It was an accident how I came by my first piercing when I was 18. Having went to the tattoo parlor with a friend to lend her moral support, somehow I managed to get duped into getting one as well.
It happened something like this:
Hot, Bald Tattoo Guy: "So, are you going to be getting a piercing as well?"
Me: "Oh no, I couldn't."
Hot, Bald Tattoo Guy: "Are you sure? We have a nice selection of eyebrow rings and..."
Me: "I'll take the pink one!"
Thus I returned home and scared the crap out of my mother, who said, and I quote, "That had better be part of a horrible fishing accident hanging out your eye or you are in so much trouble."
Luckily my mother eventually calmed down and grew to like...er...well, not loathe my piercing and from then on I was hooked. Soon after I got my navel and then later my nose pierced. After that, it was onto something harder: My very first tattoo (which if you're wondering where it's at, all I'll tell you is that it's on my biggest asset...Buh-dum-CHING!).
Anyhoo, I was told repeatedly by teachers, professors, mentors and numerous relatives that it would be hard for me to find a job with my extra body ornamentation. Luckily for me, I have yet to have an employer take offense to my nose ring (the only piercing that has lasted all these years later).
But with more and more 20-somethings deciding to get some ink or pierce a part of their body, (some studies even estimating as many as 50 percent of those aged 18-29) some companies are now having to figure out their policies on body art. In a world where us young-un's will go out and get our tongue pierced just to celebrate the fact that it's Tuesday, the generational gap is hitting corporate America hard.
According to an article on the Diversity Inc Web site, many young people feel the need to hide their tats and piercings from the boss: http://www.diversityinc.com/public/2891.cfm
An older, yet still relevant story on the Fox News Web site goes more in-depth to this phenomenon: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,223178,00.html
All in all, I feel lucky that my employers thus far have taken no issue with my need to put extra holes and added color to my body. While I know not everyone agrees that tattoos and piercings belong in the workplace, I think eventually companies and Generation Y-ers are going to have to come to a compromise. I have a feeling our need to express ourselves in creative and oftentimes painful ways isn't going to go away any time soon.
Maybe if we can steer clear of shaving our heads and getting a giant dragon on our noggin, our boss can overlook that small (yet adorable) little stud in our nose.
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