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Tattoos STILL Hurting Chances of Employment

Nick+Gibson%2C+owner+of+Arsnick+Art+Tattoo.+Image+via+Corissa+Powers.
Nick Gibson, owner of Arsnick Art Tattoo. Image via Corissa Powers.

Nick Gibson, owner of Arsnick Art Tattoo. Image via Corissa Powers.

Nick Gibson, owner of Arsnick Art Tattoo. Image via Corissa Powers.

Bryden Smith, Counter Culture Reporter

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Tattoos STILL Hurting Chances of Employment

Bryden Smith, Counter Culture Reporter

March 31st, 2017

Tattoos. Like many other formally taboo practices in the US, inked skin is increasing rapidly in acceptance. Nearly a quarter of Americans have at least one tattoo, and have fueled a fierce demand for custom ink. These eager canvases support a booming industry of artists and small businesses across the country.

Unfortunately, company regulations and state laws are slow to catch up with cultural norms, leaving the tattooed community at risk of stunted career success.

Nick Gibson of Arsnick Art Tattoo, a local shop. Image via Corissa Powers.

ACC Parker student Miranda Clifford has her fair share of tattoos, despite a sketchy first experience. The day after her eighteenth birthday, she went in expecting a mandala tattoo on her sternum, but was left with an overpriced piece far different than she asked for.

One of Miranda Clifford’s tattoos. Image via Instagram

Since then, Clifford has learned her lesson: “Never get tattoos [from] someone you can’t have a conversation with.” She emphasizes building a relationship with your tattoo artist, and stressing transparency so that you walk away happy. Bryce Hudgin, her current artist, has done all but three of her seventeen tattoos—they share many of the same views and can talk to each other with ease.

That’s the beauty of the tattoo industry: if you don’t like your artist you can find a new one.

Many get tattoos for symbolic purposes, but some just do it for enjoyment. “I don’t think there has to be any reason to get tattoos,” Clifford says. “You should be able to do whatever you want with your life and body.”

Nick Gibson, owner of Arsnick Art Tattoo, a local shop. Image via Corissa Powers.

She doesn’t regret going under the needle, but admits that her body art has subjected her to polarized first impressions. Some find her tattoos intimidating and unprofessional, while others think they shows a colorful and approachable personality.

One of Miranda Clifford’s tattoos. Image via Instagram.

Although Miranda Clifford hasn’t found it any more difficult to land a job, there is still a substantial stigma on tattoos in the professional world. Nearly 40 percent of hiring managers say inked skin will limit career potential, and there are no laws protecting the tattooed community from hiring discrimination. Tattoos can hurt your chances of getting a job, even if your potential employers themselves don’t mind. Often, they fear what clients or customers will think.

Many with body art know this. Some, like Clifford, choose to only get tattoos in places that could be covered up by clothing. Although self-expression through tattoos is still limited by practicability, if you have ink, don’t lose hope. Most who disapprove are seniors, and with 45 million tattooed Americans, we can expect increased acceptance in the future.

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The student news site of Arapahoe Community College in Littleton, Parker and Castle Rock
Tattoos STILL Hurting Chances of Employment