*disclaimer – all opinions in this post are my own, as each person is entitled to their own opinion, this is mine.*
** also this post it going to be packed full of gifs, so prepare yourselves**
So something that is widely talked about these days is how tattoos, piercings and hair colour can affect your chances of being employed in a professional job. Now this is something that I hugely disagree with, as I don’t think the way a person looks hinders their ability to perform a job. If someone is unwilling to employ me because of the way I look, I think to myself, do I really want to be working for them? Also the amount of looks I’ve received off of people who don’t even know me is astonishing.
I constantly think to myself “why do my tattoos, piercings or hair colour affect my ability to be a fully functioning member of society?” and then it comes to me, I SHOULDN’T CARE.
It’s fair to say that my parents were not best pleased when i came home with my first tattoo when I had just turned 18, however, they eventually came around to liking the ink… I think. However, when I came home after my first year of university with a grand total of 7 extra tattoos, a handful of words could describe how they felt.
- probably disgusted
- like they’d lost their little girl
- and the worst of all … DISAPPOINTED
They slowly began to realise that I was exactly the same person I was in years previous to that, I just looked a bit different. I’m still funny, awful at cooking, a sloth is still my spirit animal, I still have my harry potter scar and in love with anything disney. The only difference is the way I express myself.
I also think they may have just come to terms with the fact that each time they see me there is a 90% chance I will have something new (mum and dad, if you’re reading this I apologise). Personally, I think the following gif sums up how they now react … ⇓
I returned home for the summer with my tattoos and piercings, and blue ends to my hair, ready to start my summer job, which I started 6 years ago. All I do for my job is clean a boarding house from 07:30-14:00, and serve two meals to children between the ages of 7-19. I turned up to my shift one day, to be faced with my boss who had a very in depth conversation about my appearance. Some of the comments included:
- are those tattoos really appropriate for work?
- what would you mother say?
- think about who is going to employ you when you’re older, you’ve minimised your chances now.
If he had just asked me to wear a long sleeve top because I was working around children I would not have hesitated, as I was aware before I started I may have had to cover them up, but the way he went about it was just pure rude, and I felt like walking out and telling him to stuff his job, especially with the amount the business relied on me over the summer, covering last minute shifts and working on my own.
what tattoos and piercings do I have I hear you ask, well…
on my right arm –
- above the elbow – roman numerals for family birthdays
- lower arm – an origami beagle for my little monster
on my thigh
- a quote – (“if you focus on what you have left behind, you won’t see what lies ahead” – 10 points for gryffindor if you can guess the film)
on my left arm
- on my wrist – viking writing
- forearm – a rose
- forearm – a skull which I’m having altered in the near future
- upper arm – flowers
below my neck
- a bicycle (when in Amsterdam)
- a quote – (“we are the dreamers of dreams” – another 10 points available here)
and then I have 10 piercings, including ears, nose and belly.
From the list you will be able to tell that none of my tattoos are offensive in any way, which makes the way my boss spoke to me even more disgusting.
Since being at university I have also completely wrecked my hair with various dyes and bleach. It’s taken me a total of 5 months for it to get back to an ‘almost healthy’ state. Below are some of the examples of hair colours I’ve been through. None of them have been too extreme, but still got commented on by employers.
In reality, I see these as being no issue to how well I can carry out a set job, as they do not affect the way I use my brain, arms, legs or any other part of my body.
I put this out there for all employers in any industry…
‘Two people are applying for the same job role, but there is only one position available. The first person has no piercings, tattoos or dyed hair.The second person has tattoos, piercings and dyed hair (on a reasonable level – no facial tattoos or extreme piercings). Now the first person has no relevant qualifications, no enthusiasm for the job, and is only applying because the workplace is a 5 minute walk from their house. The other person has received 3 relevant A-Levels, and earned a first degree honours at university. They will also be commuting for 1.5 hours one way to get to work, however, this is something they are willing to do for their dream job. ‘
Now you tell me, are you going to deny this person their dream job which they have worked 5 years for, just because of their appearance?
If you have just read this and thought, I still wouldn’t employ them, well…
That’s it, my rant is over.
I would love to hear your opinions on the matter, whether you agree or disagree with me, all opinions are welcome, and I would love to hear experiences you’ve had.
p.s – last gif of the post I promise.