Piercings in the Workplace: Are Piercings Unprofessional?
Growing up, were you ever scolded by your parents or other figures of authority about your desire for body mods? Something like:
"You won't ever get a job with a tattoo!"
"Piercings are trashy!"
Certainly, society can be cruel and unforgiving. But as younger generations continue to become a more and more dominant part of the workplace, standards for what is and isn't acceptable are changing.
Whether it's guilt from our childhood, general anxiety, or just a general drive to remain gainfully employed, some of us still wonder, "Are piercings unprofessional?" Maybe your boss is completely accepting of alternative looks and styles. Conversely, you could also have a CEO that remains firmly rooted in conservative values and appearances.
Obviously, as a body jewelry company, we're all-in on the idea of being pierced and employed... But not every company is as progressive as us! Before you head out and get pierced (someplace visible), there are a few questions you should ask yourself:
Can I Be Pierced & Employed?
Yes! Or... No. There's no, perfect, end-all-be-all answer to this question.
Speaking from experience, there are plenty of places of employment that allow and may even encourage piercings. Industries in the arts, creative sectors, or behind-the-scenes jobs may not care what kind of piercings you have.
On the other hand, if you're a manual laborer or factory worker, piercings might actually be a safety hazard. An eyebrow ring or surface dermal may get caught on a piece of equipment or machinery and cause an injury.
Other jobs, perhaps in front-of house, serving, sales, or customer service positions, might require their employees have more of a prim and proper look. They may perceive piercings as "unprofessional" because a septum piercing or stretched earlobes might "put-off" more conservative customers.
Although we don't agree with these antiquated views on body modification, it's important to understand why people might feel this way in order to make the most informed decision that's right for you.
Which Piercings Are More Acceptable?
Again, this is a question with no concrete answer... But if you're trying to satisfy that itch to go get pierced at a piercing studio, there are a few mods that are generally more socially-accepted than others.
1.) Micro nose rings - a super-tiny nose ring will add a subtle sparkle to your nostril piercing without drawing too much attention. You can also fit this with a flesh-colored or clear retainer without too much hassle.
2.) Cartilage piercings - earlobe piercings are almost universally accepted, but a cartilage piercing (like a tragus, helix, or daith) could work out for you. These piercings can be easily hidden by hair and often use traditional studs or hoops for a more subtle look.
3.) Hidden piercings - your employers don't need to know about your belly button ring, your nipple barbells, or a chest dermal. Just like tattoos, these can be completely covered by your clothes or uniform. It can be your little secret!
4.) Septum Horseshoe - you probably won't be able to wear a septum clicker at work, but a horseshoe barbell can be flipped up and tucked into your nostrils for a borderline invisible look.
Which Piercings Are Less Accepted?
It feels weird for us to describe any piercings as "unacceptable," but if we're thinking objectively, you may want to avoid the following piercings if your job's dress code strictly forbids piercings.
1.) Eyebrow Rings - there's no great way to hide or disguise an eyebrow piercing. These are surface piercings as well, so it's best not to fiddle with these too much.
2.) Lip/Mouth Piercings - although there are plenty of styles of retainers for this kind of piercing, lip piercings (like snake bites, monroes, labrets, and medusa piercings) are a bit less socially-acceptable than ear/nose piercings.
3.) Tongue Rings - unless you can keep your mouth closed... Your tongue ring is probably going to be visible when you speak. Proceed with caution
What is a Jewelry Retainer?
Jewelry retainers are pieces of jewelry, typically made of a material called "bioplast," that are worn when a piercing needs to be kept open, especially during times when you wouldn't be able to wear your jewelry. This makes it not great for "hiding" your piercing for work, but also when you need to exercise, play sports, or be very active.
Bioplast retainers aren't completely invisible... But you might be able to get away with wearing a retainer in your piercing while you're at work! Just make sure your piercing is completely healed up before you try to put in a retainer.