Tattoos, green hair and facial piercings: how attitudes to appearance at work are changing

True, such an approach is not yet socially acceptable for everyone. Green dreadlocks, piercings on the face, tattoos and an alternative style, admits Lauryna Frankonytė, have put their foot in the selections.

“I have had to face when, it seems, your competences match perfectly, but you are still met and escorted out according to your clothes, even if those clothes are clean and tidy, just a little different from what hangs in other people’s closets”, says L. Frankonytė and notices that in the long run, the attitude of people, and thus of employers, changes.

Now the girl who works as a cashier at “Molėtai Rimi” can’t even count how many customers she meets a day, and their reactions are only happy, some even ask for advice on appearance and dreadlock maintenance.

And Eglė Valčiukaitė, who has eight tattoos, assures that she neither restrains herself nor covers her body drawings in the office.

Being judged by your looks is a gift

When asked what tattoos adorn her, E. Valčiukaitė mentions that she has both a non-standard crown and symbols inspired by Lithuanian folk art. And her first tattoo is a line from a song of her own creation, recalls the girl who holds the position of head of education at “Rimi”.

“I knew I wanted text, but I didn’t want it to be someone else’s thoughts. It’s symbolic that I also have a fir tree tattoo – it’s really easy to identify me by it,” laughs Eglė.

People are sometimes surprised when asked what tattoos mean to her, after hearing the answer that she only has them for beauty. Although some tattoos really have a meaning – their appearance was determined by certain moments of life and people, according to E. Valčiukaitė, it is primarily a means of self-expression and an accessory.

“Sometimes I get another question: what will happen when the tattoos wear off?” And this, perhaps, is the hesitation that makes a common person refrain from getting a tattoo. But how can you get tired of something that becomes a natural, inseparable part of you? It’s like having a birthmark – in the end, you don’t notice it, you don’t hide it, you don’t mask it,” thinks the head of Rimi’s education.


© Photo of the organizers.

Eglė, who has worked for Rimi for many years, assures that being in an organization among people where you are valued not for how you look, but for what kind of person you are, what competencies you have and what goals you are pursuing, is a real success and a gift.

Appearance has nothing to do with ability

A person’s freedom of self-expression during a job interview is neither a disadvantage nor an advantage, E. Dirmaitė, strategic partner of Rimi, is convinced. When choosing the right candidate, according to her, the manager must be guided by objective criteria that would allow to decide whether the person will be able to do his job.

Depending on the position, she says, selection criteria differ. Some positions require certain experience or competences, while in others personal qualities are much more important. Chefs, hall staff or cashiers must above all be motivated and willing to learn, and exceptional appearance has no bearing on the selection process.

“Exclusive appearance has nothing to do with the fact that an employee will be able to properly fill the shelves, check the validity of the goods or serve customers pleasantly,” emphasizes E. Dirmaitė.

Promotes diversity in all aspects

Nevertheless, certain requirements for appearance are imposed. For example, team members working with food products and customers must first follow hygiene rules, i.e. wear protective clothing and use appropriate equipment in food production areas. At the same time, Rimi employees wear uniforms – this allows them to be recognized and clearly visible in the sales hall, so customers can seek help faster.


© Photo of the organizers.

However, hair color, visible tattoos or piercings, according to E. Dirmaitė, have nothing to do with it. They are unlimited and uncountable, as they do not interfere at all with the careful performance of their duties. On the contrary, a distinctive appearance brings colors to the teams.

“We support and promote diversity in all aspects: age, gender, appearance. We aim to make employees feel good and be themselves in teams, instead of constraining them and forcing them to put on a “mask”, says Rimi’s strategic partner in personnel development.

The Rimi team, she estimates, has more than 3,000 employees. All of them are unique, and being surrounded by different people, they can learn from each other, hear different ideas or points of view, be themselves and not disguise themselves.

“A happy employee is our strength, the basis of a successful business and a happy customer,” E. Dirmaitė is convinced.


The article is in Lithuanian

Tags: Tattoos green hair facial piercings attitudes appearance work changing

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