How tattoos affect your professional appearance

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Tattoos and appearance, it’s always a thing. For some, they are beautiful, others find them not presentable. Yet you see them more and more. They are no longer unusual. But does this mean that we have also become more open-minded? I’m curious how tattoos affect your professional appearance. Fortunately, recent research was done on this topic.

How tattoos affect your professional appearance
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

How tattoos affect your professional appearance

The Beautify website researched how we judge people when someone has a tattoo. For this study, they used photos of a woman with none, a few, and many tattoos. In the latter case, the lady wore a sleeve, so an arm that was completely covered with tattoos. Each respondent was shown one of these three photos at random and then had to answer several questions about her. They questioned 737 respondents between 14 and 40 years old.

The results show a tattoo does not influence the estimated level of education. Both with and without tattoos, they estimated the woman to be at HBO level. There was also no difference in income. In both cases, people thought she would earn $2000 to $2500.

In terms of profession, the respondents thought the lady would work in marketing or communication in all three photos. The only noticeable difference was that in photos with tattoos, she was also sometimes judged as being a make-up artist or stylist. Without tattoos, people thought she was a journalist.



The most striking result is that the character of the lady with or without tattoos was judged very differently. Without tattoos, she was considered friendly, cheerful, and sociable. With a few tattoos, they thought her to be tough, confident, and ambitious. People also deemed her tough and confident when wearing a sleeve, but they thought she was more sociable than ambitious.

While in the past people with tattoos were sometimes seen as less sympathetic, this research has shown that this is not the case today. The character traits harsh, rough, and antisocial were the least chosen in all cases. It is also striking that the woman with a few tattoos was seen as ambitious.


Times change

I believe this research shows how people have changed in recent years. It also seems logical: the more often you see something, the more normal it becomes. So it is with tattoos.

But I must add that for this study, they questioned people between 14 and 40 years old. That is a relatively young group. I can imagine, especially after the (Dutch) interview with Tommie about how the elderly view tattoos, that the opinion of people over 40 may be slightly different.

Anyway, times change. That should be obvious.





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