Tattoos have made their mark on some students at Stanislaus State and there are doubts about whether or not these permanent marks hold students back from career opportunities.

Social acceptances are changing and these advances happen in the workplace. It is a stereotypical judgement to name one with tattoos as unprofessional or intimidating. Although, some professions expect and require a certain appearance.

Diana Gutierrez (freshman, Criminal Justice) described the struggles she has experienced having tattoos, “I don’t believe that there is equal opportunity for those who do have visible tattoos versus those who do not. Whenever I got to an interview, I let my tattoos show because I want the interviewers to see me for me. I never get a callback. I feel like it is easier for an establishment to hire someone with a tattoo, even if they both meet the same qualifications.”

“I have had two jobs offered to me being related to tattoos, such as photo shoots and tattoo apprentice. It is unfair because I do not want to do either of those things but they seem to be the only jobs I would for sure get. It is much harder when a person is heavily tattooed...My tattoos do not define who I am as a person and employers need to stop being so old fashioned” Gutierrez added.

In a 2015 survey by the Harris Poll published on the cite, Cision PR Newswire found that “About three in ten Americans (29%) have at least one tattoo, up from roughly two in ten (21%) just four years ago. What's more, few inked Americans stop at one; among those with any tattoos, seven in ten (69%) have two or more”.

Ashlea Green (sophomore, Liberal Studies) described the meaning behind her tattoos, “The tattoo of the blue ribbon is important to me because my mom has the same one. It is the Type 1 diabetes ribbon and my mom got it to match mine in support of me because I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2018. Other than matching my mom, it is important to me because it serves as a medical alert tattoo for me as well, letting people know my case of an emergency that I’m diabetic. The tattoo on my arm is also meaningful to me because I have loved and admired wolves since I was young, they are beautiful animals which is why I got the tattoo. The wolf in my tattoo also has my Husky’s facial markings so not only does the tattoo represent my love for wolves but it also has the face of my dog who I love even more” she said.

Tattoos can be an image worth a thousand words.

Angel Delarosa, a tattoo artist from central California, works at Top Shelf Tattoo in Turlock, California, gave some advice, “Just way out the odds, be sure, if you’re not sure don’t get it... You can be the best in the world at what you do, is someone really going to stop you?”

Delarosa also emphasizes that when getting a tattoo the first concern is if that tattoo shop uses clean needles or ink, he emphasizes the responsibility the consumer needs, by researching and asking questions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also mentions the importance of cleanliness a tattoo shop needs to display.

Anthony Alexander (junior, Psychology) described his impression of tattoos. “I can respect the person that is willing to show who they are full, some people are for tattoos some people aren’t, but I feel like it gives you a deeper sense of personality because now you are telling your story in an art form,” Alexander said.

There are employers in Stanislaus County who have given equal job opportunity to those with and without visible tattoos.

 Ashley English a Business Developer in Turlock, explained how her workspace has accepted employees with tattoos, “Some of our best employees have tattoos on their face. We have had employers give us referrals of people with tattoos that their covered head to toe and they end up being great employees” English said.

Of course, each and every profession has requirements, especially when the job is interacting with the public and representing oneself and others.

Michael S. Warda (Law, Turlock) explains his observations of others in his profession. “Generally I think in the legal profession—for example: if it’s an associate attorney or it’s a staff person they don’t necessarily get to know my client very well as the client interacts just briefly. If they see someone with a sleeve of tattoos are they a little uncomfortable? Probably. I think that probably makes a difference, but I do think that it’s not prohibitive.”

That said, there has been progress with some businesses accepting the inked community.

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