Teens and Tattoos

September 30, 2010

I’m fortunate enough to work in a school environment that doesn’t frown upon my visible tattoos. I felt pretty prepared for the opposite to be true–that’s why all my tattoos are in locations easily concealed by professional attire–but I was pleasantly surprised to discover I didn’t have to worry about wearing polo shirts in warmer weather. (And thank goodness, because my library isn’t air conditioned!)

Having my tattoos visible invariably means my students will look at them, ask about them, and want to talk about them. Where did I get them? Did it hurt? How long did they take to heal?

I wasn’t at all surprised to get the questions, and I’m always happy to answer them, but I was a little thrown the first time a kid approached me asking about their own tattoo.

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Teaching While Tattooed

April 27, 2010

Jill’s recent Feministe post on dress codes for female attorneys has been rolling around in my brain for quite some time. I’m not a lawyer, but as a person with ladybits, some double standards about “professional” attire still impact me.

In some ways, I’m fortunate to have chosen this career path–from what I’ve read and heard from friends, courtrooms and the corporate world (just as two examples) can be extremely unforgiving for women who deviate from the rules, not to mention those of us who fall anywhere on the gender-variant spectrum (and tend to have kind of a hard time no matter where we work). A public school, on the other hand, is comparatively quite relaxed; some of my colleagues wear jeans on any given day of the week, and I’ve been known to wear flip-flops from time to time.

This relatively casual atmosphere, however, is never a given, and I walk into any interview or professional development event or major administrative meeting with considerably more formality than in my daily work life–which includes covering my tattoos.

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