Tattoos finally becoming a social norm

The US Army has always been known for its strict dress and appearance policies, but recently their controversial tattoo policy, which has been in effect since last March, has become more tolerant of modern social norms. Under the current policy, soldiers are allowed to have a maximum of four small tattoos on their legs and arms.  In contrast the soon-to-be-implemented new policy, spurred by soldiers’ complaints, will do away with many of these rules.

Soldiers use tattoos to express themselves and after fighting for our freedom, they should get freedom of their own. Extreme tattoos such as face and neck tattoos along with any tattoos with “racist, sexist, or extremist imagery” will still be banned. The former might be risks to the soldiers’ safety and the latter can cause conflicts between the people who are supposed to be a united fighting force against our enemies.

So if even the US Army is easing up on tattoo regulations, doesn’t that mean companies looking to hire should ease up on it as well? If 2 men walking into an interview are identical in terms of degrees and experience, the man without ink is more likely to get the job. We all know that the reason is because he’s deemed the more professional-looking person.

But his lack of ink doesn’t make him better for the job. Tattoos have nothing to do with intelligence levels, how hardworking a person is, or their honesty. When it comes down to it, they’re just ways to express yourself like the man in my English class who always wears bright oxfords or my professor who dyes her hair blonde. They’re still seen as professionals despite how they appear, a privilege many tattooed citizens don’t receive.

It says something about the shallowness of our society that instead of being measured by our character, we’re being measured by our looks. Tattoos are a part of modern societal norms and businesses have to start adapting to the world around them. Imagine how many amazing workers and mavericks they’ve turned down over the years just because they had tattoos!

We’re the new generation and it is up to us to form the new definition of “professional”. It is a definition that includes all those who’ve been discriminated against: the ethnic and racial minorities, those in the LGBT spectrum, the pierced, and lastly, the tattooed. Our definition of “professional” will base people off their skills, their passion, and the goodness of their heart, not the way they choose to express themselves.

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