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Emergence Of Tattoos In The Workplace

The emergence of tattoos has elicited debate regarding their relevance in the workplace. Tattoos are fashionable in modern society because young people use them in expressing their values, beliefs, and principles. Society and the corporate world have realized that tattoos are fashionable, and thus, they have gradually accepted their relevance in the workplace. Given that acceptance of tattoos occurs gradually in the workplace, employers, employees, and professional bodies hold different perceptions. Owing to the existence of freedom of expression in society, tattoos have become common in the workplace. In this view, the essay describes positive and negative perceptions that people hold about tattoos in the workplace.

Perceptions of Tattoos

Young people perceive tattoos as not only fashionable, but also a way of expressing their values, beliefs, and principles in a liberal society. In the workspace, tattoos have transformed organizational culture because they allow employees to express themselves freely without undue fear or repercussions. Essentially, the ability of employees to express their values, beliefs, and principles in the workplace indicates the existence of the freedom of expression and enjoyment of human rights. In this view, tattoos point out the state and extent of liberation in the workplace. Given that tattoos are a form of dress code, they merely portray the physical appearance of employees. Proponents of tattoos argue that the ability and performance of employees are independent of tattoos. In essence, knowledge and skills are significant determinants of the abilities and performance of employees in the workplace. Thus, proponents of tattoos hold that employers should assess and evaluate their employees based on merit rather than their physical appearance. The increasing recognition of human rights in the modern era has increased the prevalence of tattoos among employees. Social forces in modern society have increased the acceptance of tattoos as a fashion among young people. Socioeconomic factors in the workplace have made employers recognize diversity as an asset of creating an equal society, where every employee counts. The existence of an inalienable right of the freedom of expression has made political activists advocate for it in the workplace. In this case, employees have the freedom to express themselves using tattoos. Moreover, legal provisions require employers not to discriminate against their employees based on their expression or dressing code. Despite the fact that there are positive perceptions of tattoos in the workplace, negative perceptions also abound. Employers hold that tattoos are not appropriate in the workplace because they distort the corporate image. Organizations strive to provide an appealing image to their customers and business partners from diverse social, cultural, and economic backgrounds. To appeal to these customers and business partners, organizations adopt rules and regulations, which ensure that they portray a corporate image. Owing to the diversity that exists in the workplace, organizations ensure that corporate image overrides individual interests by coming up with a dress code, which excludes tattoos. Furthermore, employers perceive that tattoos demean the professional image of employees. In the workplace, the management expects employees to reflect the interests and aspirations of their respective organizations. However, tattoos demean the professional image because they associate employees with negative behaviors, characters, and personalities, which employers dislike. Since employers champion the interests of organizations, they hire employees, who have the required professional image. In essence, employees must have a professional image that reflects the interests, values, principles, beliefs, and stature of their respective organizations. From a societal point of view, tattoos have negative social branding because they are common among social deviants. Since society has norms and traditions that shape morality, the use of tattoos in most cases relates to aberrant behaviors. In this view, tattoos have a similar negative impact on the workplace for they create anti-social behaviors, which have destructive effects on organizations and employees. Essentially, tattoos portray employees as rebels, cultists, perverts, and addicts, who are not beneficial to organizations.


Human rights and liberty have contributed to the increasing use of tattoos in the expression of values, beliefs, and principles in the workplace. Employers, employees, and society hold diverse views regarding the relevance of tattoos in the workplace. Those who hold positive perceptions argue that tattoos bestow social freedom, do not influence ability and performance, and employers should not use them in discriminating against others. In contrast, those who hold negative perceptions argue that tattoos distort the corporate image, demean professional image, and promote anti-social behaviors.

Thank you for reading my blog on the emergence of tattoos in the workplace.


IvyPanda. (2022, April 15). Tattoos in Workplace.

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