Why do some jobs seem to require armfuls of tattoos? asks Catherine Scott

A chef taking part in BBC's MasterChef: The Professionals Picture: Shine TV/BBC
A chef taking part in BBC's MasterChef: The Professionals Picture: Shine TV/BBC
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What is it about certain jobs that seems to mean you have to have a plethora of obligatory tattoos?

I am watching the current series of MasterChef : The Professionals with my family and I have to say I am struggling to concentrate on the food they are cooking because I am distracted by the amount of tattoos virtually every chef seems to have.

Is this a new thing? I don’t remember Keith Floyd or Rick Stein having armfuls of ink.

It is of course linked to the fact that more young people than ever have a tattoo, with around 30 per cent of 18 to 35-year- olds having at least one, which might explain it.

It appears tattoos in the workplace are becoming normalised, with some people even preferring them.

A recent survey by Theknowledgeacademy.com found that 21 per cent of people they asked now prefer employees with a tattoo – although it does depend on what they do for a living.

Sixty five per cent prefer fashion designers with a tattoo, with most associating this with creativity and uniqueness. Maybe that goes some way to explain the obsession among many chefs.

Unsurprisingly occupations within the legal, military or government sectors still prefer employees without a tattoo. This supports data from Statista, which shows these occupations have the smallest percentage of tattooed workers.

According to statistics compiled from YouGov, smaller organisations are less likely to hire someone with a tattoo in comparison to larger organisations. Although results do depend on the tattoo’s visibility and/or if the tattoo is offensive in nature, it appears that, in some professions, people are now seeing tattooed workers in a more positive light.

So maybe I am just old fashioned – I have to admit that I am in the minority and don’t have a tattoo, although I don’t even have my ears pierced so maybe that says more about me than anyone else.

Having teenagers, though, I do worry about the trend, which I know is all about freedom of expression. But what if your ideas change, which they inevitably will if you get a tattoo at 18? Your statement is there forever unless you undergo expensive and painful removal. It is the permanent nature of a tattoo that bothers me.

Interestingly, just last week, tattoo artists called for a rise in the legal age to get a facial tattoo from 18 to 21. The British Tattoo Artist Federation (BTAF) said facial inkings are called “job stoppers” in the industry because they can put off employers.

This stance has to be welcomed as it is a decision that can affect the rest of your life.