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Site returns to this domain

I will once again be writing on this domain and blog. I will no longer be writing at due to the cost to own the site.


Tattoos becoming more acceptable in the work place

Here is a recent editorial I wrote for my college newspaper where I am the editor. I thought it would be great to post here.

Tattoos are not just for sailors and criminals anymore; we are seeing them everywhere these days. People of all ages can be seen getting tattoos, from the elderly to the younger generations who are expected to have them.

Tattoos have become more than just a gang sign or to show that someone served in the military. For most people it is a work of art they can carry with them forever, a way to forever capture a memory of something or someone important to them. Or a person could even have tattoos representing their culture. But there is still the question of tattoos being acceptable in the work place.

Some companies still do not approve of tattoos, see them as unprofessional, and assume that whoever has one is unprofessional, which of course is far from the truth. Chances are, if a company does not want its employees to have tattoos, they have a set tattoo policy. If an interviewer sees a potential employee with a visual tattoo, they could allow that to be a deciding factor in whether or not they offer that person a job.

A potential argument to this would be that people should be allowed self-expression, even in the workplace. But companies can limit personal expression as long as they do not limit ones civil liberties. According to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, employers are allowed to impose appearance policies as long as they do not discriminate against a person’s race, color, religion, age, national origin, or gender.

Other companies are able to look past a persons tattoo and look more at what that person can do for them and the rest of the company. According to Diane Ruksnaitis, Associate Vice President of Human Resources, at Mount Wachusett Community College(my college) there is no policy regarding tattoos for faculty or staff members here.

Some employers have gone as far as allowing “tasteful” tattoos to be visible in the workplace but complications can easily arise with what is the line of tasteful and what is not. Most companies with tattoo policies just prohibit visible tattoos so there is no issue with what is and what is not acceptable.

Employers need to realize that while a person’s tattoo may give hints to their interests and beliefs it does not exactly pinpoint who they are as a worker. It would be very surprising to see a person have their work tendencies tattooed on their body.

In a study conducted by the American Academy of Dermatology in 2006, 24% of Americans ages 18 to 50 years old reported having at least one tattoo. That is quite a large amount of people compared to what it may have been even ten or twenty years ago.

Since the percentage of individuals with tattoos is not going to decrease but probably only increase, the workforce is going to have to continue to become more tolerant of employees with tattoos as time goes on. If not they could easily lose the true, best person for the job.

Tattoos in the Circus

circus_poster1900The popularity of tattoos did not just come from sailors and island tribes. In the 19th and early 20th centuries the circus gave a big boost to the popularity of tattoos.

It all started in the early nineteen hundreds  when a tattooed man, which was very rare for the times, went to work for a circus. Circuses soon started to compete with each other over whose tattooed performers had the best ink. The major circuses would all have about three tattooed performe1950circustattooposterrs at all times. There would be tattoos in the freak shows and regular circus acts.

Tattoo artists would even travel with the circus over the summer. The circus was great publicity for them and a free showcase for their work. They where also usually paid by the circus.

The debut of the cross country railroad around 1869 brought circuses to even more people than before and even more people to be mesmerized by the tattooed performers.

In the 1890s, the new electric tattoo machines made getting tattoos much easier and more tattooed people showed up to work at the circus. By 1920, it is said that there where 300 circus performers who had full body tattoos and many where making as much as $200 a week, a lot of money for back then of course.

circus_postcard1 charles_wagner_ringling_bros1915

Lizard Man

LizardManErik Sprague aka Lizard Man is another very heavily modified person. Transforming himself using tattoos and body modifications. He has scales tattooed all over most of his body, a split tongue, sharpened teeth, inked green lips, subdermal implants over his brows, and various piercings.

Sprague is most commonly known for his sideshow appearances as a human oddity doing all sorts of things such as fire eating to sword swallowing. He even has appeared on the Tyra Banks Show.

The Lizard Man is more than just a sideshow performer though. He has a Bachelors degree in philosophy and was a PhD candidate before starting his transformation. He also writes for Body Modification Magazine and is very involved in the body mod community. He has been known to participate in public as well as private suspension hook hangings.

He is said to be planning on trying to get a tail for his next modification


I mention rejection a lot , because it is risky with piercings of course, but I have not explained what it is very much, or explained what can cause it or what to do when it happens.

Rejection is when your body tries to push out the jewelry like it would any foreign object. Like a splinter. It is expected during healing but can happen at anytime in the life of a piercing. It is most common with surface, naval, and eyebrow piercings. Piercings that get rejected will almost always leave a scar.


Causes of Rejection
• Bad placement
• Blood flow
• Irritation
• Abuse( playing with jewelry being touched by hands and other objects to much)
• Movement
• Poor personal health
• Pressure
• Injury

If rejection has occurred you will know when the skin around the holes is red and possibly inflamed and when more of the jewelry is exposed than normal. If rejection has occurred see your piercer or another piercer to have jewelry removed before jewelry comes completely out of body, and for healing advice.

Subdermal Implants

Body Modification, while still looked at with a raised eyebrow by some, continues to increase in popularity just as tattoos and body piercings have done. Everyone can relate to it, especially Star Trek fan. The Vulcan and Romulan ears, and other odd shapes on peoples bodies which is quite simlilar to the body mod world’s subdermal implant.

then just clever makeup now a permanent physical possibility

then just clever makeup now a permanent physical possibility

horns inserted by steve haworth

horns inserted by steve haworth

Subdermal Implants are a piece of body jewelry placed under the skin to create a raised design. Implant material is usually made of silicone or Teflon and can be inserted by a body modification artist or in some cases by surgery. The implant can be in many different shapes, some popular designs are stars, rods, hearts, swirls, horns, and beads.

Silicone Implant

Silicone Implant

The insertion process is really quite simple compared to what I thought it would be. An incision is made with a scalpel then a dermal separator (resembling a spatula) is used to raise up the skin forming a pocket for the implant to be inserted. The implant is carefully put in place and the incision is closed with sutures or suture tape.  The implant does not need to be inserted right at the point of incision; it can be placed away from the incision. Eyebrow implant incisions are made at the top of the forehead than the implant is slid to the eyebrow area.

A band aid wrapped around the implant will help prevent against migration of the implant in the early days of healing. The sutures may come out after 10 to 12 days. The healing takes about 3 months, by this time the implant should have the desired affect. After healing is completely finished the implant may be take out and replaced with a larger one.

The idea of these types of implants first came about in 1994 from a man named Steve Haworth in Phoenix, Arizona. A woman wanted a bracelet so he came up with the idea of placing a series of beads under the skin on her wrist and she decided to give it a try making her the first subdermal implant.



how well can she see her own tattoo