Tattoos not suitable for some jobs

May 28th, 2013 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Claire Nathan says she had her dreams of being an air hostess dashed after turned her away because of her ta moko.

Ms Nathan applied for her dream job in January, but last month, the national flag carrier terminated an interview when she declared the traditional Maori motif on her lower arm.

Last night, she told Maori TV show Native Affairs how the interview initially went well, until it came to filling out a form that asked if she had any visible .

“I thought, ‘This is interesting. I wonder why they are asking me that. Maybe it’s because they want to know if I have a ta moko.’

“I thought that they would be quite proud to have someone with a ta moko working and representing New Zealand. [But it's] not the case. [It] was the total opposite.”

Ms Nathan said she was told tattoos that could not be covered by the uniform were unacceptable.

People make a choice whether to get tattoos. I think many tattoos look cool, but if you want a job in certain roles you need to think about whether having a visible tattoo will be hinder you in that.

If someone was covered with skull and crossbones tattoos, then you would not expect to see them in certain frontline roles.

Now of course a ta moko is very different to the above example. But here’s where I have sympathy for Air NZ.

Do they become the tattoo police and decide on an individual basis which tattoos are allowable, and which are not? I’d guess that would land them in even more trouble.

She said it was a double standard from an airline whose logo is a koru.

Heavily tattooed singer Gin Wigmore has appeared in Air NZ ads, as have numerous inked All Blacks.

There’s a world of difference between someone appearing in a television advertisement, and someone being in a customer service role.

I’m sure Air NZ do not mind how many tattoos staff in non front line roles have.

Ms Nathan said she never thought her ta moko – depicting her heritage and her two children – would limit her career choices.

Well of course it would. She made a choice.

Air New Zealand said last night that tattoos were seen as “frightening or intimidating” in many cultures.

“Naturally we want all of our customers to feel comfortable and happy … and this has been a key driver of our grooming standard which, like many other international airlines, prevents customer-facing staff from having visible tattoos.”

As I said, I think many tattoos look great if done well (would never have one myself though). But Air NZ is a company that lives or dies on customer service, and their rule isn’t an anti moko rule – it is an anti visible tattoo rule.

You can argue that they should show some flexibility, but then they have to start inspecting individual tattoos and telling prospective staff whether they approve of their individual designs. Imagine the nightmare that would cause!

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54 Responses to “Tattoos not suitable for some jobs”

  1. dime (9,980 comments) says:

    I suspect she is a bit like homer simpson.. she has a new dream job every other week :D

    I dont want stamped trash serving me on a flight

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  2. Redbaiter (9,123 comments) says:

    More Critical Theory.

    It never stops.

    http://www.academia.org/the-origins-of-political-correctness/

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  3. RRM (9,933 comments) says:

    Good.

    Go be a prison guard or something.

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  4. Ashley Schaeffer (488 comments) says:

    It doesn’t matter how much time, money and effort goes into a tattoo or what meaning it holds for the wearer – tattoos will never be classy and airlines want to convey some class. They should have that choice.

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  5. Peter (1,714 comments) says:

    “Ms Nathan said she never thought ”

    Beginning, and end, of the issue.

    Think, McFly, think.

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  6. RRM (9,933 comments) says:

    Although it’s a bit sad to think that Kelly (of “my name is Kelly” notoriety) might be eligible for the job.

    http://www.picshag.com/pics/092011/my-name-is-kelly.jpg

    (Though I expect her self-esteem problems would show through, even if the stamp doesn’t… )

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  7. MT_Tinman (3,205 comments) says:

    A great many moons ago a wise man once asked me “Unless you intend to be perfect (How bloody boring would that be?), why give anyone the means to identify you?”

    As stated on another thread, I remain untattooed and beautiful. ;-)

    Good on Air New Zealand.

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  8. dime (9,980 comments) says:

    Willie and JT arent happy!

    Apparently these tatts are beautiful!!!

    Air NZ use maori culture so apparently they should embrace it all!

    SO, starting next week:

    If youre a baby and you cry, be prepared to be severly beaten. you may die.
    If youre from another tribe, a maori hostie may take you as a slave or eat you

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  9. Pita (373 comments) says:

    When I travel by airline I don’t wish to have my “human right” trampled by someone who wishes to parade their “human right”.

    Regardless how I feel about tattoos and the message they can convey (fill in your own opinion) I’m sure Air New Zealand want to run a profitable business that does not challenge their passengers sensibilities, leaving only positive memories other than being served by some perceived tart with a tattoo.

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  10. Paulus (2,633 comments) says:

    Silly woman – a typical Maori try on.
    Poor me.

