"Appearance does not reflect character, capability, or morals." Such reads the description of an ongoing online petition on Change.org urging the Canadian government to make discrimination against people with tattoos, piercings or unconventional hair styles illegal.
The petition calls out employers that often dismiss candidates who engage in what is simply a different form of self expression. It argues that it is discriminatory to assume that people are indecent or morally flawed just because they have body modifications.
It continues to say that is understandable for certain industries to require the removal of piercings for safety reasons, or to prohibit offensive tattoos such as swastikas. However, the petition believes that hair style, hair colour and tattoos are "in no way a threat to health or safety" and that they affect nothing other than a person's appearance.
With 26,012 signatures over a four-year run, it appears that many Canadians across the country support the cause. This may have something to do with the changing social climate. Over the last decade, tattoos have gained in popularity among Canadians, with 21 per cent of them having at least one tattoo according to the National Post. Even Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has tattoos.
A large majority of that percentage is made up of younger individuals aged 20 to 31 years, which is the age demographic that is most actively searching for jobs at the moment. The generational gap between millennials and their boomer parents has a large influence on this - the former group tends to be less confined and more drawn to self-expression than the latter.
The National Post also reported that 40 per cent of individuals with tattoos are high school dropouts who make less than $40,000 a year. However, despite these numbers, most people with tattoos are university students working towards professional career.
Do you support this cause? If so, you can sign the petition here.