By Emily Fabri

In the United States, there are laws to prevent discrimination toward other human beings. Tattoos represent art to the ones who wear them, but people can lose out on a job opportunity or even get fired because of the way they present themselves with visible tattoos.

How is that fair? Older generations tend to find tattoos offensive and even disturbing to look at. They do not want to deal with someone who has visible tattoos in the business world. But do pictures on someone’s body make it okay to

KU grad student Karen Deysher     Photo by Brenna Everdale, The Keystone
KU grad student Karen Deysher
Photo by Brenna Everdale, The Keystone

discriminate against them?

Tattoos have to do with a person’s identity, so why keep them covered up from the employer? Laser tattoo removal not only causes a lot of pain, but is very costly as well. According to Pew Social Trends, of people ages 18 to 29, nearly four out of 10 have a tattoo, and for most who do one is not enough: about half of those with tattoos have two to five, and 18 percent have six or more.

Employers can have a say in how their employees present themselves, but employers cannot have a say in what their employees tattoo on their bodies. If someone has a tattoo that may seem offensive to others, he or she may get asked to keep it covered at all times while on the job. Employers want what they think is best for the company to succeed. If a business targets people who are 50 or older, tattoos may be required to remain covered. Keeping tattoos covered on the job is different than discrimination against people who have tattoos.

Tattoos are growing and becoming more of a social norm each year. I personally have four tattoos. As a young college student with dreams of one day having a professional job, I am careful about where I choose to get them.

Tattoos have sentimental meaning to many people; they are not just pictures on someone’s body, but a piece of their life.

Not getting a job over a tattoo is stupid; it is on the person’s body forever, and they can’t change it. Tattoos do not make someone a good or bad person. They have no relation to who you are as a person and what you bring to the table.

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