Tattoos Classy or Trashy

Walking into the Twenty First Century, the world is still changing very quickly. Today, with technology on the rise, we are able to be connected to the whole world, and social media is very big.

We are able to connect with family and friends on a daily basis, who we can’t be with otherwise. We are able to find friends from the past and reconnect with them. The mobile phones that we use today allow us to video chat live, so that a birthday party, or other such event, won’t be missed ever again.

A lot of great things have happened with these ways of connecting to the world, but with that comes a price. With all the good things that have happened with social media, the bad tags along.

Today, we are fighting over things such as cultural views, race, and political views. I know you’ve seen people blocking, ending friendships, and disowning family members due to their thoughts and views. Hate is dividing our nation at an all time high, and the world has become more judgmental. The over-use of social media is adding fuel to this fire.

Society has changed, allowing us to express who we are and what we think. Tattoos are just one of the ways we do this. Many people want to be accepted for such expressions, both controversial and non, regardless of the effect on others.

This is aiding a great division in our country because some of us are just not ready to accept this kind of change we are witnessing. Sadly, violence and murders occur because of who you are and what you believe in.girl- hat

Some of society has decided to simply disconnect from the world because they just don’t want to be a part of this change. They go out into the world only when they have to, making as little eye-contact as possible.

This often stems from fear, or simply not wanting to bother with people. I avoid getting involved in such changes, or speaking up to protest about the things I do not believe in, as to not pass judgment on others, because I have at times been judged myself.

This brings me to why I am writing this particular post. As I have shared in a previous post, tattoos have become very popular in today’s society, but it still carries a huge question: Are they classy or are they trashy? I’d like to share some of my experiences, thoughts, and views on this topic in hopes that it’ll change one’s perspective.

Take me as I am; ink and all

I was an auto mechanic for just about 30 years and I walked away because I had enough. The money was getting harder to make, and it was taking a physical and mental toll on me. While wondering where I would find a job after spending a career of turning wrenches, I decided to give the retail world a shot. It was two years ago when the day of my interview had come, and I was excited.

Now, you’ll find when you get to know me that I’m a jeans and tee shirt guy. When I married my wife, I remember my father-in-law laughing and saying, “That’s the last time we’ll see Dave dressed up.”

Now, getting back to the interview; I decided I would not hide my ink and piercings. I interviewed with three different managers, one after the other, each one putting me in different scenarios on how I would handle different situations that could arise on the job. After completing them, I was hired and began working the next day. It was going into the holiday season and they needed the help.

I was working my tail of, and in my first month there, I received employee of the month. I remember having a conversation with one of my managers shortly after that and he told me: “We were hesitant on hiring you because you were a little intimidating looking with your tattoos and piercings, but we are glad that we did.” I had been hired for seasonal help, but they kept me and two others on for year-round.

Remembering The Guestsman water- pool

Where I worked, we referred to our customers as guests. I have a lot of fond memories of great conversations and interactions I had with our guests. One of my fondest memories was of a little girl that I spoke with in early October.

I have a tattoo of Harley Quinn on my left forearm, and she had walked up to me and said: “That’s Harley Quinn, and I’m going to be her for Halloween!” I looked down at this little girl and said, “You’re going to be the best one.” Her dad later came to me and told me that I really made her day.

I have really have seen the change in the ink world. I had two different women in their mid-Sixtis come up to me while shopping and show me that they had got their first tattoo done and that they loved them. So, you’re never too old to get your first one. Time had passed, and I was ready to move on from this job, but those are memories I will keep for a lifetime.

Companies are Being Asked to Change Protocol on Tattoos

Today, companies with policies on tattoos are finding it harder to hire employees because of the amount of people who have tattoos on exposed skin. In Oklahoma City, the Vice President of the Fraternal Order of Police is asking for a policy change regarding tattoos, stating that it has become harder to get recruits due to turn downs of would-be officers with exposed ink.

