Opposing Viewpoints: Tattoos express personal relevance
Junior Joshua Suaverdez proudly displays his sleeves. | Emily Arnold/THE CHIMES
A certain type of body art can provide an avenue for today’s strong want for self expression: tattoos. We want others to see and know what we stand for. We want people to understand our passions in this world.
Nowadays, it is not rare to find an average American adult with at least one tattoo. In fact, about 36 percent of 18- to 25-year-old Americans have at least one tattoo, and about 40 percent of 26-40 year olds also have one, according to a recent poll conducted by Pew Research Center.
In response to John Reid’s claim in the September 6 issue of the Chimes, I contest that today, it is not hard to find a job even if you are heavily tattooed. Lots of people (including some I know) have visible tattoos that can’t be covered by short sleeves and jobs in respected positions. Some of these people work for banks such as JPMorgan, Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. They have full sleeves but it is easy for them to hide their tattoos with long-sleeved shirts, so having tattoos is not a problem for them at all.
It is important to know that it is the person that makes the tattoo, not the tattoo that makes the person. Tattoos do not change someone’s personality. To think that would be the same as putting judgement on all people with tattoos. Usually, when interviewing for a job, someone is hired for their personality that fits with the company, not how professional they look. Most businesses focus on productivity and personality so if someone is personable, physical appearances are often overlooked.
With that said, it is my opinion that those who view tattoo art as being a hindrance in the job search mean well but are simply misinformed. But before you go and get “inked,” you must understand that this type of expression is permanent. This is not a passing fashion that goes away after you are over the style. This is commitment that stays with you forever.
As someone who is 20 years old and heavily tattooed, I receive questions daily about my tattoos.The two most asked questions I get are, “Is it hard for you to find a job?” and “What do they all mean?”
In response to the first question, I answer with a confident “no.” I believe it is important to think about whether the career you want to pursue would require you to hide your tattoos or not. Before I got my tattoos, I considered many careers that I might want to pursue. Careers in fashion, music and ministry, do not require me to hide any of my tattoos. So when I am looking for a job, I do not have to worry about getting turned down because of my tattoos because usually when I am interviewed for a position, I will be interviewed by someone with tattoos. Though it may seem that the job market is moving towards the prevention of tattoos in the workplace, it seems to me that more and more professionals are getting tattoos rather than not. It is not a question of whether they should get a tattoo or not, but rather it is a question of where they should get it.
When I am asked about the meaning of my tattoos, they usually open up a conversation about the gospel. The majority of my tattoos are about Jesus and his work in my life. The rest of my tattoos are of importance to me. Tattoos are not only for people to see and stare at, but they are more importantly an expression of what is relevant to you. Personally, tattoos help me to be all things to all people. So before it becomes a fashion and before you go and get some random tattoo because it looks cool to you, understand that it will be a part of you forever. The meaning of your tattoo will be asked about every day. Everything we do should be done with the purpose of glorifying God, and tattoos are no exception.
By prayerfully considering this topic, it is my hope that you would not altogether dismiss it, but come to a wise conclusion about body art and tattoos.