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  11. Zapper (1,021 comments) says:

    This should be extended to rugby and rugby league morons who tattoo both arms and their neck. They fail the dickhead test.

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  12. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    As I said on GD this morning, if she needs to get her kids inked on her arm she’s too stupid to serve me.

    But the dumb dumb bastard from Air New Zealand, what a fucking idiot, if she terminated the interview over this I can imagine she’ll be lucky to be cleaning bogs today .

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  13. Kimble (4,440 comments) says:

    Too many of our visitors are Japanese for ANY person in the tourism industry to be shocked that facial tattoos could be banned.

    If you are shocked by it, you don’t know nearly enough about the job to be hired in the first place.

    http://japandailypress.com/the-view-of-tattoos-in-japanese-society-295623

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  14. s.russell (1,642 comments) says:

    This is why smart employers never tell you why you have not got the job. It only opens them up to allegations of bias, PR problems, legal problems etc.

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  15. Kea (12,841 comments) says:

    If people want to deface their bodies with ugly scribbles then that is their choice. But they must accept it limits their career choices. That is the employers choice.

    The vanity and self importance of tattoo wearers is another matter. Why do they think anyone gives a shit about the importance they attach to their attention seeking graffiti ? Their is nothing original about and it makes no statement beyond announcing to the world how insecure and self absorbed you are.

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  16. Manolo (13,840 comments) says:

    Tattoos not suitable to any job, really.
    Why do these morons disfigure their bodies? “Cultural” Stone Age traditions? Yeah right.

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  17. LiberalismIsASin (290 comments) says:

    Hey Red, that was a great read that link, cheers

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  18. hmmokrightitis (1,590 comments) says:

    Air UnZud lost any of my sympathy over taking a moral stance over their juvenile, tacky advertising campaign using that stupid fucking smutty puppet. You want to claim the moral high ground, then do so with consistency, not when it suits you.

    That said, tatts on trolley dollies, nah, not a good look, other than for Hamilton to Gold Coast flights :)

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  19. dime (9,980 comments) says:

    “using that stupid fucking smutty puppet” heh one step up from sean fitzpatrick driving around in a giant fist and telling us not to have sex

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  20. wf (448 comments) says:

    Re:

    http://japandailypress.com/the-view-of-tattoos-in-japanese-society-295623

    If the Japanese regard tattoos as a sign of criminality they are not far off the mark as far as I’m concerned. Look at Tame Iti. Even if he does look cute, and reminds me of a little doll on a key ring.

    And isn’t there group of people who regard full body tattooing as a collectable art?

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  21. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    Would she get it removed in order to get her “dream job”?

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  22. Komata (1,191 comments) says:

    FWIW

    After reading the Herald article along with other articles on the same topic, it does seem to me that Air NZ shot itself in the foot in the way that it handled this. Apparently, it appears that whomever was interviewing this candidate openly declared TO HER DIRECTLY that the lady’s tattoos were not acceptable to A-NZ. . Silly interviewer! Surely it would have been far batter to have quietly made a note concerning said-adornment on the interview notes he/she was taking and after consultation with others to obtain their views, sent the candidate a ‘you have been unsuccessful’ letter.

    Instead, as a result of the interviewer not engaging their brain before opening their mouth, the airline now has a major problem, made all the more awkward by the lady’s pulling the ‘race/you done me wrong’ card (always useful, if needed), and running to the media.

    Any bets that A-NZ will now be forced by Dame Susan to employ this woman (or at least ‘compensate’ her for ‘hurt feelings’).

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  23. RRM (9,933 comments) says:

    Willie and JT arent happy!

    Apparently these tatts are beautiful!!!

    You’re as masochistic as Pete George, reading The Standard every day just so he can give us live updates about how crap it is.

    You two should meet up at the sauna for a chest hair waxing comp. First one who screams, loses.

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  24. Harriet (4,990 comments) says:

    Fat women and tattooed blokes used to be in a circus act – but with the liberals in charge – now they’re fucken clebrated everywhere!

    classy. :cool:

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  25. Redbaiter (9,123 comments) says:

    “Hey Red, that was a great read that link, cheers”

    Thanks, my pleasure.

    People chatter on about all of these things without realising they’re all linked and all part of the same cultural offensive. Not that the tattooed woman realises that, or the womam who terminated the interview. They’re both just puppets being manipulated by the influence of leftist academics and the likes, subversives determined to bring down our traditional culture.

    “What Critical Theory is about is simply criticizing. It calls for the most destructive criticism possible, in every possible way, designed to bring the current order down. And, of course, when we hear from the feminists that the whole of society is just out to get women and so on, that kind of criticism is a derivative of Critical Theory. It is all coming from the 1930s, not the 1960s.”

