The Dumbest Story You’ll Read All Day You’ve Read Every Day, Forever

Confession time: I have been purposely avoiding writing about this “story” because it is such a stupid fabrication, but for some godforsaken reason it has sadly become a legitimate news meme—indeed, it seems to have usurped that rash of, “Hey Even Your GRANDMA Is Getting Tattooed Now” pieces from late last year—and has seriously been repeated at least 20 times in various outlets over the past few weeks, so, whatever, let’s pick one at random. Anyway, remember those glorious salad days when people were just getting tattooed all the time, without a care in the world, because there were JOBS? Well, now that the world economy has been assassinated and all of our money has been shot into space to make room for all of the inconsiderate over-populators, lots of newspapers and TV stations are reporting that tattoo-removal businesses are the new kings of earth, paragons of solvency and all sorts of other things that probably aren’t true. Here is the tale of one such master race from New Mexico:

Many are afraid that a simple tattoo could keep them from getting a job, so many of them are making a date with a laser.

Dr. Lauren Chavez runs Clear Waves Laser Center and says a lot more people want to get rid of visible tattoos.

Chavez said Friday, “We seen just in the last couple of months…a really high increase in desire for tattoo removal on the hands, wrists, neck, face anywhere that’s visible.”

She said, “Some of them tell me that their hopefully future employer told them that they wouldn’t hide them, because of the visible tattoo. Some employers have even offered to pay for it, which is awful surprising…and that was a local bank.”

A local bank, you say? Well holy shit! What more incontrovertible evidence could you possibly need? See, this is the kind of non-reporting that comprises damn-near every “trend-spotting” article of this sort and truly makes my balls ache above most other things. This canard arguably originated in this May 24, 2009, New York Post article, which was similarly light on facts and relied on a thimbleful of weak-ass anecdotal evidence, but hey, tattoo-removal centers probably appreciated the press, right? So they fanned out across the country, calling up their local understaffed newspapers and news stations and whatnot to say, “Hey, this isn’t only happening in big old New York! This very popular trend is also occurring right under your noses!”

And so a bogus, wholly manufactured and preposterous “trend” is born. Are people getting tattoos removed these days? They surely are. Is it happening en masse because a generation of these ink-stained hoodlums is desperately seeking recession-proof work in the private sector? Ha ha NO, that is almost definitely NOT what is happening, except you wouldn’t know it by the almost daily articles on this very subject, everywhere. Phew. In conclusion, this, like most things, is probably the Post‘s fault.

More Job Seekers Getting Tattoos Removed []

24 thoughts on “The Dumbest Story You’ll Read All Day You’ve Read Every Day, Forever

  1. I have to say – I’m happy with all of my mods, but the idea has come to me several times that maybe it’s time to put future modification on pause and take out the plugs. For me, anyway. It would break my heart, but then again, so would living in a cardboard box, stealing crumbs from rats to feed my family. :|
    Sometimes, you just have to prioritize. And if it comes between a future and my visible modifications, it is saddening to say I realize which one would just have to go.

  2. Not that I disagree with your assessment of the realiability of that kind of “trend-spotting” articles, but your closing paragraph is equally untainted by any incontrovertible evidence.

  3. why would you spend that much money just so you can get a job?
    if you were in desperate need of monies, i highly doubt one would resort to lazurz.
    i mean, that might just be me, but i would try to find a job that accepted them before resorting to that.

    or…get some makeup perhaps.

  4. there are a lot more jobs out there where you can have tattoos than people think…
    i just got a job and started last week where a few of us have visible tattoos, some have dreads, some have died hair, stretched ears, facial piercings. and we have to talk face to face with people all day long and attempt to sell something. and all of us are successful at it.
    they’re out there, you just have to look hard enough.

  5. To clarify, I’m not in any way shitting on tattoo removal at all! I just think this particular series of “trend” pieces is silly.

  6. The whole tone of the report really seemed suspect. It definitely struck me as though there’s just not enough real ‘breaking news’ to report on at the moment, so they’re left stretching out the leftovers, so to speak.

  7. I’m agreeing with #9 here, that whole news was kinda… meh.

    Anyway, thank the bobble I’m studying/working on an industry where most of people have tattoos and occasional mods, so my chances to get a job in the future is not “hindered” by some silly prejudice.

  8. HA!
    I am sure there is some sort of Homeland Security violation if I were to try to take a picture of him, but one of the tellers at my bank (name withheld) has H.N.I.C tattooed on his neck.

  9. Hmm.

    What’s interesting is the psychological element in this… It isn’t as though tattooed folks were being handed the “spare jobs” of yesterecon. No employer said to his HR department, “look, we usually don’t hire these freaky ink children, but since the economy is so strong, we’ll cut them some slack.” In bull or bear, one hires the most qualified personnel one can afford – and tattoos are mute when it comes to qualifications.

