Inking Responsibly

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In a time when individuality and self-expression are at all-time highs, it is not surprising that young individuals or “Gen Nexters” (ages 18-25) are choosing to showcase their personalities through permanent, ink tattoos.

According to data collected by The Pew Research Center, 36 percent of Gen Nexters have at least one tattoo. In addition to getting tattoos, 54 percent of that population have altered their appearance by “dy[ing] their hair an untraditional color or had a body piercing in a place other than their ear lobe.”

While some of us may be familiar and comfortable with these practices (I myself have two piercings – nose and naval – in addition to my ear lobes) having seen them on many young adults, not everyone feels the same way – especially potential employers. Even though we are continually encouraged to express our true selves, it appears as though a limit has been placed on this; it has become increasingly difficult for people with visible tattoos, piercings or other appearance-altering accessories to find jobs. Potential employers sometimes find tattoos and piercings intimidating or unprofessional regardless of their purpose or meaning to the individual.

Yes, for those of you following a more creative career path – design, music, art, etc. – these practices may be more widely accepted, but for those of us entering the corporate world, there are a few things we must take into consideration when permanently marking our bodies: placement, size and content. Keeping in mind the importance of having hidden, small, nonviolent and meaningful tattoos can make all the difference in landing that dream job of yours.

Jocelyn Murray

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