Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Good, the Bad and the Tattooed

This sounds like another front in the clash between the old(er) and the young. Gilbert and Melissa Carrillo were turned down for an upscale apartment complex in San Antonio due to Gilbert's tattoos.

We contacted one of the owners of the apartments: A southern California doctor named Edward Frankel.

Frankel e-mailed us a statement saying his apartment complexes do, in fact, "reject prospective tenants who have... tattoos exposed on the neck, head, hands and wrists, or large tattoos that cover over 40% of the lower or upper arm."

Frankel says, "We do not discriminate. The above applies to persons of any race, color, gender, etc."

Frankel, and his partners, have purchased numerous upscale apartment complexes in San Antonio and Dallas, where they've also banned pierced eyebrows and tongues. Tenants can't have more than one nose piercing, or more than five earrings.

I get what they're trying to do. They want to cater to a certain clientèle, and they think that excluding the tattooed and pierced will keep out the undesirables. They may be allowed to do this as a private business, but it's just stupid in practice. Lack of tattoos doesn't indicate that someone is respectable or conservative, just as being tattooed doesn't indicate and lack of class. Personally, I think that Gilbert's tattoos look pretty trashy, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't want to live next door to him. Michelline's uncle, an IT professional making in the 6 figures got some sort of tattoo bug several years ago and now he's got most of his non-exposed body covered.

The days when tattoos and weird piercings meant someone was likely a gang member or something are long gone. Based on random links from Google (hey, I don't have time to research this stuff in depth), as many as 40% of people under 40 have tattoos. The time is fast approaching when tattoos and even those disgusting-looking eyebrow and lip piercings are ok in the corporate workplace. The kinds of policies like those above are dinosaurs.

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