think that same law would protect people who look different because they're covered in awesome tattoos, but it doesn't.
(Oh, with the exception being tattoos that are racist, sexist, or highly offensive)
According to a recent study, most interviewers felt there was a negative stigma attached to being heavily tattooed.
The list of companies with a no visible tattoo policy is overwhelmingly long. Interesting enough, the job industry with highest percentage of tattooed staff is the military. So, these companies are being protected by the same people they’re often discriminating against.
According to Fox News, 97% of American adult consumers wouldn't change current product shopping habits if employees had visible tattoos and piercings. This means the discrimination doesn't come from customers or clients, but directly from the hiring staff.
Companies argue tattoos are distracting. But, we live in a distracting world. Social media and cell phones have led to more distractions at work than a person who has tattoos. In America, 50% of employees waste from one to five hours at work being distracted by social media.
(Plus, having tattoos isn’t like having two heads- it will never create the major distraction companies fear.)
The most common excuse is “it’s not the image we want for our company.” But, how many models do you see working at Burger King or Bass Pro shop? Beauty is subjective, what is beautiful or cool varies from person to person. Not to mention, the important factors should be qualifications, education, and experience.
The final statistic-zero States have Laws protecting people With Tattoos from Discrimination in Company Hiring Practices. But, some companies over time have become more open to hiring tattooed individuals. A few companies accepting applicants with ink: Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Best Buy, Lowe’s, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and even Google. Also, statistically 45 million people in America have at least one tattoo-so there's a good chance those hiring managers are hiding a butterfly tattoo somewhere.
Lastly, any job that expects you to hide who you are, isn't really worth having anyway.
Do you think this will change in the year 2019? We hope so.
Written by: Olivia Edens