It seems, especially within western culture, that there has always been a kind of ‘tattoo taboo’ the idea that having a tattoo makes you ineligible to join mainstream society. The concept of a tattoo as art rather than a rebellious gesture seems to be a newly emerging construct and this new way of thinking has really made a push in the last twenty years.

While the total percentage of Americans who have a tattoo is around fourteen, the number of citizens age 18-25 sporting body art is at thirty-six percent and climbing; especially when we see that folks 26 to 40 have a forty percent chance to be representing a tattooers artwork. These growing numbers are reflected in the workplace as well, around seventy percent of people believe they would be negatively affected by having tattoos or piercings but that same percentage of people say that having a visible tattoo wouldn’t influence their hiring decisions. In fact, bad breath will negatively affect your chances of being hired more than a tattoo, so get flossing before you decide against a tattoo because of that upcoming interview.

That’s not to say tattoo discrimination doesn’t still exist but the point is it’s on the decline, with only 6 percent of hiring coordinators stating they wouldn’t hire somebody due to a tattoo, and a meager 4 percent of tattooed individuals feeling discriminated at their current jobs. As with every piece of art, yours will affect different people in different ways and this is something you should take into consideration. The point of art is to illicit a response from the viewer and that is something you as a living canvas will still need to remember when placing artwork on your body.

Remember location, context and imagery matter because people can’t help but react to the visual stimuli you provide, however this is no longer a time when simply having a tattoo will illicit a negative response.