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  26. b1gdaddynz (279 comments) says:

    I have tattoos but as I was not intending to become a rock star or tattoo artist I made a conscious decision to ensure they were discrete. They are for me anyway so I don’t have the need for others to see them. I have no sympathy for people with tattoos that cannot be hidden as that was their choice!

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  27. Redbaiter (9,123 comments) says:

    “Air UnZud lost any of my sympathy over taking a moral stance over their juvenile, tacky advertising campaign using that stupid fucking smutty puppet.”

    Smacks head in amazement.

    That is right.

    That is absolutely fucking right. Who the fuck are Air NZ to be complaining about tatts being offensive?

    And hmmOKimanidiot got it. Amazing.

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  28. hmmokrightitis (1,590 comments) says:

    At the risk of stating the obvious weddy, do take your hand off it. You post freely about Critical Theory, not understanding the irony of what you do all the time, as nauseum.

    But again, feel free to update us all on the positive steps you are taking to rid the world of progressivitis. Like joining or forming a political movement. I suspect the only movement you are capable of takes a fair amount of straining 3 times a week…

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  29. RRM (9,933 comments) says:

    Weddy said on his own blog site that Kiwiblog is a far left sewer and he never comes here any more.

    But then he makes dozens of comments on here every day.

    So Air New Zealand’s moral dilemma (in banning tattoos while at the same time having stupid TV adverts) must be pretty bad, if Lord Redbaiter, First Liar of Hypocrisy feels worthy of commenting on it… ;-)

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  30. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,903 comments) says:

    Harriet, I think you have it wrong. As far as I can see, it’s fat blokes and tattooed women.

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  31. dime (9,980 comments) says:

    RRM – i know, im a sick puppy. its about 10 mins a day max. cause i cant stand danny watson.

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  32. Kea (12,841 comments) says:

    Weddy said on his own blog site that Kiwiblog is a far left sewer and he never comes here any more.

    If it were not for Red how would I have known I was a homo-loving communist out to overthrow all that was good in the world ?

    Answer me that RRM ! :)

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  33. Griff (7,822 comments) says:

    Tart tags
    skank stamps

    When mates get a new one I just make fun of their scribbles it deflates their egos nicely
    A little like yelling taxi at hot commodor owners.
    If you need a stamp or a hot car to boost your ego you are really pathetic. Being a follower is not cool

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  34. rouppe (971 comments) says:

    What a beat up. If this is allowed on the basis that it is ‘ta moko’ then the next thing will be facial moko. Then there will be the Tame iti full-face moko. They’re all cultural. So good on Air NZ for nipping it in the bud.

    Air New Zealand is an airline, not a cultural statement. Or a taonga.

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  35. s.russell (1,642 comments) says:

    Why don’t fat ugly people get jobs as fashion models? The same kind of disgraceful discrimination at work surely!

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  36. liarbors a joke (1,069 comments) says:

    Wait for it….next stop Human Rights Commissariao…”Ive been wronged bro”…

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  37. edhunter (547 comments) says:

    Reading the comments here I expect most of you still believe in Phrenology.
    Seriously the faux outrage is starting to wear a little thin & basically saying that anyone with a tattoo is scum & a lower lifeform is akin to saying you can tell a man by the colour of his skin.

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  38. Weihana (4,557 comments) says:

    She said it was a double standard from an airline whose logo is a koru.

    Qantas has a kangaroo on their logo. Must they therefore employ kangaroos to be consistent?

    Though I don’t get the intense hatred displayed towards people with tattoos on this forum. I don’t have a problem with tattoos generally but I think it is reasonable for a corporation to create and promote an image that doesn’t include cabin crew with tattoos.

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  39. edhunter (547 comments) says:

    I agree Weihana, it is reasonable for a corporation to create and promote an image that doesn’t include cabin crew with tattoos. This is just another non-story my the MSM & a chance for people here to show their bigotted & racists tendancies.

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  40. big bruv (13,935 comments) says:

    “Now of course a ta moko is very different to the above example”

    I disagree. It is nothing more than scribble dressed up as having some mythical cultural meaning.

    The current trend toward scribble is just another thing that the tax payer will have to fund in years to come when the losers who think that defacing their own body is terribly cool come to realise that what they have done is hampering their ability to earn a living, the good old tax payer will be the one faced with coughing up for the removal of the scribble.

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  41. liarbors a joke (1,069 comments) says:

    “you can tell a man by the colour of his skin.”

    Well you get no argument from me there…I wont state the obvious but just think about the various shades of some people and the crimes that go along side…easy to tell their calibre ..

