28 August 2018
How do you express your individuality?
With the clothes you wear, the hairstyle you rock, or the music you listen to?
Many people showcase their identity through tattoos and piercings.
36% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 have at least one tattoo according to HistoryofTattoos.com.
29% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 have at least one piercing according to Statista.com.
Although there is no clear statistic on how many Americans have felt some sort of societal, parental or professional pressure to remove or hide their tattoo or piercing. The number of horror stories I have heard due to an unaccepted reveal help me to understand that there are more who have felt this pressure than those who have not.
Tattoos and piercings should never be the reason individuals are taken as less approachable, respectable or professional. An individual’s personality should come first.
During my brother’s first semester of his freshman year of college, he got two tattoos. Out of worry for how our parents would react, he waited until summer to show them. To this day, my dad still (jokingly) calls his tattoos ‘dark arts,’ and prefers for them to be covered.
Four months ago, a woman at a restaurant pointed them out for looking “messy” and “unnecessary”.
During my freshman year of college, I got four piercings.
Out of fear of them looking unprofessional I went back and forth, for five months, on my decision own my own decision of getting a tattoo or piercing.
Three months ago, I was given advice to wear my hair down during an interview.
This trend of constantly needing to edit one’s personality and expression in order to follow and conform with outdated societal standards is unreasonable.
Tattoos and piercing are an intimate form of personal expression and should not outweigh or override an individual’s personality or their competency to be successful in a job.
There isn’t a simplistic route for these types of body modification to become more widely accepted in society or the professional world, but that does not mean it’s worth sacrificing that tattoo or piercing that you’ve always wanted.
Judging someone based off of their appearance is simply repugnant, and shouldn’t determine their internal qualities.
Sacrificing your individuality in order to fit into society’s standards is the last thing you should do.