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Filed under Opinion, Staff Opinion

Employees deserve the right to express individuality in the workplace

Employees deserve the right to express individuality in the workplace

Gaby Wagner

Jordyn Webb shows off her new tattoo, as she explained it was an emblem for her family.

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Throughout my life, one of the most important lessons I have learned is to never worry about what other people think and do what makes you happy. However, it is hard to keep this ideal when there are so many regulations against being unique. Today, society discriminates against tattoos and piercings because they don’t meet the social standard of “normal”. But, with all of these physical regulations, how is anybody supposed to express who they are and be proud of it?

In today’s society, corporate America does not approve of tattoos and piercings because they appear “unprofessional.” According to Daily American, 42 percent of managers will lower their judgment of employees when they see visible tattoos and piercings. Unfortunately, people are being judged by their looks, rather than their work ethic or skills. If someone has visible piercings or tattoos, they are automatically degraded despite their ability to get the job done better than the next person.

Yes, tattoos and piercings cause attention and sometimes, I admit, it is negative. Especially when people have tattoos that look like they are done with a home made tattoo gun in the corner of a prison cell. However, what about the meaningful tattoos that relate to family or passed loved ones? What about the tattoos that are actual beautiful reflections of pure art and are worthy of being plastered in permanent ink on your body? People shouldn’t be discouraged to show off their tattoos, but in a society where a solid career is on the line, people must hide their pride just to maintain a steady job.

It’s sad to admit, but in society, job owners judge people by their looks. If they have a nose piercing or a sleeve that are labeled as “unprofessional” which is limiting jobs for potential employees. Unfortunately, employers can’t wrap their thick heads around the idea of individuality and uniqueness. If you don’t look “normal” then you are at a huge disadvantage for any job, no matter if your resume goes above and beyond the criteria of a certain job.

In today’s generation, most of the youth holds a strong interest for tattoos and piercings to express themselves. But, we are held back by society to make our own decisions. We must choose between the decisions that make us happy and a successful career path when these are both necessary to live a fruitful life.

Until the current social standards are altered and today’s youth becomes the future employers, then there is little chance of tattoos and piercings being acceptable in the work force. But, this doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t fight for their own individuality. If you want a certain tattoo or piercing, then I say go for it. Its your life and your decisions shouldn’t be altered because corporate America doesn’t approve. Nobody should throw away their happiness just to become a slave to money. Make a statement, be unique!

A main expression of individuality today is through the art of tattoos and piercings; however, now, whenever someone wants to get a tattoo they have to put in to consideration if it will affect their future or current job. Until the social standards change, there is a very unlikely chance that tattoos and piercings will be acceptable in society and among the workforce. So, for now, it is your choice to take charge of your life and make your own decisions or follow the social “norm” of corporate America to maintain a steady job.

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