    ” oohhh you cant say that”..” prove it”…”what a tosser ”

    Yeah ya go..saved ya the faux outrage..

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  42. RF (1,407 comments) says:

    Tell her to go find a bearded lady .. may I suggest one of the Greens -…and they can join the circus as a double act.

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  43. Komata (1,191 comments) says:

    RF

    Isn’t it just a little bit unfair on your part to say ‘…and they can join the circus as a double act'; you KNOW that labour and the gween’s are ALREADY joined and that the world they inhabit IS a circus …

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  44. Engineer (70 comments) says:

    She said it was a double standard from an airline whose logo is a koru.

    What an absolutely ridiculous statement.

    However I do agree that exemptions should perhaps be made for traditional Maori tattoos (but not for Pacific or Asian).

    But the emphasis should be on traditional. The tattoo on the arm of the lady of the article certainly does not look too threatening to me, so I kind of sympathize with her (Its not like she had L O V E or something like that inked on her knuckles).

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  45. RF (1,407 comments) says:

    Komata. 8.41pm.

    I like the cut of your jib.

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  46. KevinH (1,229 comments) says:

    In the tourism industry a conservative professional image is required because clients expect it. Tattoo’s and body piercings are frowned upon because clients don’t find them acceptable therefore service providers don’t employ people who have them. A lot of staff do have tattoo’s but are careful not to show them by wearing long sleeved shirts avoiding causing offence to clients who don’t like them.

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  47. big bruv (13,935 comments) says:

    “Tell her to go find a bearded lady”

    Never met Delahunty?

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  48. Chinarugby (88 comments) says:

    Air NZ is absolutely correct.

    I go to Japan frequently for business – in the hotel if you wish to use the wet rooms/spa area you MUST not have or fully cover tatoos – period.

    Air NZ has an obligation to its passenger base and MANY cultures will not tolerate tatoos.

    Good on Air NZ

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  49. frankdb (150 comments) says:

    That music you liked 25 years ago probably aint what you want to hear today.

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  50. Dennis Horne (2,403 comments) says:

    Air NZ aircraft have a Koru on the tail. This lady could have had hers on the tail too.

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  51. mikemikemikemike (325 comments) says:

    I’ve got my daughters names done on my chest – it’s small and not visible to anyone but me. It’s kind of my permanent wallet photo. Out of the way and personal to me. It has the added bonus of not stopping me from working anywhere. But then, I thought before I got it.

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  52. V (720 comments) says:

    The Koru on the tail is a ludicrious comparison. Interviewer should have said, well if you weigh 140 tonnes, can take 170 000L of fuel and have cargo doors capable of taking palletised cargo, you are more than welcome to paint a Koru on your arse.

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  53. Left Right and Centre (2,986 comments) says:

    That tattoo looks like shit.

    I’ve read a little bit about Maori and traditional tattoos.

    Well, these people aren’t traditional Maori anymore, are they?

    Their tats aren’t based on mana. They aren’t based on standing or status within a tribe.

    They’ve gone to a western tattoo shop and had it done using modern equipment. They’ve made an individual decision… how very westernised… to get one.

    They decided on their own what to do and when and what design to have done. Did a tribe decide what she would have done? No. Is it a tradtional tattoo? No. They weren’t like that back in the day.

    A lot of pre-colonial Maori did not have tattoos. And you didn’t just decide for yourself that you’d get one.

    Hers looks like she hasn’t done any research into tradition at all… which contradicts her whole argument anyway… you shouldn’t have to look up what to get done… you should know. And don’t get it wrong. It’s not even a traditional place to put a Maori tattoo on a woman.

    Hers looks cheap, messy and nasty. It looks like a crap budget piece of shit, not a nice work of art. It looks fuckin horrible… maybe some Wet & Forget would get the slime off her arm.

    Dennis beat me to it a bit but I suppose if she had a big fuckin koru taking up her face that’s a logical argument that it’s also used on the plane tail so it should be acceptable.

    If you got her as cabin crew you’d wonder what kind of women Air NZ were taking on now. You want a nice lady…. not a dumbarse defaced drongo.

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  54. MSR (5 comments) says:

    I got a flight to Japan not so long ago on AIR NZ. One cabin crew attendant had his traditional tattoos all covered up which was fine. It wasn’t till I was having breakfast the next morning at a Narita hotel that I recognised him from the previous days flight in a short sleeved t-shirt showing off to all and sundry his tattooed arms. I thought this was a poor look in Japan where tattoos are pretty well taboo. It never ceases to amaze me how people wanting to show off their cultural tattoos to others show no consideration for the host culture in the country they are staying in even if it is for a short time.

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