Thoughts on visible tattoos (re: possibility of returning to work) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 07-01-2012, 11:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm sure it has a lot to do with reclaiming some lost identity, but I've been dying to get more tattoos for a long time.  DH and I just had our 5th anniversary, and are wanting to get tattoos together.

 

I'd like to get a diamond on one of my fingers.  Right now I'm a SAHM with no plans to re-enter the work force, but it isn't out of the realm of possibility, even if it's decades from now.  

 

A small tattoo like that I could cover with makeup easily enough, but I've been pining for a floral/foliage half sleeve like this one for years:

 

257127459945625142_GU6pxnVB_f.jpg

 

DH is supportive, but it wouldn't be easily hidden, obviously.

 

If I do go back to work, it would probably be as an IBCLC.  So, definitely some need for professionalism.  

 

What do you think...good idea?  Terrible idea?




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#2 of 16 Old 07-01-2012, 11:54 AM
 
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I have been a hiring manager at three different companies in my life and all three of them had tatoos that are visible as a deal breaker.

 

But if a half sleeve is easily covered by a 3/4 sleeve shirt. As long as you are not tied to a short sleeve uniform you should be fine. Also if its super professional short sleeves are not ok either. I would say go for it! But any that are too low i think are not a good idea if you are going to try to go back to work.

 

Definitely looks neat though

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#3 of 16 Old 07-11-2012, 03:54 PM
 
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I think things are changing in the workplace. So many people are getting tattoos now that I think eventually companies will come to realize that just because you have tattoos doesn't mean you're a bad person or unprofessional.

 

That being said, working in the childbirth "industry" is pretty flexible, and I don't really see parents choosing to work with someone else simply because of your looks. They want your advice, your knowledge, your skills, and as an IBCLC, you'll definitely have plenty to go around. ;)


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#4 of 16 Old 07-12-2012, 02:47 PM
 
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I have a tattoo in a hidden place and love it. If there is a possibility that you would return to work I would get one in a place that is easy to cover up.

I am actually considering a ring tattoo myself. I will pick a design that could mostly be hidden by a wide band of needed.

As a side note I LOVE the tat in the picture you posted!

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#5 of 16 Old 07-12-2012, 02:58 PM
 
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As long as you willing to commit to sleeves during work hours than I think the arm tattoo is fine. The tattoo on the hand would be a deal breaker for many, many businesses.

 

I have no idea what tattooed people/tattoed culture think of hand tattos but in the rest of the world they are viewed very negatively, just a step below face tatoos or the neck. I am under the impression they are illegal in many states because of the additional risk of blood poisening but I could be wrong. But in general, they are a big part of gang/prison culture and strongly associated with both where I live (major city). And I don't daily makeup application is practical.

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#6 of 16 Old 07-16-2012, 10:16 AM
 
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I say both are doable, go for it!
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#7 of 16 Old 07-16-2012, 12:36 PM
 
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I can relate. I got a full lower arm tattoo and am just re-entering the workplace as a therapist working with mostly children and adolescents. I covered up for a while until built rapport with them and then let it shine, I'm NOT wearing long sleeves in 110 degree heat :)  I think as long as you are confident that tattoo's do not tell the story of who you are you will be fine. Initially, I would keep it somewhat covered but a bit visible in case employers notice and want to see/explain. I actually just had a woman comment on how beautiful it is and she's the coordinator for a place I volunteer in a church! You might be surprised, don't let others guide who you are and what you want to do.

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#8 of 16 Old 07-19-2012, 12:46 PM
 
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It very much depends on the industry you work in and where you live. From what I hear, Austin is pretty much like Portland, OR and here, almost anything goes. It also depends on whether you work for a small or large business, and the relative age of the owners of said business. People in the creative industry here at say... a big ad agency like Wieden & Kennedy (think, ad managers for Fortune 500 cos.) are fine with visible tattoos as long as they fit a certain aesthetic (like your pic, for instance - beautiful!!), but there's a small locally owned tire service center that forbids visible tattoos... so the question is: do you want to work for a place that will forbid tattoos? If so, you'll have to decide which is more important, but if you're like me... conservatively tattooed, with a big one on my ankle and a big one on my back that shows at the back of my neck, and usually employed in a very conservative financial industry (though currently a S/WAHM), you'll have to get A.) creative about who you work for and how you work, and B.) really, really good at what you do, and C.) charming enough to pull it all off. It's doable. It just depends on your priorities. :)


