TATTOOS: BODY ART FOR WHO?

I remember when I was a little girl, I would draw strange figures on my body with a pen and call them tattoos. It would usually be on my legs or arms, a place where teachers could not see them. Now as I am older, I can make the decision to get real ones. Being at university makes you think a lot about your future, and the reality is that tattoos are frowned upon in the corporate world.

Getting a tattoo is a big decision. It will literally stay with you for the rest of your life. Unless, you decide to get it removed. This procedure is both painful and expensive, which is another pain in itself. People get tattoos for various reasons, it could be a symbol of a time in your life, or just because. The usual places to get tattoos are on your arms, back and legs. All these areas on your body can be easily exposed during summer or depending on how you dress.

My experiences with employers both in the public and private sector have left me wary of getting a tattoo. During a group interview I once had, the interviewer went through a list of what might be their ideal candidate, the job expectation and so on. One of the things that he mentioned was tattoos. They would rather employ someone with no tattoos or tattoos hidden from the general view. I was confused as to how a tattoo impacted your employment, how does a tattoo influence the kind of work that you produce? He then went on to explain that a tattoo looks disorderly and creates a bad impression of the company. He laughed and said tattoos are for artists or people who have nothing better to do with their time than to defile their body. This comment really pissed me off as there was a girl sitting next to me who had a tattoo on her arm, all the way down to her hand. She tried to cover it but we all noticed and could see that this really embarrassed her.

For me personally, getting a tattoo would be a big deal. It would commemorate a huge event in my life or have a symbolic meaning which is personal. Once I enter the corporate world, I would not want to be defined by the art on my body, rather the work I produce. Tattoos play no relevance to my competencies or capabilities. Employers should look at that instead of something so trivial which has no bearing on the job.

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