I’m grateful to work in an environment that is accepting of my body art but this a very real problem for a number of my friends.
I agree that I spent more time deciding on a design and placement of my tattoos than I did deciding on what to major in at university. Truly, there are many people out there who tattoo for the sake of tattooing but what happened to judging someone by the content of their character or not judging a book by its cover or not tarring everyone with the same brush?
When I was an undergrad, one of my reasons for wanting to continue in academia was my aversion to Western formal clothing. If I became a Ph.D. student and then a professor, I thought, I would hardly ever need to wear suits or dress shirts, and such a life appealed to me. I had seen academics of all stripes dress in all sorts of ways, and I naively believed that this signalled something very progressive about academia’s stance towards appearance: wear what you want, because you’ll be evaluated based upon your ideas and work, not how you choose to present yourself.
But a recent article in a column called Ask Alice (published on the website of Science, one of the most high profile scientific journals out there) confirms my naivete. In this piece, an anonymous academic who finds themselves in a “conservative place” for their postdoc, asks Dr. Alice Huang, “Am I crazy…
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