    Tattoos used to be damaging in the job market because they were seen as a sign of having served a prison sentence, gang involvement, or some other unsavory involvement. The taboo against tattoos has faded as they have moved into the mainstream, and as with all cultural taboos, once it’s been freed, there’s nothing to be done about it. Tattoos are no longer nearly the taboo item they used to be – that’s not to say that there’s no stigma attached, especially if you find yourself in the wrong cultural niche, but for the most part, the cat’s out of the bag: tattoos don’t make you unemployable.

    Getting back to the psychology of whatever uptick in removal there may be, none of the people mentioned in the linked articles (particularly the Post), mentioned that they had failed to get a job because of their tattoos, nor that they’d been fired for them… nothing. What people mentioned was fear. The pharmaceutical salesman with an Irish flag tattoo in the Post’s article (see link) talks about fearing the loss of his clients. That’s fine, he can fear what he pleases, and spend the $2400 ($200 x 12 months of laser treatment) on getting the tattoo removed. Without numbers suggesting that pharmaceutical salesmen with tattoos are losing more clients than those without tattoos during this recession, however, I have a strong hunch that he could make that $2400 work much more in his favor if he used it to pay for some University or Community College credits.

  10. The facts alluded to in the news story are very weak. I can see it now, the HR department of a major company requiring job applicants to appear naked instead of in formal business attire. This way they can find that tiny impulsive tattoo on the job seeker’s shoulder blade and blacklist them.

  11. I don’t see the problem. Sure, It’s hardly headline news but it doesn’t detract from the more important issues.

    Lots of people have tattoos. Lots of people don’t have jobs, so the story, whether you see it as news-worthy or not, will appeal to people.

    So it gets repeated a few times – that’s the same with every other story you see in the news. Chances are, a main story with the stats went out over the AP wire, and everyone picked up on it.

    It’s just how the industry works.

  12. ok, I have tattoed the left half of my body with polynesian style tattoos (made in tahiti) and on the right side of my back, I have a not so cool tattoo that is too different and everybody tells me so, what do you think I”m gonna do?

    the main things they say in that video are true, but hey, what’s your problem with removing tattoos?

    one layer of ink tells about a period of your life, and sometimes things change and you cant make it better, I’m glad tattoo removal exist.

    the fact is people working in some places are not supposed to impose their choices or personalities to others (clients, patients, child, eldery people) with a part of temselves that can be agressive or make people imagine things.
    how about trying to get imployed with radical religious or political signs or behaviour?

    I would like tattoo removal machines to be owned by tattoo artists, and I’m sure you wouldn’t complain about how this movies advertises for laser tattoo removal….

    keep smiling, excuse my english, I don’t want to seem rude or whatever.

    bme rocks


  13. It’s really not that hard to find a job when you have tattoos. Strangely, I have had experience with employers who were more strict on facial piercings than tattoos.

    But, if you can’t find an accepting position there’s always (the much cheaper, and you get to keep your tattoos!) Dermablend.

  14. I have absolutely no idea what dude in the yellow polo could be doing for a living that would require him to remove a tattoo from his deltoid.

  15. maybe…JUST maybe the follow mee’s are getting their petards thrusted…tat’s arent job killers,assholes are.
    but having a very “unacceptable” tat will fuck you just as well…that’s society

  16. I was suprised too that many of the example tattoos in the video clip were on legs, shoulderblades and upper arms (the yellow-shirted man), places that are usually covered by regular office attire. I can’t think of any work where men would ear sleeveless shirts, except in construction, and there they sure as hell don’t care, right?

    I’m keeping in mind the possible hinderance of visible mods in the employment area, whenever I get new ones. But for example for my ear piercings (cartilage, 16mm streched lobes), I would try to hide them by cutting my hair into a short bob (so covering my ears all the time) before removing them completely.

  17. #15, Louis. I actually know of a tattoo studio that does removal. Of course, they use a tattoo machine to do so, with a mixture of, if I remember right, rubbing alcohol. Then again, he does it with the idea of lighting the tattoo for a better cover up. On another note, yellow shirt guy should have his tattoo removed. He looks like a total douche with neither wit nor imagination. I, like many of my friends, say fuck it, Its too late anyways. When every tattooed person in america gets laid off, we’ll move somewhere else. Fuck the system that would rather have a lesser qualified person then bent their corporate ideology.

  18. is it just me, or is the picture of the flashing lazer covered in gel ar 0:33 extreamly gross?

  19. I so passionately hate it when people fail to think critically. And really, the media is hardly scientific. Everyday we take our news to be the providers of “truth” for what is really going on out there, from crime, trends to weather and politics. Which i find really scary because they don’t need to test their stories in any scientific capacity. One or two incidents of any particiular event is enough to label it a “pandemic”.

  20. you know jordan ginsberg, i don’t know who you are. all i now is that you are not shanon, and after a few years’ hiatus from modblog i was rather skeptical. but this one got me. you won me over. i just laughed my ass off.

  21. I’m looking to get two small tattoos removed. Not or a job or discrimination. But cause they are horrible. I did them myself at a very young age and they are ugly. I want a clean canvas for some good quality art. :)

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