I should probably admit, right from the get go, I have a certain amount of bias when it comes to writing this post. I don't have any tattoos or piercings, don't want any, and can't see the desire to ever do so. I think that, with only a few exceptions, that both generally look pretty silly. Having a picture drawn on your body or a piece of metal sticking through something isn't natural, and I like natural looking. Now that tattoos and piercings have become mainstream, I find the irony of expressing one's individuality by doing the same thing everyone else is quite amusing.
But, as much as I don't care for tattoos, I have to admit that the people who get them are just like the rest of us. Heck, chances are that most of you reading this have some sort of body art. I would never break up with a girl who had a tattoo, or talk down to someone else just because they had body art, or anything like that. All sorts of people are deciding to get tats, they're not just for bikers and sailors anymore.

Still, should you get inked? You might want to slow down a little before you get that full sleeve tattoo you've been dreaming of ever since you saw that guy on TV with one. Here's why.

Baby Boomers Still Don't Like Them

At one of my former jobs, the company had a very strict policy when it came to tattoos and piercings. It was, quite simply, they couldn't be visible. If you had forearm tattoos, you'd be required to wear a long sleeve shirt underneath your short sleeve uniform top. If you had a nose piercing, it would have to be removed for the duration of your shift. I didn't know of anyone who ever got fired because of this policy, but many people were given warnings about it.
I never did ask management what the thought process was behind the policy, but I think I know what the thought process was. In a business that serves all sorts of people, they didn't want to take the chance of offending anybody. And although body art has become quite mainstream, there are still older members of the population that have held on to the stereotype that only nogoodniks get tattoos. These people probably spend a lot of their time yelling at teenagers to get off their lawn.

Stereotypes Still Exist

I know a salesman that is basically covered in tattoos. If you combine that with his big bushy beard, you get an interesting looking guy.
And, as a result, he's not really taken that seriously. Rather than being the man, he's just kind of some guy. No amount of arguing can convince me that his body art doesn't have something to do with it.
Humans have a tendency to scoff at members of society that don't conform to our idea of normal. Even in a society where body art is normal, we're still not used to seeing people with a lot of visible tattoos, especially in professional situations. If you don't fit in, people will ridicule you. They might not do it out loud, but they will do it in their heads. Is that what you want going through a potential boss's or customer's head when they meet you?

The Solution

Fortunately for all you tattoo fans, the solution to this problem is quite easy. All you have to do is get your tattoo somewhere where it'll be covered up with clothes at least most of the time. That way you can maintain an appearance that says all business, and yet be ready to party when the clothes come off. Sounds like a sexy time!
Or, if you're so passionate about your body altercations, you can just go nuts and not care about the consequences. But, until all the older folks and prudes kick the bucket, you might have to deal with some resistance to your alternative lifestyle. You can argue all you want that someone shouldn't be judged on their appearance, but that's not going to make it not happen. Knowing this, why take the chance?