Tattoos- the reality

Instead of seeing tattoos as a sign that the bearer is unprofessional and all the arguments that ensues let’s turn it on its head.
Why not instead think of all the positives that people with tattoos could bring?
In my opinion the narrative needs to change completely- I have a vested interest in this clearly but also in a world where equity should be closer than it was , there are so many areas in which we are no closer.
So here I go again trying to change perceptions of body art. The truth is that tattoos are lifelong and many have stories behind them, they are painful and lasting – surely that tells you something about the character of the wearer/bearer?

T- totally committed- we commit to a feeling, a memory, a design and go for it! There are few things more long term than tattoos and it should be a symbol that the wearer has strong abiding beliefs. 
A- authentic- we truly wear our heart on our sleeve, there’s no hiding and this should be celebrated- how many people are willing to put themselves out there and be their true selves?
T- true- We don’t worry about what others might think about our design as it’s personal – it’s our own truth and that says so much about our commitment to ourself and our story. I think this show’s individuality and a commitment to being ourselves
T- therapeutic 
In a world where many struggle with mental health, tattoos for many can bring about emotional healing, start a grieving process or support a life change, cover scars or be a reminder of life changing events. To me it signifies a real strength and a recognition that struggles need to be remembered for us to move on. 
O- only – only certain people have tattoos is one of the myths associated with them- actually many different ‘types ‘ of people have tattoos just as many different ‘types’ of people wear clothes I wouldn’t wear or have hairstyles I don’t like or behave in ways I don’t like but none of these are reasons to think they cannot do a particular role. Tattoo’s originally were only worn by princesses so the current view that they are for the less educated is a long way from their origin.
O- old fashioned views- in years gone by tattoos were seen as working class, unprofessional and ‘common’. Let’s also remember that in years gone by homosexuality was illegal, in years gone by it was ok to use certain language we now know is offensive & women were not permitted to work-the view has changed in many areas but seemingly not towards tattoos??
S- so…..
So we have a long way to go to normalise attitudes towards tattoos.
It doesn’t help when staff uniform policies state they must be covered.
Proud to say none of my schools will ever have this policy- in my opinion no organisation calling themselves one which focuses on equality, diversity & equity should- it is like an organisation stating they are anti racist and yet not having pro Afro hair policies. 
My plea? 
Stop judging a book by its cover or in my case my professionalism or ability to do my job by the art on my body. 

One thought on “Tattoos- the reality

  1. I’m also lucky to work in a school that hasn’t requested me to cover my tattoos but a previous school made stuff cover them, one staff had to use blue plasters to cover hers. As long as there is nothing offensive, there is no reason to require covering. My dad was a paramedic and their rule (along with other emergency professions) was bare below the elbow and we’re not allowed to discriminate because of artwork. I find that my tattoos can be a talking point with children and parents, there is a large amount of tattooed parents out there and they’re hardly going to complain. The education profession needs to loosen up. I’ve had more issues about having coloured hair than my tattoos. We’re individuals attempting to raise strong, independent and well rounded young people, let’s show them it’s ok to be different!

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