We are the generation of body modifications. Piercings, tattoos and other forms of body modification are not modern innovations, but seem to have gained popularity in the last two decades. Society’s reaction to body mods is largely disapproving, especially in the workplace, and I think that needs to change.
Body modification is changing or altering your body from its natural or “normal” state to fit how you want it to look. Changes can range from simple things such as a nose piercing or a tattoo, to more noticeable things like dreadlocks. Some people do even more extreme things like get reconstructive surgery.
Changes like these are a personal decision.
Some view these modifications as a form of self-expression and a way to be different. While some may not think it is a good reason to permanently alter your body, it is still a personal decision—one that does not affect how one performs in the workplace or at school. It also does not change a person’s worth or make them a bad person.
Body mods are becoming so popular that many employers don’t have a problem with them anymore. But there are still some places that refuse workers based solely on a few tattoos or piercings. I know someone who was fired because she had dreadlocks and her employer viewed them as “dirty.”
Ignorance is a large reason for this problem. Dreadlocks aren’t dirty. There is a lot of maintenance that goes into the hairstyle. Piercings and stretched ears don’t make someone a bad person. The individual simply likes the way he or she looks.
People shouldn’t be denied a job that they are qualified for just because they look a little different. There is nothing wrong with standing out. The skills someone possesses might be indispensable, and to deny them based on something shallow is an unwise decision.
I myself enjoy piercings, stretched ears and tattoos. I got these modifications because I like them and I think they look good. It doesn’t change the fact that I’m going somewhere with my career and that I’ll make a great mother one day. It simply means I’ll look a little different. Yes, some are permanent, and I’m prepared to deal with those consequences. But I don’t think I’ll regret it. I don’t want to be afraid that my future is jeopardized because of something I find artistic.
While it is becoming increasingly more acceptable to have modifications, people who are pierced, tattooed and physically altered are still being discriminated against and denied equal opportunity.
A person’s ability to work and perform is not taken away by these changes and the judgment needs to stop.
Kelsey Sutton/Copy chief