Body modification through piercing and tattoos are very common in the present day. Does the body modification express lack of professionalism or simply suggests a freedom of expression? Author Hurtle Doolittle wrote, “Opinion: Tattoos and Piercing are a Freedom of Expression,” published on March,2015 in the United States, she is arguing that tattoos and piercing should be allowed at workplace as long as they do not cause any destruction to anyone at the workplace. Doolittle therefore suggests that discriminating on people with tattoos or piercings is ethically wrong. Doolittle begin to build her credibility with statements from other people and how these people have been discriminated at their workplaces for piercing or having tattoos. However, as Doolittle appeals to the readers towards the end of the article, her emotions stays same as the opinion and the credibility used are strong. This therefore suggests that Doolittle’s argument is valid and effective.
Many people, both men and women, nowadays have tattoos and piercings in their bodies. It therefore becomes an issue as freedom of speech whereby one expresses one’s thoughts and feelings in a certain way that does not affect the other person. For example, one can get a tattoo of birds on the hands to represent one’s grandfather who loved birds. However, many are denied jobs because of wearing tattoos and piercing. “You earned your degree wearing tattoo why should getting a job be a problem?” (Project censored) Many people are getting concerned as it is a feeling that the denial of jobs is a violation to the rights to speech. In the First Amendment of Rights, all American citizens have the freedom to speech.

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Discrimination against body modification is ethically wrong. This is because tattoos and piercing are majorly used to express a person’s feeling, thoughts and emotions. This article is used to persuade the audience by using ethos, logos, and pathos. All these rhetorical devices appeal to the audience’s emotions, logic, and ethics. For instance, the statement “while tattoos and other piercings are still not viewed as professional, I still think some tattoos and piercings that are subtle, meaningful and original should be tolerated by workforce” (Doolittle) appeals to ethos that tattoos and piercing should be tolerated. Doolittle uses descriptive words to describe tattoos and piercing as subtle, meaningful, and original to persuade the audience to believe that tattoos and piercings are not bad in a workforce and therefore should be tolerated as they cause no harm to anyone. Tattoos do not cause any harm to anyone, so why discriminate anyone who has the qualifications and different values that can use to apply on the job?

“Lina Marks, sophomore in management and gerontology, said she recently went to an interview for an internship where she felt obligated to take out a set of her piercings.” (Doolittle) this statement appeals to ethos as well because Mark feels that unless she removes some of the piercings, she would not get a job. Body modification should not be a source of one to feel uncomfortable in one’s own skin. One should not be discriminated on the basis of body modification and should not feel judged for expressing oneself.

The article also uses pathos to appeal to emotions. Pathos is used to convince the readers by creating an emotional response. Doolittle says that people get tattoos for different reasons. Some people base their reasons on their religious beliefs, while others get tattoos in showing honour to the loved ones or to have a permanent mark in order to remember something valuable. This demonstrates pathos as one should not be discriminated for expressing ones emotional feeling. People have different reasons for getting tattoos like when one has a tattoo to honour the death of a loved one, this becomes emotional and one should not be discriminated because it is not wrong to honour a loved one who was close to ones heart. Another pathos can be stated where Doolittle says that tattoo and piercing were once considered as rebels to the world, are now becoming socially acceptable. This statement means that one should not be judged by what one expresses. The statement also appeals to the reader as the way tattoos were earlier considered is different from now as now it is becoming socially acceptable.

The article by Doolittle also uses logos as a technique to demonstrate logic. For instance, Doolittle suggests that the manager, while conducting an interview, should find out the reasons for the person to wear tattoo. The manager would be able to learn more potential qualities and values that the employee has. In turn, this demonstrates logos as one should have the ability to logically think and find out from someone the reason behind having to get a permanent print on the body. It would also be a logical reason not to judge someone by the appearance but finding out the reason from the person.

In conclusion, the article written by Hurtle Doolittle, “Opinion: Tattoos and Piercings are a Freedom of Expression,” makes good use of the rhetoric devices effectively as Doolittle uses the devices to her advantage by creating a persuasive side in the argument. Throughout this article, one is persuaded that people should not be discriminated at workplace because of body modification. Further to that, individuals should not be judged when one appears for interview because of wearing tattoos or piercings as the tattoos are a way of expressing ones feelings, thoughts and emotions.

  • “Body Arts Discrimination: Violation of First Amendment? – Ethics Alert. Project Censored, 29 April 2014,
  • Doolittle, Hurtle. “OPINION: Tattoos and Piercings are Freedom of Expression.” The Collegian, 13 May 2015,