I know - Tattoos are a part of our culture now. I have to accept the new norms and not judge people based on the old norms. I don't have a Tat, and for the most part I don't judge.
Until money's involved. Then, I think, the marketplace is the ultimate judge.
So, what about the economics of the situation? Do consumers buy less from tattooed salespeople (selling normal products, so don't use the piercing shop as the example) than they do from a comparable salesperson with no ink?
There's a reason a lot of retail establishments have policies against visible tattoos, especially as you move up to higher end products. Jason Whitlock thinks the economic advantage even applies to TV ratings, even to sports leagues:
"Over the next couple of weeks you'll hear lots of theories about why TV ratings are surging for the NBA playoffs.
But there's one issue driving improved ratings that likely won't be touched by all the NBA talking heads on TNT and ESPN.
Tattoos. Or rather the lack of tattoos in the conference finals.
Part of the reason more people are watching these playoffs is because the average fan isn't constantly repulsed by the appearance of most of the players on the court. Most of the key players left in the playoffs don't look like recent prison parolees.
The only accurate way to describe Garnett, Pierce, Duncan, Allen, Manu, Parker and even Kobe is "clean cut." Yeah, there are a couple of tattoos in that group — Duncan has something on his back, Kobe still has his post-rape-allegation tat — but the Lakers, Spurs and Celtics have far less ink on average than your typical NBA franchise.
I know many of you probably think the number of tattoos doesn't influence viewing habits. You're wrong. Like everything else televised, appearances matter. There's a reason you don't see nude scenes in movies with fat people. Trust me, fat people have sex. It's just no one wants to see it. Not even fat people.
You just want to watch basketball and feel like you're watching people you can relate to a little bit, people you somewhat respect."
Remember - Jason Whitlock said that, not me. I'm replaying it here because I'm interested in the economic impact of the tattoo. Take the same talent, same knowledge, skills and abilities, same appearance and the same communications skills in two associates/salespeople. One has a visible tattoo, one doesn't. Who closes more business in a mainstream industry? Who makes more over their career?
I don't know the answer, but I would love to see some research. To hedge my bets in our household, I told my son while on vacation that having a visible tattoo cuts your career earning potential in half.
I have no idea whether that's correct or not, but I've already learned that personal finance connects with my son better than "my opinion"... He's 8 - god help me when he becomes a teenager...