Some Views on Ink

Some people today are being inked for various reasons, some being very touching. One man I read about was battling cancer and couldn’t stand the way chemo made his skin pale and pasty, so he had 90% of his body inked to feel better about himself. I’ve seen some who only could only grieve the loss of a loved one by having them memorialized on their skin.

Tattoo artists who suffer from certain disorders find escape through their artwork. With so many things that happen to people, a lot find refuge through tattoos to tell their story. For some, it’s a way to feel that they have made their mark in society. Whatever the case may be, most of us have a reason for our ink, and the style that we choose.

Get to Know Me Before the Inkwoman- computer

If you sit down with me and look passed the ink and the piercings, you will find an intelligent person who has a passion for life. You’ll see a loving husband and dad to 3 beautiful daughters. You’ll see a sports lover (hockey being my favorite).

You’ll find that I don’t drink or use drugs, as people with ink are sometimes thrown into that stereo type. Put me on the beach, and I’m lost just sitting there with the Lord. There’s a lot of serenity there.

Are Tattoos Trashy?

I do get asked this question, and I will answer very honestly. Can they be trashy? Yes, I do think they can be. As with everything, there’s an upside and a downside. Tattoos for the most part can be very classy and worn very well, but when I see ink that has been done for all the wrong reasons I’ll stop and think, what where you thinking when they did that? You do know you have to go out in public, right?

You Decideman- tracks

I think today as we move through our journey called life, we as a human race need to stop the judgment. So when you see some big biker-looking guy with all kinds of tattoos stop and say hi, you may just be surprised to find out that he’s just a big ol’ teddy bear. You might even become great friends. In the end, it’s up to you to decide what you think is it classy or trashy.

I hope you enjoyed reading my post and I welcome any thoughts or comments you may have.

Rock your Journey,






49 Replies to “Tattoos Classy or Trashy”

  1. Great article. Like any other art form, there are good artists and bad, good art works and bad. I think it can be a very beautiful art form where the piece almost appears to complete the person but there are also some truly terrible pieces that make you wonder how many people involved were intoxicated. I’m glad that things for tattooed people are starting to turn around and be more accepted. Like you said, some of the scariest looking people can turn out to be big ‘ol teddy bears…or just really interesting people. Never judge. 🙂

    1. Hello Tricia. Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I do agree some art does complete a person on the inside and out. On some pieces yes I do wonder what they were thinking when they had it done. The tattoo world and society are changing and is becoming more accepted and understood. Again Thank you for taking the time to visit my Website and do hope you will return for future articles.
      Best Wishes,

  2. This is such a wonderful statement! I was raised in a way that had me judging people with tattoos when I was a young adult with kids. But a lot of times when we have kids, they open our eyes to new ways of thinking. My kids were wonderful about helping me free myself from a judgemental upbringing. I always said I’d never get a tattoo because my self masochism was having 3 children with no painkillers lol. But I agreed when my daughter turned 18 we’d do it together. We didn’t, because I couldn’t figure out what I wanted, but she and my son have some amazing artwork on them and I love it! And how long have tattoos been a part of the human existence? I love your message to everyone to not judge a book by its cover. Such a powerful message, thank you!

    1. Hello Stacie. Thank you for taking the time to read my article. It makes me very happy your children were able to break you from your Judgemental upbringing cause yes sometimes it is your upbringing that can make you that way. The furthest recording of tattoos found was on the Tyrolean Ice man Otzis believed to have died in 3250 BC and having 61 tattoos. I’m happy you enjoyed my message of don’t judge a book by it’s cover. Again thank you so much for visiting my website and hope you will return for future articles.
      Best Wishes,

  3. I absolutely loved reading your view and story on this. This was greatly said 🙂

    I agree with the many points you have made, society is definitely changing and people are becoming more open and expressing themselves more than ever.

