Art, Journalism and Feature Writing

TATTOOS IN A WORKFORCE – TO COVER OR UNCOVER

I Got A New Tattoo

For years, tattoos have been a taboo of sorts. I know when I got my first little one, I actually hid it from my father for over ten years. I’ve also been concerned in the past with what employees would think if I applied for a job with a┬ávisible tattoo. We’ve come a long way since the 90s, but I still wanted to do some investigating before I got my latest edition about tattoos in a workforce.

tattoos on arms

When I say tattoo, I don’t mean a huge tattoo covering my back or anything, but I am now officially the proud owner of ink number four. I got my first tattoo when I was 21. I remember giving it a lot of thought about where I would get it, what it would be and what size I would get, especially how I would hide it from my father. I guess I’m still very conservative and old fashioned, but it hasn’t stopped me from getting four over the last 20 years.

PIERCINGS VS TATTOOS

Some people are into piercings (which I’m absolutely not), while others prefer ink. Some even do both but I myself prefer the ink. I’m not one to be into coloured tattoos either, which is why all four of mine are done in a simple black (three of them now almost bottle green, as they turn out after several years) design, and I love every single one of them and have never regretted getting them done. I see so many people sporting great big tattoos these days with themes like horror films or cartoon characters and I just can’t do it, yet I still appreciate them and the artists who created them. I guess it’s the fact that one of my tattoos; a Chinese strength symbol, used to be very low on the bikini line and has travelled up much higher since having two children. I still love it and I’m very lucky as I went back to my old size 8 frame, scoring no stretch marks and tattoo unscathed, but it has moved up about 10cm, looking more like a lower belly tattoo now.

tattoo1Getting Inked at Phresh Ink

My latest tattoo has been a very new experience for me, because it’s the first one I have gotten that is so prominent on my body. I already had the Chinese strength sign on my lower tummy (which you can’t see unless I’m in bikinis). I also have a Pisces H on my lower back; being the Pisces that I am (that one hurt), and a lotus flower on my left foot, which was a tattoo I got to represent a new beginning after I graduated from University. I know that you can see feet tattoos easily, but not many people look down at your feet, so it was still a very conservative tattoo for me.

This latest venture of mine however, has made me braver and much more introduced to the world of ‘wear your ink proudly’ kind moment. After a lot of consideration, I am now the proud owner of a very intricately and beautifully designed fish, designed and tattooed by the very talented Artist, Danel Matos at Phresh Ink. As you can see, it’s on my inner, upper wrist, and I absolutely love it.

tattoo of a fishOff to a job interview with my new edition

I wanted something gentle due to the area it would be on, so he took time to design two fish; one for me and one for my boyfriend Matt because we are both Pisces and both wanted a fish. No, this is not one of those silly tattoos with our names inked on each other! Both are very individual, but we did get them in a similar place and both are incredibly beautiful. Danel inked us so finely, that it didn’t even hurt, nor scab up. He also used charcoal instead of standard ink, to hold the black better. It will most likely fade into more of a grey colour over time. It honestly was the most incredible experience with a tattoo. Danel’s the man! Highly recommend.

tattoo2The very talented Artist, Danel Matos

Being in the industry that I am in, I did look into tattoos in a workplace, tattoo discrimination and rules about tattoos in the workforce before I got it though. Probably a good idea since I’m currently still job hunting. I’m a very high candidate for a Marketing position at the moment, and I’m choosing to wear long sleeve blouses to interviews just in case, because even though it is illegal to discriminate someone with a visible tattoo or even several tattoos in Australia, I was worried that it might deflect potential employers away from hiring me. I figured that once they hire me, then they will get used to it and nothing deflected them from my skills, abilities and experience. So what are the rules in Australia when it comes to tattoos in a workplace?

RULES ABOUT TATTOOS IN A WORKPLACE

It depends on the particular job you are in, and although you cannot be discriminated for having tattoos, it can be another story getting hired. It really is up to the employer to hire you or not. They consider whether you can do the job or whether you will fit in. There is no way to prove that you’re getting discriminated when going for an interview as you haven’t signed up for contracts yet etc. It’s definitely another story once you’re in a role though. Read this interesting statement from Attwells Solicitors from the UK about some cases where Tattoo Discrimination has occurred.

I have a friend who wore a long bandage as a school teacher in a private school to cover up her arm being covered in tattoos. She did this for three years and everyone thought that she was covering burns. However, when she was spotted out one night by other teachers, their shock was plain as day! Eventually she got pushed out of her position. The school made up several issues of why they wanted her to resign, and it cannot be proven if the tattoo was the main focus of the issue, but it certainly didn’t help her to, lets say, fit in. She was outcasted and very mistreated until she felt like there was no other option but to resign from her position. I would call it discrimination, but sometimes it cannot be proven. So I guess what I’m saying, is that even though it is illegal to discriminated people with tattoos in a workforce, always consider this before you get any form of ink. Read more here on the Australian Human Rights Commission to see the standard rules.

two fish tattoos pisces signsOur new Pisces fish tattoos

I love my new ink, as it represents me on such a personal level. I am a true Pisces and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Sometimes my heart is too big and I get hurt like the rest of us, but now when I get a glimpse of my little new edition, I smile because it’s me swimming upstream from here on.

If you have a special tattoo that means a lot to you and would like to share your ink journey with me, comment below and tell me your story.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s