On Tattoos

How was this statistic determined?

And, uh, just how inaccessible were these “localities”? :smiley:



A number of decades ago, I was at a party that was also attended by the memebrs of this punk band from out of town. They’d been performing locally. The lead was a pretty cool guy to talk to, but just about every inch of visible skin, including his bald head, was covered in tattoos. I remember wondering what he would do if some day he decided to become a banker or some such. The old hippies, they could always shave and cut their hair, and no one would be any the wiser. But guys like this band member had really locked themselves into a certain social level.

Tattoos have become popular among high-society ladies in Thailand, but I remember when only “bad girls” had them. But the “Hi-Sos” do tend restrict their tattoos to maybe a small butterfly or rose, maybe some sort of esoteric symbol, while bargirls will still often go overboard. I’ve seen huge tattoos covering bargirls’ backs, misspelled English-language tattoos in large font, elaborate tattoo “belts” encircling their waists. One bargirl I was chatting with one time had a remarkably ugly tattoo on her upper arm. It was a LARGE one of some comically drawn goldfish and these weird lines crisscrossed over them, extremely poor workmanship. Trying to be sociable, I mentioned: "Oh, that’s a, um, nice tattoo you’ve got there. She: “I hate it.” “Oh? Then why’d you get it?” “I was drunk.” It turns out that she’d been drunk and 14 years old at the time she’d gotten it. :rolleyes: It looked as if the tattoo artist had also been drunk. I can certainly understand the laws in some countries that require the receiver to be sober and an adult when getting a tatoo.

As a wild guess, I’d say a reporter for the Times asked a number of ladies (say, 15) and got a “yes” answer from about 7% of them (that’d be 1, Bob). I wouldn’t expect too much rigorous investigation took place over a hundred years ago…

As far as the “inaccessibility” is concerned, it may be that said reporter had a string of good luck and “interviewed” these 15 ladies and acquired the information first-hand, as it were.

I suspect that “fashionable London ladies” is a euphemism for prostitutes, and doesn’t include ladies that might have been invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace. And those localities would be inaccessible unless you supplied an adequate amount of current coin of the realm (a sovereign would doubtless have been plenty – and I don’t mean HM Queen Victoria, though it would have carried her likeness).

“Statistics on the prevalence of the practice cannot be collected, for the reason that its devotees were tattooed upon unexposed parts of their surface. Still, after careful inquiries made by astute investigators, it was found that fully fifteen percent of the legs of–that is to say, that at least seven and half percent of Fashionable London ladies were tattooed in inaccessible localities.” “Tattooing,” The New York Times, Jan 30, 1880 :wink:

Although it usually invites a Pit thread to dare say it on this Board, professional people in a professional environment generally are ill-advised to have tattoos that are visible (with the rare exception of ex-military people, and then only if they happen to roll up their sleeves.) When we interview young/new Engineers, someone with a very visible tattoo gets comments, and while I personally don’t let it impact my decision (you’d be surprised at what doesn’t impact my decision to hire), I know a lot of other people are, well, “bothered” by it, especially the couple of Fundamentalist-types I work with who always seem to be stuck in interviews with me, one of which has come right out and said words to the effect of “a girl with a tattoo like that is probably an impulsive person who can’t be trusted with important project materials.” Right or wrong, you know that’s what happens in real life. And it is mainly the girls who have them visible; I have noticed that among the young women that come in a very high percentage of them have ankle tattoos, I would have to estimate on the order of 33% or higher for women under 25.

So let your free flag fly all you want, but when you show up for a professional job interview, do anything you can to cover/hide that tattoo, especially in this job environment.*

  • [sub]And for the love of God, delete/friendlock your Livejournal/Facebook/Myspace page before interviewing if it has anything at all negative on it…one guy we interviewed had a journal with pictures of him vomiting on himself after a raging kegger on it, and rants about how he hates corporate America and was going to treat his first job as a “trial job”…oh yeah, that looks good when the people interviewing you Google your name. How about this - create a fake LJ a few months before you start interviewing, linking your IRL name all over it, and writing blog entires about how you love corporate America, how you love hard work and stick-tuitiveness, and how with the help of Jesus you hope that someone will hire you so you can demonstrate to the work that Faith in the U-S-A is not yet dead. It will help you get hired at some places, trust me.[/sub]

True. But in light of the statistics Cecil mentions–

–I expect that this will become less true over time.

Sure - but the age-old question is, who wants to be the (potentially) unemployed leaders in the movement?

Well, I don’t. I’m just saying that somebody will. The number of people in the workplace with tattoos hidden by their clothing is probably already rising. Eventually such people will make up a significant proportion of those conducting the job interviews.

As to who get’s tattoos. I will very shortly be 60 and got my first tattoo about 5 years ago and my second one two years ago. Both on my upper arms. My 40-something girlfriend got her first tat when she was in her mid-30’s. It was done with a vegetable-based dye that was designed to fade in three to four years. It did and she has sense gotten two regular tats - one on her right shoulderblade and one on her left lower back.

I am currently working on a contract for the US Marine Corps and find it interesting to note that the Marines are “cracking down” on tattoos. Any that a Marine already has are OK, but new ones can’t be visible when they are wearing their uniform. So, no more lower arm, neck, head of face tattoos for them.

Not only am I tattoo-less, but the wife has threatened unspecified consequences if I ever get one. Every single time we pass a tattoo parlor, I offer to pay for her to get a tattoo, but she never ever finds this funny, even when I suggest a large battleship across her chest.

I don’t see the appeal. I mean, it’s an identifiable mark for the police, and who knows when you might need to not have any?

How about the excuse, “Broke up with him”.

Ms Moss & Mrs Winehouse notwithstanding…

Has anyone had experience of the UV-visible tattoos mentioned towards the end of the column? They sound pretty funny.

Henna “tattoos” have become popular on the backpacker trail over here. They wear off in about a month. Some nice designs.

Well, that depends. Are her guns sixteen-inchers?

Fear of lethal retaliation prevents me from answering. :frowning:

Surely you meant “freak flag,” yes?
Almost Cut My Hair.

I would disagree. I have worked in many capacities in professional environments (IT consulting, political operations/governmental affairs, retail management, and most recently marketing and business development) and in none of these professional jobs have my visible tattoos been an issue.

In all of these jobs I am dealing not only with my coworkers, but also my firm’s clients. I am trusted as a representative of the company, and all that entails. In fact, my tattoos are often a benefit. They serve as a great ice breaker, and make me stand out from all of the other suits.

I would never advise someone against getting a tattoo for fear of not being able to find a professional job. In most places these days, that is no longer a valid concern assuming you have the education, experience, and skills the employer is looking for.