    I don’t have tatts but I have visible piercings on my face and I like to rock out coloured hair from time to time, so I kind of relate to you. I really loved the quote you said, to get to know the person before making any judgments. I think its really important to be open minded and to accept people for who they are, no matter what they look like and how they choose to present themselves.

    I personally would never get tatts, but I don’t get offended when I see them on people. I see beyond their art and view them as a human being just like myself.

    I love how people have the courage to express their individuality and I honestly find people who have tatts, piercings, who are bold with their apperance are the most friendliest, down to earth people you can ever meet! They have the coolest energy and vibes.

    Keep spreading the great message 🙂

    1. Hello Flavia. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post. Yes I strongly agree society is changing and people are expressing themselves more and more. I’m happy you enjoyed my quote I think so many Great friendships are missed because of judging before you get to know someone. 

      You brought up about how you like to wear different hair colors and have piercings. My wife used to be a manager for a company where she had to enforce no piercings and believe it or not hair colors. I agree some of the most kindest and gentlest people you meet have tattoos, piercings and even hair colors. 

      I want to thank you again for visiting my website and I’m very happy you enjoyed and hope you will return for future posts.

      Best Wishes,


  4. Wow…
    I found your article just in time!
    I’ve been thinking to get a tattoo for a really long time now.
    After reading your post, I know I will.
    Thank you for helping me to make my mind up!

    1. Hello Boryana. Thank you for taking the time for reading my post. I’m really happy that my post helped you with your decision to get a tattoo and you may also be interested in my post getting your first tattoo. Again thank you for visiting my website.
      Best Wishes’

  5. I think of tattoos as beautiful body arts and admire them even though I don’t engraved any. Thanks to the media, I grew up thinking that they are associated to ‘bad’ people – that was until I started working and enlarging my social circle.

    Today, a few of my favorite people – my Yoga teacher and a nice customer at work – both have tattoos on them. They are great fun to be with and they are the most down-to-earth human beings I’ve ever met. Proves that the media is wrong.

    1. Hello Cathy. Thank you for taking the time to read my post. Yes tattoos today still can be stereotyped but it’s getting better. I’m also very happy how you were able to change your views on them and I’m sure more people will in time. Again thank you so much for taking the time to visit my website.

                                                                                                                   Best Wishes,


  6. I agree with a lot of what you say. To me a tattoo has a story to tell. If you got a good story that’s great, but if there is no purpose, or it’s just cliche, then it is in a more trashy category. For instance a Samoan warrior with a tattooed face looks awesome in a suit and is intimidating in a business setting. It’s his culture and there is a story there. That doesn’t mean it’s okay for anyone to just do it…there is no real point and now you look like a poser. Also a sleeve on someone with a past that tells a story of pain and/or overcoming adversity has more to say about a person character than someone who gets skulls and tribal designs everywhere wrapped in flames cause they think it looks cool.

    1. Hello Bruce. Thank you for taking the time to read my post. I agree with you If your art has meaning and thought it’s awesome but just throwing ink all over you with out any purpose looks trashy. Yes many cultures have reasons and purposes to why they are inked like they are. Again thank you so much for taking the time to visit my website.
      Best Wishes,

  7. Hi David,

    I have 5 tattoos that I got over the years, all of them really nice.

    Everywhere I go I see others with them, even elderly people. Many have them covering most of their bodies, but to each their own and hopefully without judgement.

    The employers will have to get over their dilemma seeing how a huge part of the population has them and it should be overlooked.

    Both my adult kids have them, my son the most with full sleeves and some other places, and they both have great careers!

    Thanks for the great read!


