A person reveals off his fully-inked physique throughout a tattoo conference in Shanghai, China. Picture: Johannes Eisele / AFP
Attitudes in direction of tattoos have shifted considerably lately, with research reporting extra workplaces embracing them. However that doesn’t appear to be the case all over the place, or in all industries. In China, a metropolis simply imposed a controversial no-tattoo rule on taxi drivers, purportedly as a strategy to shield ladies and youngsters.
The order was issued in August as a part of a brand new marketing campaign by authorities within the northwestern Chinese language metropolis of Lanzhou. Transport officers cited considerations from numerous passengers who apparently expressed concern and discomfort when using with a tattooed driver.
“Giant tattoos on drivers might trigger misery to passengers who’re ladies and youngsters,” an official order reads. “Tattooed drivers ought to take away them by way of surgical procedures to the best extent doable.”
This stirred up intense social dialogue and revived the controversy over tattoos in East Asia which for many years been negatively related to organized crime syndicates.
Chinese language tattoo artist Swan Chan slammed the Lanzhou authorities’s determination.
“This narrow-minded, draconian order is setting issues again in China by a few centuries,” Chan informed VICE Information. “Tattoos are so widespread these days. As a substitute of cracking down on tattooed folks, how concerning the authorities do a greater job at cracking down on corruption and bigotry?”
Tattooed taxi drivers have spoken up in opposition to it too.
“I perceive that our leaders need to current our business in a extra optimistic gentle however the authorities’s order is solely discriminatory. Our tattoos don’t flip us into dangerous guys and criminals,” one Lanzhou taxi driver informed The New York Instances, including that eradicating tattoos isn’t solely costly but additionally a painful course of.
“The aim of telling us to take away our tattoos is in order that our passengers don’t see them. Masking them up achieves the identical outcome.”
The controversy additionally made its manner onto Chinese language social media, with many customers on the microblogging web site Weibo expressing sympathy for the Lanzhou taxi drivers.
“Are folks nonetheless discriminating in opposition to tattoos these days,” requested one Weibo person.
One other doubted the claims by the transport authorities, writing: “If a feminine passenger actually doesn’t really feel comfy getting right into a automotive with a tattooed driver, she is free to decide on to not. It’s unfair to penalize these drivers who’re solely making an trustworthy dwelling — and disguising such choices.”
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