The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
10 Points

Employers should hire people with tattoos/minor body modifications.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/18/2015 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 770 times Debate No: 71954
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (2)




Employers SHOULD hire people with tattoos and minor body modifications, such as piercings. It is known that there is always a line that should not be crossed when going for a job. Don't wear your ripped up work shirt and "booty shorts" But, the work force has had a tight reign on body modifications, and it is unacceptable that people who need a job to feed a family or put themselves through school, etc, cannot get a job because of a tattoo or piercing. The line, it seems right now, is anything can get in the way of getting a job. If you have a tattoo of nearly anything, or a simple piercing such as a nose stud, you are most likely not going to get the job. Why is the line so high? If the person has the requirements or standards to get the job, the only thing that should get in the way of that is if the tattoos are offensive (contain profanity, etc) or the piercings are obsessive.


I accept.

Debate Round No. 1


There is another round after this one, but I do not feel entitled to say that we need to have set rules. Please just be civil in your rebuttles. Why should they NOT hire people with body modifications?
- Kitten


Preface: I’d like to remind Pro that she should not wait until last round to make arguments in future debates. The last round is largely for final rebuttals, and it is not recommended to post their own arguments in that round, as they cannot defend that argument afterwards. I also point out that Pro has BOP as she is claiming a change from Status Quo.

Proposition I: Definitions

Should: 1] used in auxiliary function to express obligation, propriety, or expediency {1}
2] must; ought (used to indicate duty, propriety, or expediency) {2}
3] 1. Used to express obligation or duty. {3}
2. Used to express probability or expectation.
3. Used to express conditionality or contingency.
Body Modification: 1] any method of permanently adorning the body, including tattooing and piercing {4} 2] the deliberate altering of the human anatomy or human physical appearance. {5}

As Tattoos are a type of body modification, they will not be defined.

Proposition II: Requirements to Win

I will begin by pointing out that the resolution states that “Employers should hire people with tattoos/minor body modifications.” Now Pro has already excluded “offensive” examples from the list, but she has failed to define “minor”. This may cause issue as my definition of minor may be different from hers. The fact that Pro distinguishes between tattoos and “minor body modifications” show that “minor” extends beyond tattoos, and enters into the field of extensive piercings and minor implants, among other things. So until further notice, “minor” will be defined as contrast to “major”, with major being held as the most extreme forms of modification, such as substantial implants, or full body tattoos (among other examples). I will not be considering minor piercings as they can be removed. Pro’s only mention about exceptions is “offensive”, so we will be including tattoos on the face and other visible areas.

Pro also fails to make any remarks about which employers, or if there are any exceptions, therefore it is to be treated as though Pro is stating that any and all employers share the same obligation.

That aside now, Pro will have to prove that employers should be held to an express obligation or duty to hire on people without regard of modification. I however need to prove the otherwise, I simply need to cast substantial doubt about their requirement to do so. Technically Pro’s resolution could be twisted to say that they should hire you because of your modifications, however I will not play that cheap trick, and will treat the word “with” in the resolution as though it was “without regard of”.

Case I: Obligation to Hire

Pro’s case rests on the idea that an employer should be obligated to not consider tattoos or other body modifications. This brings up the matter of if a company should be obligated to hire anyone. Pro will need to prove that employers must be required to overlook body modifications. I put forth however that Employers should not be required to hire based on any standard but their own. If an employer, for example, is running a fine dining establishment, they will only want those who carry the most professional look. Tattoos visible on the neck or on the hands simply do not carry a professional look. The employer must look past “fairness” and consider their own workplaces success. A high end restaurant is likely to lose customers if they employ people like that. Imagine going to a hospital and the doctor has nose piercings and tattoos across their face. For most people that would make that hospital a no-go from that point on, because body modifications make it difficult to view most people professionally.

We must remember ultimately that most people judge a workplace by who is working there. And people are judged first by appearance. That isn’t discrimination. {6} This is simply natural. When one enters an establishment, they will see the workers. They can’t do extensive background checks. They can’t just know everything about who you are, what you’re like. They have only one thing to go on. And that is first appearance. And it isn’t inherently bad. Your choice of tattoo is likely to be influenced by who you are. A completely innocent woman is unlikely to get a flaming skull tattoo (if she does, she likely isn’t innocent). A gang member is likely not to get a childish flower. Certainly people may grow up and change, but a tattoo is permanent, and so it will forever reflect on them. When they see traits which come off as unprofessional and uncouth, they can only assume that’s who you are. And that hurts the business itself.

“Showing a tattoo or a body piercing makes a statement, intentional or not, about the wearer. Public opinion polls consistently show that the general public has a negative image of people with multiple, visible tattoos or extreme body piercings. It is one thing to have a dainty mushroom tattooed on the edge of your shoulder blade, and quite another to have a flaming skull glaring from your forearm, even though the skull is your college fraternity’s symbol. If you have a visible tattoo or an unusual piercing, you become a walking stereotype, begging strangers to judge you. While in some cases, the opinion you get is the one you seek, it is overwhelmingly negative in most business environments.” {7}

Matters only get worse if your irremovable implants become a safety hazard on the worksite.

Case II: Incapability of Enforcement
This is where the holes truly begin to come in, even though this case will be quite short. How exactly would Pro ask us to enforce this new requirements. Even if it were in law that you can’t discriminate, it still leaves open that you can’t prove you were discriminated against. All the employer needs to do is say there were better qualified people. You can technically force them to hire on a certain percentage (like affirmative action), however the idea of legally mandated quotas have been incredibly controversial {8/9/10}. Pro will need to explain how we can enforce this obligation, but not until proving that it is acceptable to use legal force to make employers hire based on her views.

Case III: Personal Responsibility

Lastly we come to the issue of holding people responsible for their actions. That fact is that no one forced you to acquire a tattoo. You did so of your own regard. It is one thing for us to make others ignore things such as race and sex, but it is a different matter to make others accept you for your decisions in life. We must accept that how we present ourselves is going to be taken into consideration. {11} And with good reason. We don’t get tattoos which don’t represent us. We get them because they do represent us somehow. Therefore we must understand that people are going to look at our tattoos, that is what they will see. Is it morally right to deny responsibility for our own actions and instead work to shame others for daring to base their opinion of you by how you have made yourself look? It is simply not acceptable. We must be held responsible for our decisions. If we get a large tattoo that is always going to be visible, then we must accept if others find it unprofessional. We cannot simply act like the other person is wrong. Pro has BOP, and therefore must show that others have to accept our decisions, instead of us being held responsible for our body modifications.


I end by reiterating that Pro must explain why Employers must be obligated to hire us, even when doing so may be detrimental to their business. Pro also needs to explain why it is unacceptable for others to base their opinions of us (given they only just met you) by the very tattoos which we purposefully acquired to represent us. If Pro fails to fully explain these, then she fails to fulfill BOP. Best of Luck to my Opponent.

Sources Page: (open to view full source list)


Debate Round No. 2


zombiesamg forfeited this round.


Debate Round No. 3
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2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by niltiac 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro made no effort..
Vote Placed by 16kadams 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: There is no reason an employer has to hire people. Pro offers no support for the resolution other than "why not". Con offers many reasons as to why you would not hire someone with body modifications because it would end up harming the business, and offers evidence that the employer has no obligation to hire anyone beyond the productive capability. Due to the fact Pro offers no support for the obligation to hire premise, he/she loses the debate.