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Aug. 7 2009 - 8:38 am | 37 views | 1 recommendation | 5 comments

Want A Great Job? Lose Those Tattoos

Head and shoulders portrait of a Māori man, hi...

Image via Wikipedia

Check out this story in The Los Angeles Times — picked up by NPR and the Guardian of London — by my pal Nathan Olivarez-Giles about the growing business there run by Dr. Will Kirby, aka Dr. Tattoff, removing tattoos. In a lousy economy, having six dragons peeking out of your cleavage may no longer be a great career move.

An online Harris poll last year, Nate reports, of 2,302 Americans aged 21-39, found 14 percent of them had tattoos and 84 percent said they had no regrets over getting one. That still leaves 12 percent sick to death of hiding their tattoos when looking for a good job.

The older, wiser and job-hunting have helped boost business, which has three locations each getting 25 customers a day, to consistent profits and a possible IPO. Most of Kirby’s clients are women between 25 and 35, half of them college-educated and half earning $50,000 a year or more.


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  1. collapse expand

    Pretty, multi-tattooed clerk at mailing house said yesterday, “Will I hate them at 30? I’ll worry about that when I’m 30.” Oh, me.

  2. collapse expand

    On a woman, a small, discreet something, in a place few get to see, makes some sense to me. Looking like Ray Bradbury’s Illustrated Man, not so much. What looks so cool at 22 or 32 can look stupid and tacky at 50 or 70.

  3. collapse expand

    I used to tell my boys when they were teenagers that “you can get a tattoo, but you have to move out until you remove it.” They never got tattoos. Paul Theroux wrote a novel named “Saint Jack” about an unlucky guy who was kidnapped, drugged, and tattooed head to toe. Here in my Victorian SoCal town of 80,000 we have three established parlors and several “traveling artists.” The sexist term “tramp stamp” for a woman’s lower back tattoo descending into her buttocks always looks like an unfortunate choice. Removal is quite painful I understand. My father had a tattoo on the outside of his lower left leg. He had lied about his age and joined the Navy when he was seventeen straight from a CCC camp out of Olympia, WA. The tattoo told a dirty story about a farmer and his daughter. It was in a muddied Chinese and he never told me much more. Tom Medlicott

  4. collapse expand

    Using that particular image – early lithograph of a Maori warrior – to illustrate your point would have the politically correct in New Zealand in an uproar. I’ve been away for more than a decade and come back to a tattooed nation. I think where they symbolize a tribal or cultural affiliation, that’s one thing. But the barb wire around the arm? And the squiggly ‘tramp stamp’ on the lower back? Well, a lot of those are going to look bloody silly in a few years time, the ones that don’t already. Call me old-fashioned.

  5. collapse expand

    Scott, having been to NZ, I meant no disrespect at all to the Maoris. I just found the image really beautiful and eye-catching.

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