The Issue of Appropriateness of Tattoos in the Workplace


This paper analyzes whether tattoos are appropriate for the workplace. It examines the reasons for and reasons against tattoos in the workplace. The paper provides an extensive analysis of the evolution of workplaces and how this has been affected by external factors. Finally, there are recommendations based on the analysis.


Tattoos have for a long time been considered as part of a retrogressive culture that gets widely frowned upon by those of a more professional and cultured setup. It is because of its association with most of the socially dysfunctional characters and social ills. Nevertheless, this perception has been seen to change in the recent past.

Thesis statement: Tattoos are appropriate in the workplace. They may not fit in the context but are not indicative of poor personal performance. At work, a person should be judged by their productivity and not appearance. This paper seeks to examine why this should be so.


In recent years, periods have been greatly analyzed and divided in that over the last 200 years we have had modernity, neo-modernity, post-modernity, and ultra-modernity. It has affected the social, economic, and political set significantly around the world. And the business working environment has not been spared. The revolution is visible through a lot of things that have been changing over the years. From the dress code to the acceptable holidays all this correlated to the environment that includes the social, political, and economic sectors. A change in one area is substantially reflected through all these spheres as they all affect each other.

A proper review of tattoos

The change has since come about due to various factors, mostly the fact that times are changing and as time changes the world view, and opinions change. These changes are orchestrated by social, economic, and political factors through legislation. This paper seeks to examine the aptness of tattoos in a workable setup. In this analysis, we look at all the factors and how tattoos can be deemed either appropriate or inappropriate in a modern working environment.

A modern worldview

Looking specifically at the case of tattoos, the changing times can be seen to change people’s perceptions in the workplace. Traditionally tattoos were considered backward and degenerate; they seemed like a ‘bad boy’ or ‘bad girl’ thing and whoever had the one would immediately be regarded as an outlaw. Due to being used extensively and becoming commonplace this has been steadily changing and becoming a culture accepted among coworkers.

Ability over Appearance

Another change that has been revolutionary for the ordinary day-to-day working environment is the use of merit over appearance to judge the work. It has played a significant role, especially in a capitalist setup where little is considered about a person’s appearance just since they can get the job done.

The influence of the political setup

The above factors are dictated by the social and economic setups in the business environment. In the political arena, we have individual rights concerning freedom of expression and freedom from discrimination based on dressing or expression. It ensures that there is a little bias in the work environment, just because a person has a tattoo. All these factors, however, cannot override the overall and major aspect that is that it is a workplace. Moreover, a workplace is a place governed by professionalism and, therefore, appearance is everything.


The discussion of tattoos in the workplace is indeed an imperative question. In my assessment, a person should not be judged by their appearance for the type of tattoo or body art and may not necessarily reflect on whether an individual is good or bad. A person should get judged on merit and their ability to be productive and efficient in the workplace. In as much as I may not frown on the adorning of tattoos, workers should realize that they are in a professional workplace where appearances do matter. Therefore, there should be a minimal distraction from the main professional agenda that is the main reason that one is in the workplace.

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