KAELYN WOJTYLKO
STAFF WRITER

Photo by EMMA GROSSBAUER

Tattoos and piercings are very popular in today’s society, especially with college students. When walking around campus, I can guarantee that you walk past plenty of people who are supporting a unique tattoo or piercing. The thing many people forget about though is, what is going to happen when applying for jobs?

How tattoos and piercings were perceived in the past and how they are today is luckily very different. For decades people have had a negative perceptions of tattoos and piercings. Many people relate their negativity towards their religion, just thinking they are trashy and unattractive and some even bring up the common question of “what will you do when you are old and wrinkly?”

As an avid lover of tattoos and piercings for the purpose of self-expression, I always try and make sure that there is a meaning behind what I am getting if I am getting a tattoo. Piercings are fun to experiment with because there’s multiple piercings you can get. I am currently still playing with the ways I express myself which led me to two tattoos and eight piercings at the moment.

I often get asked what I am going to do when I graduate and begin applying for jobs because of my tattoos and piercings. In today’s society, tattoos and piercings are becoming more widely accepted.

Most employers nowadays have tattoos themselves, which helps many people who have a passion for self-expression. Employers do have a right to have a dress code that requires you to take out any piercings or cover up tattoos. It is getting to a point that employers do not mind simple tattoos and piercings as long as they are not offensive or inappropriate.

Perceptions can impact reality, especially when you have a tattoo or out of the ordinary piercing. If you have an offensive or inappropriate tattoo in a visible place then that will impact your possibility of getting a job, but most do not. If I remember correctly, one in five people have a tattoo and piercings depend on what type it is.

Tattoos and piercings should be acceptable no matter what the job is and shouldn’t change the perception of the person doing the job. But to many people it does still change their perception to a point that some people still refuse service from people with tattoos and piercings.

Many people have heard the saying, “my body is not my resume,” which is entirely true. This is why many people are beginning not to mind hiring people with tattoos or piercings. You can have a tattoo or piercing and be highly qualified for a job, so why should that impact your chances for the job compared to someone with no tattoos with hardly any experience for the same job?

Recently, a lot of people in well-known careers such as nurses, doctors, firefighters, professors and teachers have been able to let their ink and metal be on display. Piercings are still more common than tattoos and overall more accepted in society to this day. Tattoos continue to gain a better following.

Self-expression is something that helps define a person, especially in college and in their career. Tattoos and piercings both help with self-expression and it is up to the person with the tattoos and piercings what they want to mark their bodies with, not anyone else’s.