A stereotype is defined as a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing. And if I got a penny for every time a person with tattoos got stereotyped as an 'unprofessional hippie', I’d be SWIMMING in cash.
We’ve come quite far from the days when tattoos were considered as a taboo in workplaces. As the stats depict, the tattoo industry has shown quite the spur in terms of number of people getting inked every year since the nineties.
From teenagers to doctors, housewives to business owners, there’s barely a category or niche of people neither of whom have gotten a tattoo.
One can always argue saying that there’s a time and place for portraying yourself as a professional and one must always adhere to the norms or risk being frowned upon.
But to such people, we say, “change is the only constant in life”.
Is it righteous to judge a person’s professionalism solely based on the tattoos that person has?
It would be INCREDIBLY foolish of someone to judge a person with tattoos as less professional than someone without tattoos. It is the person’s skills, knowledge and personality that decides his so called ‘appropriateness’ at a workplace.
Sure, you can always get a tattoo on your arms, back, chest and areas that you can easily cover with clothing.
You just saw a real doctor with a back tattoo. There’s nothing wrong in choosing to cover your tattoo if you’ve gauged your surrounding and if the situation so demands.
The point here is that you should never feel ashamed of getting/ having a tattoo because it is a part of YOU and YOUR story.
If you think about it, you can actually use your tattoo to your advantage.
Say you’re meeting an investor and he/ she notices your tattoo, you could always share the story behind your tattoo to break the ice and give him/ her an insight into your struggles and choices.
It would in turn help him/ her in getting acquainted with you on a personal level.
But if you're second-guessing because you have tattoos and want to be a business person, don't even doubt yourself for a second, you can become who you choose to become.
Remember this quote when in doubt:
“The world makes way for the man who knows where he is going”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
Here’s a list of incredibly successful people who rock their tattoos DESPITE working in demanding corporate environments:
· Canadian Prime Minister: Justin Trudeau
Trudeau’s tattoo ‘SKODEN’ is a one-word phrase that means ‘let’s fight’. Now THAT'S the attitude a President must have, don't you agree?
· Twitter CEO: Jack Dorsey
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has a big tattoo that takes up the length of his left forearm.
The tattoo symbolizes an f-hole on a violin, a collarbone and the integral symbol from calculus.
· Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun “Jensen” Huang
The Nvidia CEO has a tattoo of the company logo on one of his arms.
Huang did it to celebrate the company’s stock price breaking $100, he revealed in an interview.
An amazing example of how passionate you are about your work. Anyone dare judge HIM?
· Former Chanel CEO: Maureen Chiquet
Author and the former CEO of fashion house Chanel has two tattoos.
An owl and a lynx.
“They might just be my spirit animal!” Chiquet, who sports the tattoos on her back, said that it felt great to do something unexpected, “When you’re a CEO, people look at you as some kind of big business person.”
We hope this answers your question of whether this art of personal style statement has a place in the workplace. The stigma is real. It was all started by a bastion of the marginalised: gypsies, freak shows, criminals and the non-conformists. However we’ve come a long way since then and the millennials, amongst others perceive it more as a medium of self-expression than anything else.
It’s not a trend, mind you. It’s art.
It is 2020. There’s no place for close-mindedness. Businesses in the progressive western countries have accepted the tattoo culture and have adapted to it. Having a tattoo is an extremely personal choice and has absolutely nothing to do with a person’s skills and academic prowess. So if you’re a professional who has been wanting to get a tattoo and are hesitant because of your fear of being judged by the people with ‘the age old norms’, we say “stop overthinking, gather the courage to get that tattoo you love and be proud of your choices”, after all, boldness has never been a sign of the weak 😉