For the first time in thirteen years I have to concern myself with being able to cover my tattoos for a job. The employer has not told me to do so – in fact, they don’t even know about my tattoos – but rather, I’m thinking that to reveal an arm full of skulls and green flames (among other designs) may not be initially in my best interest. I could be way off-base in thinking this, but I’d rather play it safe and reveal the body art further down the road.
It was a conscious decision on how far down my arm my tattoos venture; I only get inked down to the middle of my upper arm, that way I can cover up in more conservative situations. Regarding the past six years (the majority of the arm work was done in that timeframe), I can only think of three occasions where I made the decision to hide my tattoos. I must add that these three occasions were all my idea and totally voluntary; no one has ever asked me to cover up. I am generally in open-minded company.
So here’s the tricky part: Since I’ve not worried about covering up tattoos in the past, I’ve not bothered to construct a wardrobe for that purpose. Most short sleeves reveal a couple of inches of ink beneath the cuff. I find myself in a tattoo-coverage material deficit. It’s no big deal to fix this situation with appropriate clothing purchases, but it’s very alien for me to think about whether my tattoos are showing or not. I’m proud of them, I love them, and I want more, but I find myself grateful that I planned ahead for the unpredictable path of life.
It’s funny, I love to look at Suicide Girls and other inked pin-up chicks, but have the heavily tattooed girls (most much younger than me) doomed their career prospects with their expressions or is society just too old fashioned and uptight? Could you take a girl (or guy) seriously in a meeting if you noticed they had ‘EVIL’ or ‘FUCK’ spelled in plain sight (like across the fingers) or had a hand of playing cards tattooed on her neck? I think we’re going to see a lot more heavily tattooed people in public facing jobs – and I mean non-minimum wage or behind-the-scenes type jobs – but I wouldn’t be surprised if removal procedures are skyrocketing in popularity either.
It seems society is becoming a bit more tolerant through exposure, but we’re still a long way off from not jumping to conclusions on the lifestyles people have based on their choice of body modification. Until that time comes, I’m going to have to wear long sleeves now and then. I prefer to believe I’m not caving to the pressures of a judgemental society, but rather, I know which battles are worth me fighting and this one doesn’t make the list. Keep your eyes peeled for my fashion prediction: long-sleeved shirts and turtlenecks are going to be so very ‘in’ over the next decade or so. 😉