I have nothing against tattoos per se. I have a tattoo. … Unless you are a VERY close friend, you will never know that I have a tattoo.
I object to overdone and overextensive body art of any kind like piercings and tats in the same way that I object to overabundant jewelry. Visible tattoos are out of place in the office (wear long sleeves or a high neck) and piercings are out of place in food service. Frankly, nothing grosses me out faster than a server or food cashier with lip or nose rings (not to mention eyebrows, etc). By the way, wearing jewelry in any kind of piercings (that includes earrings) is against the health code of every state for food service workers and should be reported to management.
I personally would not hire (for a legal-type office job) someone with visible tattoos. To me, the unspoken message is immaturity and a lack of awareness of public image, no matter what the age.
What brought on this rant? At a recent dance competition, one of the competitors was a tall, slim, and very elegant young woman. Really good dancer for her bracket. Definitely in harmony with her partner. Lovely, lovely long white gown with a lot of nice cleavage and a low back. Only problem? On her right shoulder was a fist-sized goth tat dripping blood and skulls, very dark and very clear. It caught the eye and held it. The ONLY thing you saw about her performance was the tat. Technically, she and her partner should have won. They didn’t.
With tats, discretion is the better part of valor. If you’re looking for a job, cover them up or don’t get them where they show in the first place. If you’re participating in a subjective sport, use some common sense – or get a dress with a back high enough to cover it.