Tattoos have existed as a form of body art for thousands of years, all the way back to the Neolithic Period. Mummies covered in marks have been discovered all over the world. Given the prominence of marking one’s body for millennia, we can assume that tattoos have not always been a source of judgement as in many cultures in the past centuries. In the recent past, tattoos have been associated with criminals, lower classes, druggies, and bikers. As a result, people with them have long been victims of prejudice and side glances. We are luckily seeing a change in perceptions today as tattoos become more mainstream.
Why do people get tattoos?
Sometimes it seems as if everyone has a tattoo nowadays. But why do they get them? For some it is simply for aesthetic reasons. They enjoy having artwork on their bodies rather than just on a wall in their homes. Other people choose tattoos for sentimental reasons. It could be in remembrance of someone or some time special in their lives. Others get a tattoo during a rebellious phase of their lives.
There are logically going to be similar tattoos on more than one person. Many people have roses, swallows, and stars. But the meanings behind each tattoo will never be exactly the same. Each person, whatever their reason for getting their tattoo, gets it with their own experiences and memories. And the mere act of getting a tattoo provides a new experience that affects a person’s view of the world. For example, while getting a tattoo is painful, one knows the pain will end, and the result will be beautiful. This is a good philosophy to have in life.
Are tattoos still equivalent to criminality?
Not as much as in the past, when many were to show alliance to a gang, to symbolize one’s passage through prison, or even to keep track of the crimes committed. A lot of respectable people have tattoos, including many successful world leaders, current and in the past. Our own Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has a Haida raven on his left arm. The 26th president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) had his family crest tattooed on his chest. British King George V (1865-1936) had a red and blue dragon on his arm from a trip to Japan. Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965), one of the greatest leaders of the 20th century, had an anchor tattoo on his arm. This goes to show that having a tattoo does not make one a bad person and incapable of success in life.
Does having a tattoo make it harder to get a job?
Having tattoos doesn’t affect a career or job like it used to for everyday people. Even the United States Marines allows visible tattoos, except for on the face, because they realized that they were missing out on great recruits as a result. The subject of the tattoo(s), the number, and the locations are things that hiring managers today consider based on the position being filled. An increasing number of places place more stock in a person’s qualifications than their appearance. This being said, in a customer-facing job in a major corporation, it may be preferable to have no visible tattoos.
However, there are still workplaces that require workers cover their tattoos at all times or refuse to hire someone with them. This prejudice appears to be different depending on the country as studies have shown:
- no disadvantage (University of Western Australia),
- could even be an added plus (University of Miami, US),
- and will or might be a hindrance to being hired (Workopolis, Canada).
In general, do people judge those with tattoos?
It depends. Most people no longer care what others do with their own bodies. But there are still people who believe that getting a tattoo is a stupid decision. Some think that someone with tattoos is untrustworthy and even looks like a criminal. This has been true in Asia in particular. For a long time, the only people in Japan with tattoos were members of the Yakuza. There has been a bit of a mindset shift in the past few years as more foreigners visit the country. Others believe it makes a person less attractive, less intelligent, and overall less desirable. Just as in the past you had to dress up to enter a casino (still the case for some), there still unfortunately remain some prejudices against people with tattoos. When it comes to playing online casino games, there is no judgement – come as you are and have fun!