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  • Professional Appearance and Tattoos

    Posted by ValChemistLB on May 11, 2015 at 12:51 pm
    Hello and “Happy” Monday…

          I am posing a general non-formulary inquiry today for my fellow chemists and those alike.  This borders more on a subjective mindset. I am a “younger” albeit, experienced Chemist at 29 years old… (Ok, so maybe NOT younger, but hey I can dream, right?) I have a collection of tattoos already, though nothing flagrantly obscene or visible. I am planning on executing a half sleeve later this summer which will only consist of biological drawings of local flowers of my region. It will slightly extend past my elbow by only about an inch or too, and will be able to be covered with 3/4 to long sleeves and/ or a lab coat. However, I am have been frequently described as “professional in demeanor and extremely well-spoken with a swift mind for formulation.”  I have a graduate degree as well and know there is much more to myself than what “meets the eye”. 
        My question is,  how much is TOO much in terms of self-adornment in the science work place? Will someone be branded for life as “unhireable” if they have a half sleeve that they can relatively cover up with clothing?  I know the dynamics are shifting as the baby boomers transition from the workplace into retirement and are more readily becoming replaced with the next generation of the more “open minded”.  Do the tattoos MAKE the Chemist? Will they hinder someone from being taken seriously despite an extreme possibility that this individual is SO much more than what is skin deep? 
         I want to hear what YOU think. Honestly. Thank you for your time in reading this as this is a pertinent forum with peers in the cosmetic and scientific industry. 
    Bill_Toge replied 9 years, 1 month ago 10 Members · 14 Replies
  • 14 Replies
  • AuroraBorealis

    May 11, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    Why wonder what others are biased about? Don’t wear short sleeves and nobody will know.   

    The scientific industry is quite conservative, as I understand are most other industries so why jeopardize a good opportunity. 
  • belassi

    May 11, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    My generation was brought up to understand that tattoos are for sailors and the low class. I still dislike them but for yet another reason: they provide the government a way to quickly identify you with remote monitoring equipment.

  • MarkBroussard

    May 11, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    It all depends on the tatoos … If they are tasteful body art, not really a problem.  Now, if you got “prison bitch” tats … well, that’s not going to help you in the professional workplace.

    LOL! @Belassi … true that!

  • cherri

    May 11, 2015 at 9:21 pm

    I think it’s really about how you like to present yourself. I agree with @Belassi still tattoos are negatively stereotyped in America… but just cover yourself and don’t show how many tattoos you have especially at workplace.

  • billichemist

    May 11, 2015 at 11:09 pm

    I am younger ish as well and i dont see any problems with tattoos! but obviously if you had to represent a company that has a certain branding, then dress appropratiately. same goes for just dressing in general really.

  • OldPerry

    May 12, 2015 at 12:24 am

    I don’t think you can make a general conclusion about tattoos.  If your boss (or future boss) has a negative attitude about tattoos it will likely hinder your career.  If your boss doesn’t care then it won’t.

    But I don’t think it will ever make you unhireable.  I personally have no problem with them.
  • ValChemistLB

    May 12, 2015 at 12:49 pm
    Hey everyone, I greatly appreciate the feedback. I am a professional, with my masters in biochemistry. I never have and never will put any “prison bitch” tattoos on myself. Going forward, I now think it will be OK to go through with this tattoo. It will be feminine and tasteful as well as scientific in nature. 

    Though, @belassi I’m intrigued on your thoughts about government tracking and tattoos!! 


    May 12, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    It’s off topic, but all I will say is that I know a guy who is an optics and radar specialist. The government can put up a camera that will reliably recognise you at two miles… the growth of ‘hoodies’ in the UK was a public fashion reaction to CCTV infestation. 

  • ValChemistLB

    May 13, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    Interesting and a bit unsettling…

  • Zink

    May 14, 2015 at 6:10 am

    I think it might depend on the content of the tattoos lol

  • belassi

    May 14, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    Imagine the market for a cream that could easily remove tattoos.

  • Chemist77

    May 14, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    I would keep that one from Zink. :D

  • MarkBroussard

    May 14, 2015 at 9:02 pm


    Actually, there is a researcher in Canada that is pursuing a tattoo removal cream.  His results look promising, but it requires several months of application.  Not commercial yet, but perhaps in the near future.

  • Bill_Toge

    May 16, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    for what it’s worth, tattoos have never stopped my boss finding work; he has 25 years’ experience in the cosmetics industry and 13 years in the pharmaceutical industry, both on the shop floor and in the lab

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