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Tattoo Taboo

by Shannon Gallagher 3 years ago in body

Tattoo Acceptance


So we live in the 21st century right? Are you sure now?

Well yes, you are 100 percent correct, we do. Why, if we are so advanced for a generation with technology and kids growing up so fast etc etc etc, are people still frowning upon tattoos?

Some people detest them, while some think they’re nice but “not for me.” Everyone is entitled to an opinion but making others feel belittled and judged because they have decided that they want to express themselves in the way they want is abhorrent.

There is an unjustified prejudice against professional people who have tattoos. Tattooing is an expressive form of art where artists have the privilege to display their work on the body, as others do on a canvas. But should society have the right to determine whether we can sport a tattoo as freedom of expression?

Tattooing has been on this earth for thousands of years. It is one of the original forms of artwork and has heaps of kinds of meanings and uses; from tribes to medicine, expressive art to cosmetic correction. Why though, are these emblems seen as a thing of revolt?

There is no law stating that any person in the workplace cannot have a tattoo; however, employers still discriminate against employees for doing so; The Equality Act, 2010 legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society. It replaced previous anti-discrimination laws with a single Act, making the law easier to understand and strengthening protection in some situations. Things like this are in place to help people who feel discriminated against for embracing their right to be exactly who they are. Having a tattoo will not ever make someone less qualified to do a job than someone who is without them.

CV Library, a well-known job site, has undertaken some research into tattoos and professional people with body design and those who do not. This research took place in 2015 when London held their 11th tattoo convention that included more than 20,000 people. They uncovered that 59 percent of working British people believe that progression in the workplace is slower for people with skin art. Despite this fact, 44 percent of the working British people admitted to having a tattoo. Body art is more common now than it has ever been and people are still struggling to understand this and will not come to terms with it.

There are certain types of people who would reject any medical help from a nurse/doctor if they have exposed tattoos. If the same fully trained nurse/doctor tried to attend to you and had no tattoos on display, you would, however, be none the wiser. So why is there such a stigma to these committed, lifesaving people? A non-judgemental approach to employment and people’s expressions of body art should not be taken lightly. Professionals are trained to treat people in a non-judgemental manner and respect everyone the same and to appreciate their life choices even if it does not coincide with their own, so why is it different when it comes to body art and the way professionals are regarded for it?

There are even workplaces that discriminate and isolate woman with tattoos but not men. This is implying men have more respect than women but why is this the case? This is the 21st century and women should be treated equally to men. A hotel owner from the UK has a strong opinion about tattoos in the work place, “A male with tattoos I can understand to a degree (depending on the job). But I would not employ a female with tattoos”. This is a genuine statement from an anonymous hotel owner. This behaviour is totally unacceptable and must be stamped out in our modern day Britain.

An article on the BBC news website titled, “Should anti-tattoo discrimination be illegal?” There is a statement in this piece relating to how the British army is now coming to terms about tattoos on the hands, face, and neck. This has resulted in a less harsh approach in employing people to serve our country. All employers over the UK should be following this path and treading in the British Army’s footsteps. People who bear body art is increasing at a fast pace and if companies cannot keep up with this modern day then they will be losing out on a great deal of staff who love their job and work exceptionally hard. Tattooing is an art and an expression of who someone is. It may be a sentimental piece, it may even be a design that someone liked so decided to have it, but it is theirs. Not yours, theirs. It is outrageous that this talented nation is being left unemployed down to being who they are.

Mick Mahon, a tattoo artist based in Spain, has tattooed many different people for reasons from cosmetic cover ups to memorable art in recognition of a lost loved one. All of her designs are unique to each individual so I asked for her opinion on this controversial topic, “More often than not people ask me for tattoos to commemorate lost loved ones or often trials or pinnacle times/events that are close to them. My clients range from doctors and lawyers to policemen and school teachers. I work closely with a renowned plastic surgeon and have tattooed his patients, a lot of the time reconstructing nipples from cancer victims.” Now try and tell me that woman with tattoos are promiscuous. Try and tell me that tattoos are not special to a person. Tattoos are not only used as an expression of art; they can be used to restore an individual persons look that has been taken away from them after horrific events. Tattoos are a marvelous invention and can be used for so many things and make a huge change to so many people’s lives, a question society needs to ask is why there is so much hatred against this thing of beauty?

There is too much stigma against tattooing and sadly this is an issue that needs to be addressed. There are many options out there for people who are being discriminated against and we need to stand up for what we believe in and what is right. I believe that my body is mine and no one else’s so why should I be controlled over what I do with it? Who else is to say who I am other than me? Be who you are and express this in the way you choose and the way that makes you a happy person.

Shannon Gallagher
Shannon Gallagher
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Shannon Gallagher

I’m a mum of 2 gorgeous kids. I am a part time worker in an office and my kids like to push me to the edge of insanity.

See all posts by Shannon Gallagher

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