Piercings and tattoos in the physics community

  • #1
Hello all,

Anyone here (visibly) pierced and/or tattooed? Did it affect your chances of finding work? What about REUs or internships?

My gut feeling is that it's probably not that big of a deal for most. I come from a front-end banking background where dress code is everything, and then moved to the IT department where hardly anyone cared. I'm curious if I would be looked down upon walking into work with a nose ring and sleeve.

And on a lighter note, does it count TOWARD you if your tattoos are science/math related? :tongue:
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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I don't think it matters very much. If you look like you just got off a Harley after breaking a pool cue on some guy's head, that might count against you... who wants an intimidating coworker? But if you look harmless enough, just inked and pierced, I don't think you'll have any problem at all.

I have to ask about your tattoos now though... you have "BORN TO PROVE" on your arm or something?
 
  • #3
turbo
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No tats or piercing, here. I'm unconventional enough on my own, and don't need to join that crowd to prove that I'm an individual.

Playing guitar all weekend in Uni and then later in life gave me all the individuality that I needed.

@OP: I would try to stay conventional. You may have a fantastic chance to hook up with a great prof, and it would be shame to have it blown because (s)he was turned off by your appearance.
 
  • #4
Drakkith
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Good rule of thumb for tattoos and piercings: Get them where you can cover them up!
 
  • #5
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I'm curious if I would be looked down upon walking into work with a nose ring and sleeve.

And on a lighter note, does it count TOWARD you if your tattoos are science/math related? :tongue:

A nose ring is too close to the eyes, uncommon and makes me uncomfortable, specifically my nose.

Look down on? no way. But other people, sure some would, some wouldn't, some may be favorably biased towards you because of it.


I'm a smoker. That's worse. :smile:
 
  • #6
Astronuc
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I had a pierced ear (left) during university. I removed the stud for a while, and the hole closed up. I work in a pretty conservative industry - the higher up, the more conservative. I've thought about getting it re-pierced, but then I've haven't really bothered.

For a long time, I kept my hair short, but now it's long. I did get some grief about my beard when it got long, but now, it's generally accepted along with my ponytail. My grad school colleagues told me that I wouldn't get a job with my beard. I interviewed for one job and got an offer the next day. I didn't shave. Some of my colleagues were shocked.

I know guys in the industry who have piercings, and some have unusual hair - as in colored mohawks, but that's unusual.

My brother thinks my long hair and beard is a professional hindrance. I don't think so, nor do I care.
 
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  • #7
Danger
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I had a piercing... twice. It wasn't visible to the general public. Unfortunately, my immune system is so obnoxious that both of them grew out and fell into my shoe. I reluctantly elected to abandon the effort.
I know that it isn't relevant to the original question, but I figured that I'd put it out there.
 
  • #8
Drakkith
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I had a piercing... twice. It wasn't visible to the general public. Unfortunately, my immune system is so obnoxious that both of them grew out and fell into my shoe. I reluctantly elected to abandon the effort.
I know that it isn't relevant to the original question, but I figured that I'd put it out there.

I'm afraid to ask...but where was the piercing given that they fell out "into my shoe"??
 
  • #9
DaveC426913
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I'm afraid to ask...but where was the piercing given that they fell out "into my shoe"??

I was afraid someone was going to ask.

I could happily go to my grave with a big fuzzy grey patch in place of the answer to this question.
 
  • #10
Danger
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where was the piercing given that they fell out "into my shoe"??

Hmmm... about 1 1/4" above my... uh... favourite appendage. :shy:
It was a 5/8" horizontal staple with 1/4" beads, and a 3" chain hanging from the left side with another 1/4" bead on the end.

I could happily go to my grave with a big fuzzy grey patch in place of the answer to this question.

:rofl:
 
  • #11
DaveC426913
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Got my left ear pierced about 10 years ago. Have pretty much forgotten it's there.
 
  • #12
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I've had nightmares about having a tattoo. I think they're ugly and pointless. I don't care what people's excuse is for getting a tattoo, it's never a good excuse. People get tattoos of their loved ones to remember them by... as if they'd forget about them if they didn't have the tattoo. They must not have been too loved if you need a constant reminder.
 
