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Acquiring tattoos without thinking of the consequences COM / 150 March 07, 2010 Michaela Roessner-Herman Tattoos: The 21st century status symbol. Individuals are crowding the tattoo shops to become part of this new wave crossing the country. This symbol admits them to the greatest show on earth. They become part of an elite group who has a sense of belonging and able to express their personalities without limits. Tattoos have been a part of history for hundred of years and cultures adopted tattooing for different symbolic meaning.

In the Brief History of Tattoos and Body Arts (2007), some cultures tattoos symbolized strength, bravery, and spirituality while other cultures tattoos symbolized a form of punishments, outcast, and slavery. In today’s society, tattoos are simply body arts and a way of expression. Tattoos popularity is increasing among teens and young adults. Peer pressure is a cause for many young adults’ tattoos without thinking of the consequences this decision will have on their future. For some, a tattoo is a way of fitting in, feeling a sense of belonging and making a fashion statement.

Reality shows, newspaper ads, TV ads and the Internet are all big influences regarding tattoos. These media sources depict tattoos as cool and creative status symbols. Athletes’ tattoos symbolize their strength, rappers’ their sense of accomplishment, Armed Forces for honor, actors, and actresses simply as body art. Other individuals’ tattoos represent personal meaning for a love one. Although tattoos can be nice, they carry negative connotations. Gang members’ tattoos are part of an initiation and show what gang they are with and prison inmates tattoos display membership to a certain groups as well as a part of a coding system.

Even with the pain a person go through for a tattoo, he or she seldom think about the risks. Considered as cosmetics, the one thing tattoos have in common are health risks. Think before you Ink: Are Tattoos Safe? (2009), explains tattoo inks are not approved by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) and many reports of bad reactions has started an investigation into tattoos safety. In Tattoos: Understanding risks and precautions (2010), when acquiring a tattoo; a tattoo artist uses a tattoo gun to apply color ink under the skin with needles.

This process breaks the skin allowing bacteria to penetrate developing skin infections. Skin infections cause increasing redness, pain, swelling, and rashes. Tattoos are performed with needles increasing the development of other health risks such as Hepatitis, tuberculosis (TB), HIV and AIDS. A person who suffers from allergies can have an allergic reaction to the color ink (especially red dye that is non-hypoallergenic) that cause swelling, itching, hives, and with sever allergies, anaphylactic shock – a fatal systemic reaction. Health risks are not uncommon with tattoos.

Many people frequent tattoo shops and have to depend on the shops employees to sterilize their equipments in effective and safe way. With of the popularity of tattoos, corporate America is beginning to see more tattoos in the workplace. Young adults with entry-level desire to work in corporate America faces judgment especially if the corporation fears employees’ tattoos will hurt their professional appearance. In some corporations with older executives, strict policies regarding visible tattoos are written in the company’s policy and enforced.

Individuals with tattoos working in corporate America believes they are protected by the First Amendment rights to freedom of expression. This is not the case in the workplace. The article titled Body art in the workplace, confirms that “companies have a constitutional right to ban employees with tattoos. Companies can limit employees’ personal expression on the job as long as they do not impinge on their civil liberties. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), employers re allowed to impose dress codes and appearance policies as long as they do not discriminate or hinder a person’s race, color, religion, age, national origin, or gender. ” KnowledgeHR International (2010). Body art in the workplace. Retrieved February 2010. People entering corporate America believe they can cover up their tattoos. This is true depending on the size of the tattoo and how many he or she has. All too often people allow their emotions to dictate the numbers and size of their tattoos.

Unfortunately, this choice connects them to the negative association that was once attached to bikers, gang members, and prison inmates. This bias assessment is a barrier to career advancement. Promotions’ overlooked because visible tattoos are unprofessional looking and during interviews denied employment. This type of prejudice has led many people regretting their tattoos. Individuals who regret their tattoo is causing the dermatology industry to rocket. This decision, in some cases, has become a barrier for employment and for others; the symbol that once had meaning no longer exist.

One of the most regrettable tattoo people insist on receiving is the name of a boyfriend, girlfriend, wife, or husband. (Hudson, 2009). Tattoos are meant to be “forever” and there are times when relationships or marriages are over and the constant reminder of his or hers name inked in the skin presents an expensive problem. Depending on the size and the location of a tattoo, the removal can be costly and painful. Hudson (2010) states several options for tattoo removal to include Laser, Intense Pulsed Light Therapy (IPL), and do- it-yourself creams.

The laser removal is the most common for tattoos removal. Considering the size of the tattoo and the ink colors, removal can take from one to 10 sessions with no guarantee of scarring; each session costing in the range of $250 – $850. Despite the expense and pain, people are willing to go through any lengths to have this process performed. Individuals have choices. With choices come consequences. Consequences can be in the form of a positive or negative outcome. When making a permanent choice, think about not only the moment; consider the future.



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