Body Modifications in the Workplace 10/18/2011
Stop for a second and take a look around you. Ten bucks says you were able to spot someone with a tattoo, piercing and/or unnatural hair coloring. It seems that these days it has become more socially acceptable to have body modifications, yet it is still a taboo subject in many workplaces.
Many businesses are extremely strict on their body modification rules, allowing only piercings in the lobes, natural hair colors and tattoos that are easily covered, while you can walk into other establishments and see tattoos covering almost every part of their employee's skin possible.
Yes, there are some tattoos that are inappropriate no matter the situation. But for every ridiculous tattoo, there are three thought-out, meaningful tattoos. In some cases, it is understandable to have them covered up, such as when the tattoos have vulgar language or crude pictures. Other tattoos have deeper, more appropriate meanings such as a loved one’s passing or a quote that makes one stronger. Why hide them? They are not inhibiting anyone to do their work. Why not let someone display something that took so much hard work that means a lot to him or her?
Piercings are another “hot topic” in many work places. Simple war piercings are not bad. One of my jobs allows me only two in the lobes, but none anywhere else. While some people do go a bit crazy with their piercings to the extent I’d be afraid for their lives if they walked past a magnet, others keep it classy. A simple Monroe or lip piercing is not much. Many customers come in with many more piercings than that. Telling your employee that they look trashy is more or less saying the customer does as well.
Hair color is… hair color. Some people can take it to the extremes where they don’t remember their original hair color. Adding a streak of red or purple is not affecting the service or ability to work of the employee. It does not get in the way. Some argue that it could get in the food, but will natural colored hair not?
Times change. Tattoos, piercings and hair colorings were taboo, but now they are as common as necklaces and rings. Three-feet long, purple and green Liberty Spikes may not be the best choice for work and may not get you takes seriously in the law office, but as long as your choice of accessories do not impede your ability to work or have something blatantly offensive, there is no reason to ban them from workplaces.