The problem with piercings


Staff writer Morgan Renteria (The Inquirer 2010)

I have a few piercings that are visible at first glance. They are nothing outrageous, but due to their placement, they can instantly become a problem when job hunting.

I remember going to McCaulous in Lafayette and asking a sales associate for an application. After explaining the interviewing process, she told me I might want to come back dressed differently, if I wanted to speak to a manager.

I currently have two jobs, one as a swim instructor at the YMCA, and the other at Papa Murphy’s. I got the Papa Murphy’s job only to learn later I owed my hiring to the fact that the previous manager no longer worked there. This particular woman had strict rules about appearance, my boss told me, and I “didn’t fit the image the company wanted to represent.”

This is a place where our uniform consists of a bright yellow polo shirt, black visor and black apron. What kind of image could one possibly portray other than looking like an oversized bumble bee wearing this hideous outfit?

At my other job, the majority of staff is under 25 and has some form of body art. During my time there, not one person has been let go or not hired because of appearance.
Still, when I got my eyebrow pierced, I was asked to cover it with a band aid or put sunglasses on so it wouldn’t be obvious.

My dad, who just happens to work in Human Resources, often reminds me that getting a job is difficult when you “have a mess of writing and jewelry all over your body.” 
He and other employers don’t understand that work ethic and reliability should be the most important aspect of hiring– not body image. 

Our decisions with style won’t last forever. And even if they do, we know how to hide them. There is always a way to beat the system.


Contact Morgan Renteria at [email protected]