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Tattoos not taboo: Acceptance growing


Once upon a time, tattoos were
only for criminals and prostitutes.
At least that’s what I was told when
I was screamed at by one of my
favorite uncles when I got a new
tattoo. He said that I was a disgrace
to my family and that I would
never get a job because of a tattoo.
Granted, he’s 73 years old, and
when he was growing up, this may
have been true. Of course, I didn’t
think that this was accurate and
went to discover what companies
and people thought of tattoos in
Alex is a back-of-the-house
specialist for the Apple store in
Bonita Springs.
“Apple doesn’t have a policy on
tattoos, whether they are visible or
not. We don’t discriminate against
any person applying for a job based
on something as superficial as a
tattoo,” he said.
With Apple being one of the
largest corporations in the world,
I continued looking at large
corporations, such as Publix.
“Hourly employees do not have
to cover any visible tattoos unless
they can be considered offensive
or profane,” said John Mongello,
a produce manager for Publix in
“Managers are required to cover
their tattoos. I have tattoos covering
my arms, so I wear long-sleeved
shirts to work. I cover my tattoos
not only because of the policy
for managers at Publix, but also
because it’s the professional thing
to do,” Mongello said.
Out of 100 FGCU students
between the ages of 18-28 that
were surveyed, 30 students had
tattoos somewhere on their body.
Many of the students who didn’t
have any tattoos had personal
reasons for not wanting to have
them. Others said that they wanted
to get a tattoo but they either
couldn’t afford to do so or they
hadn’t decided on something that
meant enough to them to put it
permanently on their body. Some
students who did not have tattoos
admitted to being afraid of needles,
while others felt strongly about the
reason they didn’t have tattoos.
Of the 70 students who did not
have tattoos, there were five who
used religion as their reasoning
for not having tattoos. Of the five
students, one was of Jewish decent,
one of Muslim and three were
Christians. They all gave the similar
reasons for not having tattoos. The
Christians agreed that the Bible
tells us that God created us in His
image and our body is not our own
to change. The men who were
Jewish and Muslim agreed that
your body is your temple and you
do not desecrate your temple.
Thirty percent of the students
surveyed have tattoos and none
of them believe that their tattoos
are going to hinder them from
obtaining a job in their field of
I expanded the companies
and fields that students may be
applying for. I went from private
industry large corporations to
private industry small corporations
to government entities.
According to Alexis Rothring
at the San Carlos Fire District, their
policy states that tattoos or body art
on the face or head are prohibited.
However, all other visible tattoos are
only prohibited if they are obscene,
sexually explicit or advocate or
symbolize sex, gender, racial,
religion, ethnic or national-origin
discrimination. In addition all visible
tattoos, body art and/or brands
that advocate or symbolize gang
affiliation, supremacist or extremist
groups or drug use are prohibited.
John Butherus is the multimedia
sports reporter for the Naples
Daily News. He told me that he is
the “most inked-up journalist in
all of Southwest Florida.” NDN has
a rule that when he is out in the
community he must wear long
pants to cover his tattoos. However,
they have a rule that states if it’s
85 degrees or hotter, he can wear
shorts, and he has never had any
complaints about his tattoos.
Gina Jantzen works for a large
accounting corporation, Ernst and
Young. She sent me the policy for
dress code at the company. The
policy does have any specifics about
tattoos. They require professional
attire, which employees adhere to
by covering visible tattoos on their
With the range of companies
hiring employees regardless of
their tattoos, students are not going
to have trouble finding jobs in their
fields. In the year 2014, tattoos have
become something so common that
there’s no reason for people to fear
that getting body art is going to
hold them back in any way.

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