More professionals getting tattoos

The popularity of tattoos is on the rise. A recent survey revealed more than one in 10 Americans admitted to having one.
March 6, 2014 10:05:23 PM PST
The popularity of tattoos is on the rise. A recent survey revealed more than one in 10 Americans admitted to having one. And you might be surprised to hear who is getting them.

Many of Hollywood's hottest stars are openly sporting their tattoos, so are elite athletes, in fact, almost everywhere you look these days, it seems, someone's got a "tat."

"Once you get your first one, you find that you get attached to them, then it becomes, for me, an expression of things I've done in my life," real estate investor Dennis Flynn said. He got his first tattoo about 4 years ago.

He is one of a growing number of professionals getting tattoos.

"I always say it's my last one," Flynn said.

Tattoo artist Nicole Muniz at 415 Tattoo and Clothing in San Francisco has been doing this for 10 years. She says over the last five years, she's seen change in who is getting them.

"There isn't a type of person who gets tattooed anymore," Muniz said. "It's more so who doesn't have a tattoo."

According to a Pew research study in 2013, 45-million Americans now have at least one tattoo.

"Most of my career I was an expert at taking tattoos off," Dr. Kenny Omlin, a North Bay plastic surgeon, said.

He's thinking about getting his first tattoo.

"I clearly believe the pendulum is swinging over to more acceptance of tattoos," he said.

He is working with Muniz on a design for his first.

"I see a lot more patients that are my own patients, that are professionals, lawyers, doctors, real estate brokers, bankers, who now have tattoos," Omlin said. "And I think that the key is they don't really offend people -- it's a form of self-expression."

The Pew study found Generation X and Y make up the bulk of people with tattoos ? 36 percent of adults 18-25 and 40 percent of adults 26-40 say they have one.

But if you're looking for a job, keep in mind many employers still look down on tattoos. Some companies go as far as banning employees from having tattoos visible at work.

Tony Deblauwe is on the board of the Northern California Human Resources Association. He warns professionals who are looking for jobs to keep their tattoos out of sight.

"There is absolutely a bias there, and job seekers need to be sensitive to that," Deblauwe said.

In 2011, website careerbuilder surveyed thousands of hiring managers. Thirty-one percent of those managers said that if two employees were equal, they would promote the one without a visible tattoo.

"I think that corporate America tends to still remain fairly conservative when you look the customers, particularly the customer facing roles," Deblauwe said.

But that's still not keeping many professionals from getting tattoos. Though not everyone keeps them, 17 percent of people who get one say they regret it, one in 10 go as far as getting it removed.

Written and produced by Ken Miguel

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