The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Tattoos blueprint to inner self

Photo by Patrick Cusack/The Collegian
Photo by Patrick Cusack/The Collegian

By Haron Murra-Kapon/feature editor

Photo by Patrick Cusack/The Collegian
Photo by Patrick Cusack/The Collegian

Tattoos seem to be colorful silent messages that speak about the person wearing them.

Because tattoos are more accepted now than in the past, more people are getting them. However, are tattoos just a cool way to advertise oneself or can they create a bad image in the workplace?

Sandra Walker, coordinator of student career and employment services on NE Campus, said tattoos not visible are better. If the tattoos are visible but do not harm the image of the college, Walker said she would consider the students for employment.

However, if students have higher career goals, Walker said they might want to think twice before putting a tattoo in a visible place such as the face, hands or neck.

One of the tips Walker offers students preparing for a job interview is a conservative appearance if applying for a conservative type job.

“ During the interview, you don’t want the employer to focus on your body [body art/tattoos] or jewelry but on what you have to offer in your accomplishments,” she said.

Walker said people should think ahead what type of industry they want to work in before tattooing a visible body part.

NATIONAL SURVEY, a career information Web site, conducted an online survey where more than 500 readers posted their comments on tattoos and the workplace. About 44 percent of the employers said they would lower their opinion of someone based on their body art; 58 percent said they would be less likely to offer the job to an applicant with visible tattoos or piercings, and 10 percent said they would take disciplinary actions against employees who got visible tattoos or piercings.

“ Certain jobs accept tattoos and piercings willingly while others do not,” one employer commented. “There is still a stigma attached to them. And, unfortunately, appearances are more important than substance or skill in most industries.”

While body self-expression is a right, certain art images in certain places could be offensive or harm the reputation of an employee’s company.

One survey participant said he likes tattoos and has them, but he will cover them for work. And while he is proud of them, he said he will not let them jeopardize any good standing at his job.

A manager said he has tattoos and never revealed them with his fellow workers until the day the company went on a mountain retreat. He said he has been treated differently ever since.


Ricardo Coronado, associate vice chancellor for human resources at TCC, said the employer has the right to address the employee for visible tattoos or piercings. The employer does not violate anti-discriminatory laws on gender, race, religion or disability. He said that although tattoos are becoming more visible, the employers reserve the right to accept or reject such appearance in the workplace.

For some, visible tattoos should not have to interfere with the workplace. Anthony LaRose, a current TCC student, is majoring in music and has tattoos on his hands and piercings in his face.

“ I don’t really care if it affects my job,” he said.

However, if the job opportunity of his dreams required him to cover up his most visible tattoos, he said he would consider doing so.


In addition to possible career goal obstacles, potential complications are related to applying permanent ink under the skin. On its Web site, the FDA said people should be aware of more than 150 reports of adverse reactions in consumers to certain permanent makeup ink shades.

In addition, concerns raised by the scientific community regarding the pigments used in these inks have prompted FDA to investigate the safe use of tattoo inks. Although they are not regulated yet, the FDA said any pigments used in tattoo inks are not approved for skin contact at all. Some are industrial grade colors suitable for printers’ ink or automobile paint.

Researching and looking for a safe place where proper procedures, such as sterilizing needles after each use, are implemented is protection and good thinking, according to, which is operated by a registered nurse and educator.

Risks with Tattoos

• Infection can arise from unsterile equipment and needles.

• Removal problems include pain, lengthy treatments, great expense and scarring.

• Allergic reactions can result from certain shades of ink in permanent makeup, marketed by a particular manufacturer. They are rare, but they can appear several years after the tattoo.

• Granulomas (nodules) can form around particles of tattoo pigment.

• Keloids (abnormal scarring) can form in someone who is prone to keloid formation.

• MRI complications are rare and with no evidence of lasting effects, but some tattooed areas may swell or burn during MRIs.

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