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#9 of 16 Old 07-19-2012, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Judi, I'm confused about the blood poisoning comment? Hand/finger tattoos are often illl-advised and some artists don't do them, but it's because they tend to fade very quickly and start to look bad. I have to disagree about daily makeup being impractical; I put makeup on my face each day without too much hassle, so covering a dime-sized spot on a finger won't be any trouble.

Thank you for everyone's input! It's very true that the culture is changing and that Austin is a progressive counter-culture city anyway. We were at the neighborhood pool yesterday and I only saw one mom without a tattoo! I think if I were an LC I might have a hard time working in a pediatricians office or a hospital without covering up, but I'd rather practice independently anyway.
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#10 of 16 Old 07-27-2012, 09:19 AM
 
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Really think about the tattoos. 20 years ago the tattoo on my arm/shoulder looked very similar to the picture you posted. It was an extremely well done tat by a very well known artist, beautifully detailed black and grey floral work in an art noveau style superbly done in one 5 hour session. It looked good for about the first 10 years, but ALL tattoos fade and get fuzzy no matter how well done they are , and no matter how well protected from the sun. I have never ever seen a 20 year old tattoo that looks good on anyone. And mine are no exception, they look terrible now and can't wait to get them lasered off. In fact getting my tattoos lasered off is my gift to myself once my son stops nursing (he's 3 now so maybe in a year I hope)   When I was 22 I never thought I would end up regretting my once beautiful tattoos, but now I wish I had never got them, they embarass me and they are ugly now and make me feel ugly. I wish I could now go back and tell my 20 something self just how awful those tats would be looking in 20 years.

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#11 of 16 Old 07-30-2012, 12:49 PM
 
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I would stick to the sleeve portion because they are easily covered.

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#12 of 16 Old 08-02-2012, 10:58 AM
 
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Go for it!!! 

 

I have been dreaming of a similarly place tattoo for years and I am not going to let my future career as a lactation consultant or doula stop me.  I won't be working for at least another ten or more years, and I can't imagine holding off on this tattoo for that just just because I *might* go back to work. 

 

DO IT! DO IT! DO IT!

 

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#13 of 16 Old 08-02-2012, 12:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JudiAU View Post

As long as you willing to commit to sleeves during work hours than I think the arm tattoo is fine. The tattoo on the hand would be a deal breaker for many, many businesses.

 

I have no idea what tattooed people/tattoed culture think of hand tattos but in the rest of the world they are viewed very negatively, just a step below face tatoos or the neck. I am under the impression they are illegal in many states because of the additional risk of blood poisening but I could be wrong. But in general, they are a big part of gang/prison culture and strongly associated with both where I live (major city). And I don't daily makeup application is practical.

 

I don't believe the West Coast feels that way, especially Seattle and pretty sure San Diego is similar. I saw many hand tattoos while working at Microsoft in Seattle and its not a problem there at all.

And what does a diamond have to do with gang/prison culture?!

 

I think more importantly it depends where you live. From what I know of Austin, its becoming the next hipster city on this side of the states. First there was Seattle, then Portland, now Austin. And the whole Keep Austin Weird thing helps too. :) I think it would be fine.


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#14 of 16 Old 08-17-2012, 03:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jammomma View Post

Really think about the tattoos. 20 years ago the tattoo on my arm/shoulder looked very similar to the picture you posted. It was an extremely well done tat by a very well known artist, beautifully detailed black and grey floral work in an art noveau style superbly done in one 5 hour session. It looked good for about the first 10 years, but ALL tattoos fade and get fuzzy no matter how well done they are , and no matter how well protected from the sun. I have never ever seen a 20 year old tattoo that looks good on anyone. And mine are no exception, they look terrible now and can't wait to get them lasered off. In fact getting my tattoos lasered off is my gift to myself once my son stops nursing (he's 3 now so maybe in a year I hope)   When I was 22 I never thought I would end up regretting my once beautiful tattoos, but now I wish I had never got them, they embarass me and they are ugly now and make me feel ugly. I wish I could now go back and tell my 20 something self just how awful those tats would be looking in 20 years.

