The way I see things is that, although being tattooed is becoming more and more common, people are aware when they decide to become heavily tattooed that there is still a percentage of people that will stereotype you, especially within the workplace.
I thankfully have worked mainly in environments where tattoos aren't a problem, but I have also worked in one major high street fashion store where my appearance caused that job to terminate. Without naming and shaming the chain store I was pretty much told that I wasn't 'wow' enough and 'looked a mess' compared to when I was first hired and coincidentally had my tattoo's covered. I had to spend a large amount of the wages I earned buying the new trends that arrived each week, I tried to work around this rule by wearing plain black leggings as a staple part of my working outfits but was put under alot of pressure to 'dress up' more. It really wasn't me and I felt completely alienated among the other girls so therefore made the decision to leave. Agreed, it wasn't purely because of my tattooes, but my whole sense of style ( or lack of according to them).
As a photographer alot of the trade I have had so far is from friends, family, family friends and people they know. Most of my shoots are in the family's home or out on location and so far I haven't had any complains if a tattoo has been on show. However for the wedding I photographed recently I went to lengths to find an appropriate outfit that I found was respectful to all concerned. Especially when I have an old school gypsy head with a slit throat on my wrist that doesn't really send the right message about me.
Tattoos are a big part of any art collector and each piece should mean something special to you, which mine all do, but you cannot assume that others will understand from one look and not judge. I have had instances where the only empty seat on a full bus is next to me and people would rather stand after eyeing my appearance. My partner has had similar encounters when he had his ears stretched (they were quite huge) although this is another thing that seems to of become a trend.
Overall, the world is becoming more and more tolerant to all types of body modification. As someone who was bullied in school for having brightly coloured hair, piercings, to like skulls and wear skate shoes I see alot of those who made fun of me following the current fashion trends and looking how I did in school! It's more rare to see someone without any tattoos than someone with these days although being heavily tattooed is still for those most dedicated to the art instead of fashion.
Think before you ink!
Share your views in the comments :)