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I Thought Dress Codes Stopped in High School

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I Thought Dress Codes Stopped in High School

Remember how, in high school, we couldn’t wait to grow up?
We were so ready to be adults so that we could do what we wanted, whenever we wanted, and wear the clothes, and body accessories, we chose to wear.
Or so we thought, until we got our first grown-up jobs, where the interviewing managers told us that if we had visible piercings and tattoos, they could not hire us.

Once Upon a Time…

Once upon a time, we thought we could combat this as a form of discrimination, which is, of course, against the law.
However, because it (in most cases) has nothing to do with our religion or ethnicity, that is not the case.
In fact, in most states, it is perfectly legal to refuse job positions or certain promotions to those who have visible body modifications.
It is also not against the law to force employees to wear specific uniforms to cover tattoos and piercings, even if other employees are not required to wear them.

Of course, some companies develop their own policies on their dress code.
Some of them may ask that you only cover certain tattoos, ones that customers or clients could consider offensive or distasteful, and wear smaller, more delicate and less noticeable jewelry.

There are even a few companies who celebrate body modifications of all types and encourage employees to show off what their mod artist gave them, such as Gothic and punk clothing stores, adult novelty stores, etc.

Tattooed Girl


What Can I Do About My Tattoo?

So, what can we do about the injustice against body modification in the work force?
To be honest, not much, in some companies.
They have the right to hire less inked or metal-headed individuals if they so choose, just as we have the right to decorate our bodies any way we please.
And in some instances, the aversion to body jewelry has more to do with safety regulations and concerns than with the appearance of the individual wearing them.
For example, a construction site may prefer that employees not wear any jewelry at all, including necklaces or wedding rings, depending on the equipment they use.
Most protective facial gear only covers your eyes and head, and nose or septum piercings can get caught in all kinds of equipment in the strangest of ways (believe me, I’ve seen it)! And although tattoos are not exactly dangerous in construction, when machinery maims them, it’s not a lovely picture, either. Yes, I’ve seen that, too!

If, however, the company for which you work (or wish to work) limits or prohibits your body modifications for the sake of appearance and clientele peace of mind, we have a few suggestions.

  • Apply makeup to tattoos you can’t cover with work appropriate clothing. Yes guys, this means you, too! We don’t judge, we promise!
  • As we mentioned above, try putting smaller jewelry in your piercings, or even clear retainers.
  • If you can do so inconspicuously, cover larger gaged piercings with band aids.
  • Remove any piercings that won’t close up within a few hours, and put them back in once you leave work for the day.

Tattooed Girl White Tintop

You’re Amazing Just the Way You Are!

The final tip we have is the most important to us, because we love you exactly as you are!
Try to do a little homework on the companies for which you intend to apply.
Start with the ones that have more lenient policies on body modifications.
If you can get a job with a place that allows you to be who you are always, you will be a much happier and more productive employee anyway!

If you have any tips you use to survive strict dress code rules in your work place, or some new ones you want to try, we want to hear from you!
Let us know what works; we always enjoy new information and opportunities to open discussions with our daring rebels!
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