 

Or you could just get them reworked. winky.gif


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#15 of 16 Old 08-17-2012, 05:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jammomma View Post

Really think about the tattoos. 20 years ago the tattoo on my arm/shoulder looked very similar to the picture you posted. It was an extremely well done tat by a very well known artist, beautifully detailed black and grey floral work in an art noveau style superbly done in one 5 hour session. It looked good for about the first 10 years, but ALL tattoos fade and get fuzzy no matter how well done they are , and no matter how well protected from the sun. I have never ever seen a 20 year old tattoo that looks good on anyone. And mine are no exception, they look terrible now and can't wait to get them lasered off. In fact getting my tattoos lasered off is my gift to myself once my son stops nursing (he's 3 now so maybe in a year I hope)   When I was 22 I never thought I would end up regretting my once beautiful tattoos, but now I wish I had never got them, they embarass me and they are ugly now and make me feel ugly. I wish I could now go back and tell my 20 something self just how awful those tats would be looking in 20 years.

I would have to completely disagree with this. I have a chest piece that is 15 years old that looks brand new. I have MANY friends with tattoo art that is 20+ years old and looks just as good now as it did when they got it. 

That being said, yes, it matters who you get your work done by. Poorly made tattoos {and most of them are} look shitty. Being heavily tattooed is not 'right for everyone. I know that recently it has become a more accepted and mainstream thing, but many people still discriminate against people {especially women} who have visible tattoos. We are not are not a federally protected class and as such are not entitled to any protection or job security. If the thought of what other people many think about you or your tattoo{s} is a concern now while you are just contemplating it then I would say it doesn't sound like you are a good candidate for a lifelong commitment to the art. In all respect and honestly, many people regret their tattoos for many reasons and laser removal is not really a valid option--expensive, doesn't really work, and is VERY painful. If it were as simple as loving the 'style' or the way it looks then it would be another story, but wearing visible tattoos as a female even in our 'enlightened' society can be very difficult to navigate even for those who don't give a fuck what others think {me}. You will encounter shitty attitudes from shitty people for no reason other than because they think their opinion of you somehow matters. You will be passed by for employment opportunities and you may even be fired for showing once concealed tattoos. 

Personally, I would rather people not hide them and tell everyone to mind their own business. My skin doesn't have anything to do with my professionalism, never has and never will. The notion that I should be willing to cover my my body to appear more professional is very offensive to me and I refuse to entertain that silliness. I think those who do cover up their tattoos for anything other than their own personal reasons {don't like them anymore or don't want the hassle of chatting people up at work about their 'sweet tats'--which I have chosen to do many times} is setting us all behind. So, my personal opinion is if you are gonna get tattoos don't cover them up please. Don't feed into the system that says that you can't be professional and be tattooed--it is ridiculous. Dress codes are one thing, but a dress code should not have me wearing anything different than my co workers just to conceal my tattoos--it is a pain in the ass to do so and insulting to my intelligence and professionalism. 

I have hand multiple hand tattoos, a chestpiece, two sleeves, backpiece and thigh pieces--I also am a 'white' woman with dreadlocks. I am a licensed massage therapist and I am damn good at what I do. I have worked in a very busy multi doctor chiropractic office with diverse clientele for years and not once has anyone ever had an issue with my professionalism or my therapy--they don't have to like the way I look for me to help rehab them, right? I have had old women tell me that if this were more accepted when they were youths they would be just as covered as I am ; )

There is a lot more to wearing visible tattoos than the 'will I find work' issue--although it is a major one for many people--and if you are easily deterred than I say definitely don't do it.

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#16 of 16 Old 08-20-2012, 02:26 PM
 
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Mamaharrison would you be willing to post a pic of your 15 year old tattoo?
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