    1. Hello Patsy. Thank you for taking the time to read my post. Believe it are not in the business world the subject comes up a lot in HR meetings I believe a lot of the hesitation stems from where would they draw the line as some tattoos worn can be offensive and I believe the worry comes in of well if we tell this person they can but this one can’t because they’re offensive it would cause problems. I do believe they will at one point come up with a standard protocol. Again thank you for visiting my website.
      Best Wishes,

  8. Great article! I was just speaking to an older lady recently about another girl who had a lot of tattoos. This older lady remarked something about “her being a trouble maker” and I rebutted, “or she could be the biggest sweetheart and that’s how she is expressing herself”

    1. Hello Holly. Thank you for taking the time to read my post. Judging one based on how they look is a big possibility of passing up what might be a great friendship. Yes for a long time tattoos have been stereotyped but it is getting better. Again thank you for taking the time to visit my website.
      Best Wishes,

  9. Great article! I have worked in healthcare for about 10 years now and most hospitals and healthcare agencies are very strict on their tattoo policies, requesting any visible tattoo to be covered. For that reason, all of my tattoos are in places easily hidden by a regular uniform. One on my foot, one on my back, and one on my ankle that my grandmother and I actually got together. I never understood why the healthcare industry is so strict about tattoo policies. I don’t think me having tattoos affects my ability to care for any of my patients. I also think they could be a conversation starter to help build comfort and trust with my patients.
    Maybe the policies will change one day, but until then I’ll have to follow the rules. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    1. Hello Kait. Thank you for taking the time to read my post. Funny you mention you work in the healthcare world. I just had hernia surgery yesterday and the prep nurse brought up how she loved my tattoos and that her husband wants to get one but it can’t be exposed due to he’s a federal agent. My thought would be maybe the healthcare business doesn’t want them exposed because it might make some patients uncomfortable. Again thank you so much for visiting my website.
      Best Wishes,

  10. Very neat post! I too have a lot of tattoos and am definitely seeing them all over, young and old.

    It is very cool to see them more and more socially accepted. There are a lot of jobs that allow tattoos to be seen, that would not have allowed them in the past.

    Some tattoos have meaning and some might not, but that is for the person to decide. It is art and everyone see’s art differently.

    Keep up the great work!

    1. Hello Delanee. Thank you for taking the time to read my post. Yes it is art and people do see it Differently. It definitely
      is becoming more sociably accepted. More and more jobs yes are starting to accept them but I see there’s still a lot of progress to be made. Again thank you so much for taking the time to visit my website.
      Best Wishes,

  11. Wow great post!

    I’ve always had a fascination with tattoos. I have 3 myself and I can honestly say, I find it attractive when the ladies have a few and that they actually mean something. Each of mine have a meaning close to me, as it should for everyone.

    I’ve had several jobs out in the public where I wasn’t allowed to have my tats showing which wasn’t a fun time having to always cover them but it is policy with a lot of companies out there.

    Tattoos are just another way to express the art in ourselves and our bodies are the canvas’.

    1. Hello Brandon.Thank you so much For taking the time to read my post. I agree tattoos on women are very attractive if done right. Yes a lot of companies still hold strong to their policies on ink. Your so right when you say tattoos are a way to express the art in us. Again thank you so much for visiting my website.
      Best Wishes.

  12. David, this is a very interesting article. You hit home on several topics. Me being in the HR field for many years and now working with students, this is a topic that comes up in discussions for interviews. There is a very broad way of looking a tats and it all depends on the company. Some companies have written policies around not showing ink. I think it depends on how conservative a particular company is and what it means for their reputation with their clients. I find it interesting what you said about the policeman wanting changes around their company policies because of low hire rates. That is something I never thought about before.

    My son got a tattoo a few years ago and it is very nice (large, but tasteful). It actually has meaning behind it and he explains what it means very well. I like it when there is meaning and I do agree that some of them can be trashy. I find the sleeves to be interesting and when I see some that are tastefully done, I don’t hesitate to strike up a conversation about them and what they mean to the person. People love when I do that because it shows interest in their art.

    Are you planning on getting more tattoos in the future?

    Thank you for this enlightening article. Your website is very informative. Keep up the great work.

