Indiana Daily Student

OPINION: Why do we still stigmatize tattoos?

Tattoos are becoming more common as the years go by, but there is still a stigma around them.

I have wanted to get tattoos for years, but every time I mention getting one, someone always says something along the lines of how I should be ashamed of it. I have always been so confused by that concept — I paid for it, why cover it up? I don’t see much of a point in getting a tattoo if I have to constantly keep it hidden.

I have friends whose parents would not let them get tattoos at all. I do not understand why some people are so against tattoos that they would go so far as to completely forbid them. 

If you have thought of getting one or more tattoos, do not let the stigma keep you from doing it. You can get something small, if you are concerned about people judging you, or get it in a place that is not always visible to start out. Just remember most people don't care whether you have a tattoo or not — they might even think it’s cool.

There is nothing wrong with someone seeing a tattoo and wanting to get it simply because it looks cool. A tattoo does not need to have a meaning. Everyone gets tattoos for different reasons. If it's going on someone else’s body, why do people care so much?

I understand that everyone has different opinions on things but why should someone having a tattoo change the way they are viewed? For some reason tattoos are always lumped together with being irresponsible and unprofessional. A boss judging someone because they have tattoos could make them pass up someone who would have been a great employee. I try to never judge a book by its cover for this specific reason; someone’s appearance is not all they are.

I have never understood why tattoos have prevented people from getting jobs. Like dying your hair an unnaturalcolor, tattoos alone don't make you any less qualified than someone without them. If anything, I would think someone with tattoos would show they are able to schedule appointments and follow through with them, showing their reliability.

Having tattoos has always been viewed as “unprofessional,” but I don’t understand that. Getting a tattoo shows that the person cares about something so much that they want to have it on their body forever. It shows they go through with plans, instead of just thinking about them. There are a lot of positive things that a tattoo can say about someone besides that they are “unprofessional.”

Even though getting a job with a tattoo has become easier over the years and more accepted, the overall stigma still hasn't changed much. 

This is not some new phenomenon. Tattoos have been around for decades. Whether you have tattoos or not, it does not make you any less of a person. No one should be judged for changing something about their own body. 

Olivia Franklin (she/her) is a junior studying journalism with a minor in political science. She is a member of the swim club at IU and the Women in Media organization.

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