Saturday, 15 May 2010

Inky fingers

I've just finished reading an excellent article in this month's issue of 'Skin Deep' about workplace prejudice in relation to body art, which I would recommend people check out. This comes hot on the heels of a friend of mine losing marks during an assessed presentation for having her tattoos on show. Apparently tattoos do not convey a professional image and demonstrate a lack of business acumen. This is clearly rubbish. Some of the most successful business people I know are covered in ink.

It's got me thinking about tattoo prejudice, and there have been many excellent articles already written on the subject which I won't rehash here. When I started working at Skunx, there were certain members of my extended family who were horrified, who couldn't understand why I'd chosen to work 'in that environment'.

Now I've never hid my tattoos from anyone, I don't just get to see these family members very often. I've met people who are heavily tattooed and who live with their parents, but keep themselves covered up even in the summer, for fear their parents might discover their 'little secrets'. When I was planning my latest backpiece, my mum begged me to 'think of my wedding dress', a sentiment I didn't understand then and even less now. I'm buying dresses that showcase my tattoo, not cover them up.

The majority of customers I've seen during my short time here, have seriously considered their lifetime commitment to the artwork they are undertaking. They trust the artists to implement their designs and wishes through the medium of tattooing. They are making a conscious decision to express something about themselves through the medium of ink. Of course you get the odd idiot who wants their boyfriend's name permanently written on their wrist, even though they've only been together a month. Those are not typical Skunx customers and we refuse to do it.

As far as the prejudice displayed by members of my family; leave it with me. I'm working on it.

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