Bountiful Screws Body Modifiers


The city of Bountiful, Utah, recently approved a ban on visible tattoos and piercings.  City employees who have tattoos that predate the policy can keep their jobs, but if they choose to get more tattoos they're "deemed to have resigned their employment from the city."

There's not much one can say when a privately owned company openly refuses to hire people with neck and face tattoos (a big deal in the news segment, for some reason), or forearm tattoos, or rare facial piercings, but local governments should think twice before blatantly rejecting current and future employees for representing a certain, distasteful subculture. 

In addition to smacking of social conservatism run amok, the policy seems to have some exploitable legal weaknesses. Allowing women but not men to pierce their ears sounds a lot like sexual discrimination (or something so antiquated that I don't have a label for it in my Gen Y paradigm), and grandfathering in tattoos but not piercings assumes that tattoos cost more—to get and/or to remove—than piercings, which is sometimes true, sometimes not. Can workers cover up with tattoo concealer? Can they use clear spacers in their labret piercings? And what if a woman has a large gauge ear piercing? Does the policy speak directly to size? What's the cut-off? Why there?

And if all those charts and blood and needles and pieces of cold, stainless, surgical steel are just too damn confusing and upsetting for the Ma and Pa councilmembers who pushed this through, why'd they get involved in evicting tax payers from the jobs they created?

I can't imagine a big coastal city pulling a stunt like this—Philly without its inked, drilled, scarred, and needled city workers just wouldn't be Philly—but Utah ain't coastal, and it sure as hell ain't big city.