Welcome to the official, independent student-run newspaper of Hofstra University!

Tattoos in the workplace: Why you should think before getting inked


Tattoos used to be an uncommon expression of individuality. Now, it is almost more uncommon and individualistic to be ink-free. Bust despite the popularity of tattoos, having visible body art is still mostly detrimental in the workplace.

As we all know, first impressions are important, especially during the job search. Physical appearance, visible tattoos included, plays a significant role in determining those first impressions.

Call it discriminatory, but the presence of a tattoo can cause a prospective employee to be ranked much lower than his or her competition during the hiring process, even if the boss is tatted, according to The Economist.

Reason being: many misconceptions surround people with tattoos, including felony, drug use, poor work ethic, and a trashy background. Even if a tattoo is in place for religious reasons, employers have to entertain the idea that their customers may take offense to that religion, which would hurt business.

Although these stereotypes do not necessarily hold true, they still exist, consciously or subconsciously, in the minds of customers and employers.

Yes, this is unfair to people who have tattoos, but that’s low on the list of a business’s problems. Businesses’ main concern is the overall image of the company, which, unfortunately, can be hampered by the superficial image of their employees.

Tattoos are seemingly trivial, but they deeply influence a work environment. For instance, teachers are responsible for acting as mentors and role models to their students. A mentor and role model covered in ink could cause concern among parents and affect those students’ futures.

Even outside of corporate America, those hoping to pursue a position in the armed forces must tread lightly when it comes to body art. With the intent to promote discipline and professionalism among the troops, the Army restricts the size and number of tattoos a member can have. No ink is allowed on the neck, head or hands, nor is any ink allowed that may be perceived as racist, sexist or inappropriate.

People considering getting a tattoo need to think long and hard before making a final decision. Tattoos are permanent. What might be a good idea today, might not be one tomorrow – especially if a job interview is scheduled for tomorrow. If those on the job hunt feel an untamable desire to get inked, they should opt for a tattoo that is small and can be easily hidden.

The views and opinions expressed in the Op-Ed section are those of the authors of the articles. They are not an endorsement of the views of The Chronicle or its staff. The Chronicle does not discriminate based on the opinions of the authors.

Don’t be afraid of feminism: Equal rights, equal effort

Tattoos in the workplace: Why body art should color the professional world