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EP Tattoo Artist Asked To Not Mention “Tattoo” During Career Day

Tattooing
Boris Katsman

The tattoo industry has become a huge business all over the world. Not only have tattoos become more prevalent in society, but they are also becoming more socially acceptable. In 2015, nearly half of Millennials and over a third of Generation Xers have at least one tattoo, while only 13% of Baby Boomers had one. And if people do have a tattoo, 69% have two or more on their bodies.

This industry continues to grow and become more socially acceptable, and many children and families are familiar with the tattoo industry. Unfortunately for one El Paso father and tattoo artist, the socially acceptable aspect hasn’t trickled down to his children’s school.

A local tattoo artist (who wishes to remain anonymous) says that his children’s school had a career day and his daughters wanted him to attend and talk to their peers about his career in the tattoo industry. He filled out the paperwork and sent it back to school with his girls so that he could speak with the class. This week, he said that a teacher and a school counselor approached him outside of the school when he went to pick up his children to talk about career day:

“They asked if I would be willing to not mention tattoos at all. They suggested that I talk about painting instead so that it would be more “positive”. To which I replied, ‘So you want me to lie about what I do for a living?’ I told them I had planned on explaining the science behind how a tattoo machine works. I told them I wouldn’t lie about what I do for a living. I left it at that.”

After the encounter, the man posted on social media about the school’s response to the fact that he wished to talk to kids about the tattoo industry. He also went into more detail about why he wanted to talk to the kids about his career choice:

“Let’s be honest, not all these kids are going college. Some of them will be better off learning a trade. I’m proud of what I do for a living and so are my kids. It has afforded us the opportunity to have my wife go back to school. There are multiple paths to success. Let’s not limit our children with our own prejudices.”

The response from the tattoo community was swift and full of passion, with many voicing their displeasure with the school’s request to have him hide his true career:

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People also requested information on the school in question, however, the man said he did not want to shame the specific school in public and would privately file a complaint against them. After his social media post began to go viral, the father said the principal of the school contacted him and wished to discuss the matter more:

“The principal left me a voice mail asking to call her back. When I did, we had a very long conversation. She suggested that I could speak about being a graphic artist. I told her no. Why would I? I wouldn’t lie, and there shouldnt have had that conversation in the open, while I was picking up my kids. Just by suggesting that I shouldnt speak about (my career) implies that there is something wrong with how I make a living. Just saying that already implies a negative connotation. I told her that a large portion of the community is tattooed. By the time these kids get turn 18, more and more of them will be getting tattooed. It would make sense to educate them on how to get it done professionally. She asked how she could make it right and I told her she couldn’t. All she can do is apologize and I can accept it and decide if I’d like to take further action.”

Another way we are seeing tattoos becoming more mainstream and acceptable, is the way Americans now feel comfortable seeing visible tattoos from people in various professions. In a 2015 poll, people said they were comfortable seeing tattoos on IT technicians (81%), primary school teachers and judges (59%) and even a presidential candidate (58%)! When talking about professionals who deal directly with children, the same poll found that many were comfortable with people with visible tattoos working with their children. Over 70% of people said they were comfortable with counselors, teachers, sitters, coaches and even pediatricians with visible tattoos working around and with their kids.

With so many people with tattoos (45 million Americans) around kids, why would we not be surprised if a child is wanting to learn about the tattoo industry? Wouldn’t it be smarter to allow a child to learn about their craft and industry, from a professional?

 Tattooing is a huge business and it can potentially be a very lucrative career for an individual. A tattoo artist can plenty of money, just depending on the hard work, dedication, hours and other variables put in by them. Tattooing is an art form, that allows creativity and freedom that is not necessarily seen in other industries.

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