    Kind Regards,

    1. Hello Yvette. Thank you so much For taking the time to read my post. It can be very hard for company’s with polices on tattoos and piercings for that matter. I have had many conversations on this Topic. Myself I always look at both sides of the table. I do understand also that where would the line be drawn. It is a very sensitive subject and maybe in time agreements can be made on what’s excepted and what’s not.
      I do plan on more tattoos in the future I have a couple of thoughts on them when I do.Again Yvette thank you so much for your feedback and I truly am thankful for you visiting my website.
      Best Wishes.

  13. Great article, good to see more and more people being open to tattoos these days. I’ve still yet to get any but I am definitely planning some in the future. Just want some art on my body!

    1. Hello Lance. Thanks for taking the time to read my post. Makes me happy to know your thinking about getting some ink. Put thought into it before you do it you may be interested on my post getting your first tattoo. Again thank you so much for visiting my website.
      Best Wishes.

  14. Hi David. Thank you for your very informative article. You’re correct, times have changed. I remember the strict rules that existed in the banking industry when I was a manager there. When I employed someone I was told they weren’t allowed any piercings or visible tattoos. This was hard for me to implement because I didn’t have an issue with them. I find the history of Tattoos very interesting, particularly if you check out how far back the Maori’s in New Zealand have been putting them on their bodies, and the stories behind their tats.. All the best Jim

    1. Hello Jim. Thank you for taking the time to read my post. Yes it can be even hard on a person doing the hiring who sees no issues with them. Hopefully in time it won’t be an issue. Yes there is a long history in many cultures who have ink and why they do it. Again thank you so much for visiting my website.
      Best Wishes.

  15. That was awesome David, and very well written. If anyone is worried about getting a tat I will refer them to your site to see your story. It is sad how some people view tattoos, and it is not always warranted. It is an excellent way to express your passions if done in the right way.

    1. Hello Xavior. Thank you for taking the time to read my post. Yes it is heart breaking to see the world judges as it does. I thank you so much that you will refer people to my site and I will be more than happy to help them any way I can. Again thank you so much for visiting my website.
      Best Wishes.

    2. Hello Edwin. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post. I’m really happy you enjoyed my post and thank you that you will refer people to my site and I will be more than happy to help them any way I can. Again thank you for visiting my website.
      Best Wishes’

  16. Thanks for sharing this post, David. So many people pass judgment on those who have tattoos all over their bodies without getting to know the person. I do not have any tattoos, but I do not judge those who do.

    There’s a Youth Pastor at my church who died twice at the scene of his horrific accident. He was hit by a vehicle while riding his bike by an elderly lady. Thank God, he is alive to tell his story today, not literally by words because he lost his speech from the accident (we are praying for God restore his speech), but he has tattoos all over his body that shares his story.

    1. Hello Brandi. Thank you so much for sharing that incredible story. Yes thank God he is alive without his speech his tattoos speak for him and I will be praying for him. Again thank you so much for sharing that with me.
      Best Wishes

  17. Hi David, I really enjoyed reading your post as it was just something different, and well written.

    I personally don’t have any tattoo’s but I do absolutely love them when they are done well. We have a show on TV here in the UK called ‘Tattoo Fixers’ and the tattoo’s those guys create are just mind-blowing. Some of their portrait’s look like an actual photograph. I’ve no idea how they do it.

    I think it’s great we live in a world where people are starting to express themselves, and in time we will eventually live in a world where being who you are will be 100% acceptable as it rightfully should be. I guess fear of change for some has always been the way, but they get over it and we evolve all the same.

    1. Hello Stefanie. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post. Yes It truly is amazing what artists are able to do with ink today and yes so realistic. I believe in time tattoos will be more accepted and people will be able to freely express themselves. And I agree with you people do fear change but hopefully that will change. Again thank you so much for visiting my website.
      Best Wishes.

