How Can Tattoos STILL Be Taboo in the Workplace?
The New Research Center found that 42% of people feel visible tattoos in the workplace are always inappropriate and 39% said that employees with tattoos and piercings reflect poorly on their employers.
Well, we believe ALL art is a positive, no matter the form or the reasons.
So, to challenge the stigma of tattoos in the workplace, we decided to celebrate our “inked” employees, the beauty of the art form, and the humility of the stories behind them.
Seriously guys – get with the times.
Photographer: All Is Amazing
Disclaimer: these are actual Mindvalley employees.
The sleeve is two parts. The lower part – Butterfly and Puzzle piece -represents letting go of fear and uncertainty and moving on. The upper part – Sugar Skull and Lantern – is in remembrance of my grandmother. She helped raise me and was there whenever I needed someone.
It’s a Mandala – a symbol of perfection, eternity, unity, and completeness. The sun and moon on the Mandala, represent creative energy, passion for life, and spiritual growth.
It represents time – something that doesn’t really exist yet, somehow, it’s the only thing we have. There are 525,600 minutes in a year and I want to spend it on making beautiful things – hence the lotus flower. It’s on my wrist so I always question where I am putting my time and attention.
“Abundance” – I don’t believe the sky is the limit. Life is abundant, I am abundant and I attract abundance into every area in my life. “I am” – this is from a book I read at a time when I lost my identity and started to create and find myself again. It reminds me to define myself by what I AM, not by what I AM NOT. I am everything that I think I am – love, respect, luck, success, health, wealth. It’s a reminder to always keep positive thoughts.
“What you think, you become” is my favorite Buddhist quote. It’s a reminder that the human mind has huge power. We create our lives with our words. What ever you think – you attract into your life, whatever you think about yourself becomes you.
Dragon: I was in an abusive relationship when I was 18 – 20. My boyfriend at the time didn’t “allow/like” women to have tattoos. I got the dragon when I broke up as a sign of rebellion. I chose this dragon to remind me that it’s time to own my strength. Indian hands with bangles holding a lotus flower: growing up, I was very detached from gender and race until my mid-20s. I started to appreciate my story, including that of my ethnicity and femininity. The bangles symbolize my heritage and the lotus flower reminds me that we can all turn out awesome regardless of the circumstances. Buddha cloud: I was going deep into my spiritual practice in my late 20s and was tailoring my own concept for “a way of life”. Buddism and Sikhism were the first explorations, so to commemorate my journey I got the cloud, which is from a picture I saw of Buddha sitting on a cloud. Negative space stars: My father got a tattoo of a star on his right thigh for 10 cents in 1951 at a funfair. As a little girl, I loved this story and added the stars to remind me of my father and the amazing stories he tells. It was also a symbol to always aim for the sky and to shine on others.
On my right ankle is a Taurus sign complemented with tribal Borneo art to represent my Borneo family, and the place where I was born. On the inside of both my ankles, I have the words “Peace Love Truth Joy” to me these are the key pillars by which I want to experience life.
A circle, again in Borneo design to symbolize a part of my heritage. The importance and significance of a circle: union, femininity, the circle of life, what goes around comes around, where you start is where you end, wholeness, totality, original perfection, the Self, the infinite, eternity, timelessness.
It’s the Wheel of Karma. Karma is Sanskrit for “action”. It refers to the law of cause & effect: every action brings a certain result, which in turn causes another action. This tattoo guides my actions to come from a place of generosity, love, and wisdom, as it’s the way to creating abundance and happiness.
The bolt is pointing to my spine and fills me with its energy. The idea actually came from a David Bowie photo.
I just got this a few days ago. It signifies our life cycle: we come to existence through the Tree of Life and when we die we become stardust and reach out to the sky. No matter the stage of our life we are at all times particles of the Universe.
It’s Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion Map – it represents the world in proportion and perspective. To me, it is a constant reminder that the way I perceive things isn’t actually the way things are. Everything, even the way people perceive my tattoo, is warped my perspective.
Last year I was going through a negative phase when a friend sent me a poem by Shane Koyczan. This particular line reminded me that we all have amazing potential to overcome challenging times and shine.
One day I left everything and moved to Paraguay to start an NGO. I had no idea if it would succeed, but I kept going and the universe conspired in my favor. Things worked out almost magically. When the project was finished, I got this tattoo. It says “Ijyvytúma hese”, it’s a common saying in Guaraní – the native language of Paraguay – and it means that one has the wind blowing in his favor. I replaced the first “I” with a “Y” to do it my way – as anything inside your heart should be done.
This is the symbol for water in alchemy and it reminds me that I’m a mermaid and should return to the ocean as often as possible (I’m an avid scuba diver).
The circle is an ancient symbol called a Circumpunct. It’s one of the oldest symbols known to humans and represents God or the Universe. It’s also the alchemy symbol for gold. The Mala with Om symbol on my wrist is a reminder to keep up with my meditation practice. Kind of like tying a string around your finger, but more permanent.
I got this to remind myself of the origins of my name and what my parents were thinking about when they named me. It is Sanskrit for “Have Compassion.”
This is a geometric Wau kite. It’s a Malaysian icon and I have always liked the traditional design of the Wau. I want to extend the design to a sleeve eventually.
This is my Uncle’s name in Tamil. He passed away almost 3 years ago and I was really close to him.
I went with the fairy because, for some reason, it felt right. A few years after I got it, when I was studying Buddhism in Nepal, I found out the fairy angel is an expression of the “Dakini”, a feminine divine-wisdom archetype, which aligns with my soul.
This has two meanings. HARIMAU in Malay and Indonesian means TIGER — which represents strength, freedom, independence, courage, and all that jazz. Also, if you split it into HARI MAU, it literally translates to “Day of Will”, or contextually – “Today I will”, similar to “Carpe Diem”. Don’t leave stuff for tomorrow, do it today. It’s all in your hands, it’s all your decision.
The idea came to me on the 8th day of a 12-day silent meditation listening to Solfeggio Harmonics. The numbers are the specific frequency of the tracks, which train your subconscious mind and bring out your deepest emotions. I look at it every time I use the tracks and when I need a reminder that we can completely change the way we think and feel.
This tattoo is the symbol for the Muay Thai school I trained for 4 years when I was living in Canada. It changed my life in profound ways. To me, the tattoo symbolizes my inner strength and courage and that I am always ready for whatever “fight” comes to me in my life.
I just like stars, ok?
I developed an interest in Sanskrit Mantras and Scriptures. The Gayatri mantra resonated with me most and it still does today. I got the star because I wanted something timeless with sharp edges and I like starlight.
The Om is said to be the sound of the universe where nothing is ever solid or still. It’s a reminder to always be present – there’s no such thing as a dull moment. It’s special to me because I got it with my mom and sisters when they came to visit me here.
There is no story behind this. Tattoos are purely aesthetic to me, and I love them as an art form, which was why I gave the artist complete freedom to do whatever he wanted with my entire left arm.
I got this last year. I realized how much my heartaches (divorce, car accident, debt) were impacting my life so I want to never forget to Live, Laugh, and Love. I feel attached to the infinity symbol and its significance so this reminds me to stay aligned with my values and my energy.
It says “I am Divine Love” in Sanskrit. Being loved, in love, and practicing the vibration of love is a blissful state of the spirit, mind, and body. It’s a state of creative power that I chose to embody and use to serve.
The fairy represents my different values & beliefs in the various stages of my life. It has symbolized magic, creativity, passion, possibility, freedom, and authenticity. I’ve had it for 6 years and I find new meanings all the time.
Photography: All Is Amazing
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