  • #13
Drakkith
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I've had nightmares about having a tattoo. I think they're ugly and pointless. I don't care what people's excuse is for getting a tattoo, it's never a good excuse. People get tattoos of their loved ones to remember them by... as if they'd forget about them if they didn't have the tattoo. They must not have been too loved if you need a constant reminder.

That's nice. Have you considered that peoples reasons for getting tattoos might be just as valid as yours are for not getting them?
 
  • #14
dlgoff
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Hmmm... about 1 1/4" above my... uh... favourite appendage. :shy:
1 1/4"? And I thought you were dangerous. :devil:
 
  • #15
Danger
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1 1/4"? And I thought you were dangerous. :devil:

Above, you pest! I said above. :grumpy:
 
  • #16
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I don't know, I don't think you're going to get an answer to your question. Personally I would question your motives if you walked into my office like that, and immediately my opinion of you would be low.

You'd have to really impress me, if I was in a position of offering you a job or research, looking like that.
 
  • #17
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What dipole said...
 
  • #18
DaveC426913
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Personally I would question your motives if you walked into my office like that, and immediately my opinion of you would be low.
It's a tricky thing, this judging on first impressions.

In my office, it's ability to do the job that is scrutinized. So "first impressions" takes a back seat to the "show me the money".

But there are places where the image you send out is an aspect of the job. And in those kinds of jobs, someone who sends the wrong message is also someone who doesn't understand the requirements of their job.
 
  • #19
D H
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It's a tricky thing, this judging on first impressions.
But we do do it, at least in job interviews. I've sat on the interviewer side of the table for my last three employers. Every single one has had "first impressions" as one of the evaluation form items. Dress and appearance can play a part of that first impression, particularly if it's inappropriate.

The general rule is business formal / formal side of business casual when you interview for a job that requires a bachelors degree or higher in a technical field. Leave your rings at home, cover your tattoos. Don't dress like a slob or worse. You can try wearing that stuff to work once you land the job. Some employers won't care, others will ask you to go home and change.
 
  • #20
I was thinking more along the lines of how it would be viewed once you have the job (probably didn't make that very clear, re-reading my post). I wouldn't walk into an interview in a sleeveless shirt to show anything off.

Thanks for the replies, everyone. :)
 
  • #21
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I know of a physics teacher who had a couple of tattoos, but they were in areas that could be easily covered if they were to wear a dress shirt. (tied all the way up)

Above, you pest! I said above. :grumpy:

It's funny that you think he was referring to what's not above... :-) :-) :-)
 
  • #22
was just at a big corporate sponsored conference, and it was funny since it seemed to be that a pony tail on the men was required to become a VP.

That said I have a tattoo on my forearm and when I am meeting customers/ collaborators for the first time I generally keep it covered, till they know me. that said, if you are going to totally bias me based on a few tats, I would just write you off. I lived in fear of getting tats and piercings for years, but have just come to the conclusion that you need to be comfortable in yourself. it may hold me back at some point from some super high exec job, but really I do not want that anyway.
 
  • #23
I lived in fear of getting tats and piercings for years, but have just come to the conclusion that you need to be comfortable in yourself. it may hold me back at some point from some super high exec job, but really I do not want that anyway.

That's how I'm beginning to feel as well. My success should and will be based on performance, not on my tattoos. Good to hear that, generally, it won't be an uphill battle when I start working in physics.
 
  • #24
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Oh well, there's Flo on my left and there's Mary on my right
And Janie is the girl with that I'll be with tonight
And when she asks me, which one I love the best?
I tear open my shirt I got Rosie on my chest.

Actually, I don't have any tattoos or piercings at all. Just surgery scars. My daughter is an apprentice tattoo artist though. She's pierced and tattood out the wazoo. Well, not really out the wazoo, but darn near.
 
  • #25
DaveC426913
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But we do do it, at least in job interviews. I've sat on the interviewer side of the table for my last three employers. Every single one has had "first impressions" as one of the evaluation form items. Dress and appearance can play a part of that first impression,
Perhaps, but I see a hidden bias in there that piercings and tattoos are inherently bad, lumped in the same category as slobbishness.

There are virtually no circumstances in which slobbishness is a neutral or positive sign of a person. That is not true of tattoos or piercings. They are only bad if the job calls for an appearance that is on the side of conservative.
 

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