  18. I wish they would change the system here in Texas as i have a tattoo on my arm and can not find a decent job that doesnt require me to cover it up and in Texas its too hot to wear long sleeve shirts. So yea i hope the entire world changes their views on tattoo’s TBH it should be a violation of freedom of speach to be forced to cover a tattoo that expresses yourself i understand it the tattoo was provocative or somthing of that nature.

    1. Hello Justin.Thank you for taking the time to read my post. Yes it is hard it’s still hard to get some to accept tattoos and in the working world it can be very hard if you have exposed ink hopefully one day that’ll change. Again thank you for visiting my website.
      Best Wishes.

  19. Great post David and some thought provoking things here. For my part, I totally agree with you that people should ignore the tattoos and see the person first, in the same way that you would hope not to judge people because of their skin colour, hair colour or anything else for that matter.
    I’m glad that companies are now readdressing their recruitment policies. Although I do not have any tattoos myself, I truly believe that people should be allowed to express themselves their own way. I would not like people to judge me because of the way I looked, and as I see it, it’s just an extension of that.
    All the best. Gail

    1. Hello Gail. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post. I totally agree with all your statements. we should always see the person first you may be missing a great opportunity for a wonderful friendship. Again thank you so much for visiting my website.
      Best Wishes.

  20. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your article.

    Thank you for sharing your tattoo experience. In my eyes, tattoos are not trashy for the most part.

    I am yet to get one but certainly not opposed.


    1. Hello Kahlua. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post. You are most welcome I love to always share my tattoo experiences. I hope to see maybe one day you get one and I do have a post on getting your first tattoo you might like to read. Again thank you for reading my post.
      Best Wishes.

  21. Hello Christina. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post. Yes it was really nice that the managers looked beyond the ink and saw that I was more than that and had something to offer.
    You never know you may just someday be able to get your first one there are lots of less painful places on the body. Again I thank you so much for visiting my website.
    Best Wishes.

  22. Very nice! It just goes to show that – once again – it’s never a good idea to judge a book by its cover. I think tattoos are interesting, and can be really, really artistic. I don’t have any myself (mostly because I’m too afraid of the pain), but I do think many of them are really neat. I certainly wouldn’t immediately judge someone who has a tattoo.

    But, there are people who will. And I think that has to be taken into consideration before getting one. You were lucky with your job that your employers were able to look past your ink and hire you based on your merits. (Wow, what a concept to hire someone based on their merits and not their looks!) But others may not be so lucky.

    Who knows? Maybe one day I’ll be brave enough to get a tattoo. 🙂

  23. I think that you have to be careful when getting a tattoo. Even though times are changing and more people in society are accepting of them, many people still are not. It can effect the job you apply for and certain industries are more excepting than others. Thank you so much for sharing. All the best.

    1. Hello Catherine. Thank you for reading my post. Yes with society not so accepting you do need to think about will this affect me getting the job I’m looking for. I did share about that in my post about getting your first tattoo and you must put thought into it with ink placement. Again thank you so much for visiting my website.
      Best wishes.

  24. Hello Renton. I’m so glad you enjoyed my post. Yes I agree we live in a very Judgemental world today and it just causes so much division in this world. Again thank you so much for visiting my website.
    Best Wishes.

  25. How very true David. When I see someone with tattoos (i’m an artist), I just view them as people who are carrying around their own art work. It’s just a shame that it discolours and fades with time and the sun. People unfortunately will always be people and make harsh judgements without knowing the full picture.

    1. Hello Sue. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post. Yes we are walking art as I call it. I think if the world spent more time getting the full picture there would be a lot less judgement. Unfortunately tattoos fade and you have to have them freshened up to keep them looking good. Again thank you so much for visiting my website.
      Best Wishes.

  26. Wow, I was not expecting this to be as deep as it is. There is a lot of truth here about the world we live in. I myself don’t have any tattoos but I think they’re cool when done for the right reasons. Very cool article. Great job.

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