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Sep 29, 2008

Tattoos, piercings have business stigma

Cox News Service

Body art is a growing fashion trend, even among highly educated folk, but business executives in positions to hire won't see the Cupid-like hearts and purple razor-blade stains as mini-Picassos or as signs of intellectual prowess.

More likely, they'll see the ''art'' as a sign of recklessness, at best, say researchers at Texas State University. And in the event you land a white-collar job, even your colleagues won't want to have much to do with you, said management professor Brian K. Miller, explaining the survey of 150 people, some with and some without body art.

''Clearly, the stigma associated with tattoos and piercings in the workplace exists,'' he said.

Even co-workers will fear any association with an arted-up colleague. If a co-worker has body art, he said, it can make colleagues feel less professional, and thus less confident and productive.

Just 1 percent of Americans had body art 30 years ago, but that's ballooned to 24 percent now, Miller said. And 14 percent have body piercings in places other than their ear lobes.

Another survey by Vault.com, a Web site for career information, found that 58 percent of managers said they'd be less likely to hire an applicant with visible tattoos or piercings.

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