Speak On It

Because Beauty Isn’t Conformity…

Tattoos are becoming increasingly common – most people I know have at least one and a lot of people you wouldn’t expect to have them are sometimes hiding a cheeky tattoo under their clothes! Trends are always changing and people seem to move with the times although for some reason there seems to be discrimination towards tattoos.

I was trying to find out the origin of tattoos so I could figure out what they used to signify and if  or why it’s changed. I discovered tattoos used to be a symbol of pride or shame, and I think it’s still the same as people usually get tattoos to remind themselves of a significant moment in their life whether it be good or bad. I have quite a few tattoos, some are symbolic, and even those that aren’t stimulate a certain memory or time in life.

If tattoos are just a way for people to express their inner on there outer then why are they so discriminated against when it comes to the workplace? In case you haven’t  noticed, I am very pro-tattoos. I love being able to self express through make-up and tattoos just add to the list of ways I can express myself.

We are constantly told what beauty is in magazines. Many celebrity pictures are constantly making us think  beauty is being a certain way, beauty isn’t being covered in tattoos. But it will always come to beauty belonging to the eye of the beholder. Jessica Clark is a model for the clothing company ‘The Hundreds’ and is covered in tattoo’s from head to toe and I think they are beautiful!

Tattoo’s are not just about art to me, it’s deeper than that, some people may not like them, as I always say each to their own, I am confident in who I am and what I look like, when people snarl at me I smile at them, what we do to our bodies does not define us, be confident in who you are as well, no matter what anyone’s opinion is, that is their issue, not your own.’ – Jessica Clark. I personally think she is beautiful and feel her tattoos tell us a story and give us an insight into her as a person.

After doing some research (including watching the TV show Loose Women discussing the matter…) I started to think maybe people are intimidated by people who look different. Even less permanent things like hair dye and styles can be discriminated against. Many of my friends have spent money on a new hairstyle or colour to then be told they need to change it in order to keep their jobs.

But why are many employers so intimidated by alternative cultures?

I’m aware employers will be very conscious of what customers/clients will think although I wish more employers would allow alternative individuals to work happily and freely with their tattoos on show to help break the mould. I was intrigued to find out what my manager, Alex Cummins, thought about tattoos in the workplace. She said “Tattoos represent who people are, or who they have been at various times in their lives! I have 4 tattoos – the first that I got at the age of 14 [don’t ask!] and my latest one was done a few months ago. They are all very different but safe to say all represent what I wanted to communicate at the time. It’s basically like wearing your heart [and history!] on your sleeve!”

Illamasqua’s new SS12 Human Fundamentalism collection is based around the emotional attachment to ‘making up’ and the human desire to express your inner self on the outside. The campaign features a variety of characters from different backgrounds. One characters included was a man named Chris Merrick who is heavily tattooed from head to toe.

Illamasqua’s stands for non conformity and being who you are and not who your told to me, where individuality is received with celebration even if society refuses to accept it. Illamasqua’s new Human Fundamentalism collection puts into words exactly how I feel about individuality…

‘We stand for freedom of expression, embracing our glorious imperfections and showing the world we are not ordinary but extraordinary.’

What are your views on tattoos? Have you ever been discriminated against due to the way you look?

Govinder Rayt

Govinder Rayt

Writer and expert