For today’s Millennials, tattoos have become one of the most expressed and popular art forms. The artistry of some tattoos are equivalent to live action portraits. Tattoos even hold symbolic and even emotional value.

These creative inks are not what they used to be. They are self-expressions for the soul-searching generation.

While some employers have embraced tattoos and self-expression, there are some companies that still associate tattoos with unprofessionalism and poor appearance. Tattoos have become a significant part of the Millennial culture and are works of pride, so is it really fair to penalize job-searching college graduates for their artistic creativity?

It is no secret that tattoos have gotten a bad reputation, being associated with criminal or violent activity. Getting a tattoo is considered an at-risk-behavior for adolescents. This is the a big difference between Baby Boomers and Millennials. Millennials have embraced tattooing while Boomers are unsupportive of the artistry.

In the study “Body Art, Deviance, and American College Students,” Jerome Koch, a sociology professor at Texas Tech University, stated individuals who have heavy ink done are more prone to having involvement in illegal drug use and binge drinking.

With studies like these circulating the internet, inked young adults will continue to draw the short end of the stick when it comes to acceptance in professional settings.

Tattoos in professional settings can have their benefits. Ink promotes creativity in the workplace; this creativity will allow employees to think outside the box, especially for those who go into the fashion industry. Tattoos can inspire individuals to experiment with their own property; their property being their own bodies.

A survey conducted by Aaron Gouveia, a contributing writer of salary.com, showed that in a sample of 2,700 people, 43 percent believed tattoos reflect that poor employment and preconceived prejudices is stunting the furthering of fresh graduates in their careers.

Self-expression is the ultimate motivator, and the negative reputation of tattoos should no longer be a factor. Millennials’ motivation behind their tattoos is culturally influenced. Employers should look at whether the person has the potential ability to perform the job.

However, this is not the case in most situations. This unethical bias has led to discrimination against people with tattoos or other bodily alterations. According to CareerBuilder, tattoos are the third most likely factor to affect one’s career.

More maturity needs to be established about the appearances of others. In a judgmental society, the process of treating individuals fairly will be just as challenging as promoting acceptance of any civil right.

According to a Pew Research Survey, 40 percent of Millennials have tattoos and plan on getting more. It is time to change the perception of tattoo in the professional world. With the difficulties in some fields of finding a job after college graduation, new graduates should not have to worry if their free expression through their bodies will affect their chances of finding a job.

An open door policy on tattoos would be much appreciated from members of the tattooed community.

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