As part of my continuing education, I am required to take a career development class that helps us adequately prepare for the workforce.
Today’s class was about image and how we present ourselves to the community. During this class it was strongly suggested that it’s okay to decide not to hire someone qualified based on things like tattoos, piercings, men with effeminate voices, women with deep voices, etc.
I was surprised by this. One student said they wouldn’t go to a law firm if the receptionist had a tattoo. Someone then pointed out that I was dressed in a very put together fashion and I present the correct “image.” This amuses me because I have six tattoos.
Tattoos and piercings are part of the common culture and anyone who says they aren’t is wrong. I’m sorry, but in my opinion, discriminating based on a tattoo is no different than based on skin colour. Yes, they chose to get that mark on their skin but as long as they are over 18 and choose to do that, they can. Would you discriminate based on an unflattering haircut? They chose that haircut, so why not say that’s a negative self image.
I personally would go to a law clerk with a heavily tattooed receptionist because it shows me that this firm is willing to accept anyone, making it more likely that they will respect me and my case. Of course, that’s just me. I understand the idea of professional dress or professional decorum but at the end of the day, if you choose to ink up your body on your personal time, that’s really none of my business. I think as long as you can attempt to cover them as much as possible, it should be no big deal. Heck, Miley Cyrus has 10 tattoos! If that’s not universally accepted, I don’t know what is.
So, for those of us keeping score at home, it’s not okay to judge someone for their skin tone, but it is okay to judge for what they choose to do with their skin, which to me seems a little off.