Tattoo Trouble

Rachel Cohn, Staff Writer

Long gone are the days of seedy sailors and jack-booted bikers being the sole recipients of body art. Tattoos are everywhere, but some are concerned about how they’ll affect their future.

Tattoos have become increasingly popular among teenagers over the last several years, and with that a growing fear has emerged: young people people are concerned over the loss of job opportunities that may be available to them due to their body art. However, many feel that views of tattoos in the workplace have softened since the days of their almost exclusive association with thugs and the criminal element.

“Most employers say as long as the tattoo doesn’t affect your job and customer interaction, then it’s okay. But you can’t have it all out when you go for interviews,” Melvin Nnabuife, senior at Texas A&M University – Commerce, said.

When asked, Ken Moyer, owner of the Lone Star Eatery Grill and Bar, said that he had no opinion when it came to workers having tattoos. Despite becoming more welcome in businesses where customer interaction is more prevalent, employers like CVS Pharmacy assistant manager Jennifer Pryor feel vulgarity would be the primary reason a tattooed individual might have issues in their employment.

“Well, me personally, I don’t have a problem with them unless they’re vulgar. If it was vulgar, I would have it covered up,” Pryor said.

Even though there is a welcoming change of stance, advice is still given to cover up tattoos, regardless if they are considered vulgar or not.

“Most students who do have tattoos do try to cover them up with long sleeves and are doing really well, but those students who don’t, it’s because they don’t know about professionalism,” Jennise Streaty of Career Development said.

This advice is followed by many students, as well, even if they are told that it’s okay to have tattoos and regardless of their rank or status in college. Many students seem to agree that modesty is the best policy in regards to their ink.

“It actually hasn’t affected it that much because they’re hidden, or most of them are hidden,” Hannah Kahn, freshman at A&M – Commerce, said.

“It hasn’t really affected me as long as I cover them up,” Trey Berry, a sophomore, said.