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Do you think this would effect an individual's employability?


Daria
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Of course it will affect employability for certain, probably many, jobs.

 

*Should* the appearance matter to an employer if the person had otherwise stellar qualifications? Perhaps not, in an ideal world. I am probably a way better waitress than anyone at Hooters or Tilted Kilt, but I would not likely get hired due to my appearance as an overweight 47 year old woman with grey hair. So I would need to either seek employment elsewhere, or dye my hair, starve myself, hit the gym, and re-inflate the bazzooms.

 

One of my girls does not have "The Look" to work at Hot Topic, which is too bad, because when she's shopping there for her sisters she always says they are the nicest workers in the mall. But *her* "regular white girl" looks wouldn't fit in there.

 

I'm an old Punk, so I do appreciate that many of the 'scary' looking people are genuinely far nicer than many of the 'nice' looking people I'm surrounded by. But most people do not see it that way. Right or wrong, it is how it is, so a decision has to be made: Stand by your personal preferences, or find a job that will tolerate or celebrate them, including starting your own business.

Edited by Rebel Yell
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And he needs to realize it isn't that the potential employer thinks badly of him for having the modifications. It is that it can effect business, and it's all about the money when you run a business. If you are likely to frighten off some of the customers then it is a no go. Not because anyone is mean, but because a business is about making money and you can't do that by scaring off potential customers. 

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Yes.

 

I wouldn't necessarily not hire someone with those kinds of modifications, but especially in a younger person I would wonder if they reflected a lack of maturity or ability to look ahead.

 

Even people with ear plugs find they face discrimination and many end up getting them surgically fixed.  Which to me seems like a very predictable outcome.

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If he plans on working for the Halloween industry for a long time, it would likely not be negative.

 

Otherwise, yes. It should not but I think there is a difference in prospective employers' eyes between someone who has some kind of issue that he/she did not cause versus those who made a choice.

 

ETA: Are there ethical medical professionals who would perform ear surgery for no other reason than creating elf ears??

Edited by Liz CA
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I agree with the above. 

 

 

I'm curious though, would you all assume someone with red eyes was wearing contacts? Would they be discriminated against?

 

Edited to add "all" despite my not being Southern. I wanted to make sure that it was understood that I was asking everyone and not targeting the O.P.

Edited by frogger
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Speaking as a person who works with people seeking to enter and maintain sustainable employment ... yes. It will seriously impact that person's chances of being hired for almost anything and certainly anything that is even remotely mainstream. While it may seem unfair, appearances really do count. One need not be movie star gorgeous and primped, but a neat, clean and friendly appearance is of primary importance. After that, one needs to be able to dress in a manner appropriate to the job for which they are applying.

 

Quite honestly, I wouldn't give more than the most cursory interview if someone showed up looking like that. They would not be hired or invited back for further interview. If they were a client in one of my employment programs, I would be sure the staff counseled them about appropriate workforce appearance. In the end, it is the individual's choice to look like that or not, but they must also accept the consequences of their choices.

Edited by Audrey
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One member of my family is of the opinion that "you all are mean".

One member of your family needs to know that the real world is mean. School of Hard Knocks, darlin'. They can do whatever they want with their looks, but they're just going to have to suck it up and live with the consequences of their decisions.

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Yes, it will affect job prospects. Even if there are no rules, it's too far outside of the norm for "regular" managers to feel comfortable hiring. There are probably companies and fringe companies that would not have an issue with it and might in fact seek it out. If said young adult is adamant about getting fanged, I would research what industries allow or embrace such modifications and see if I had the desire to work in those jobs for the next generation at least. It may be in 20-30 years those type of thing are not outside of the societal norm and no one would care. By that time said young adult may be 40-50 years old and at that age, trust me, it's hard to retrain for new jobs while competing with the new generation of young adults (I'm a 49 year old college student and certain fields are not realistic for me anymore). 

 

Bucking societal norms in appearance can be fun. I had less permanent things in the days of my youth, but I was able to change my hair and wardrobe when I needed a way to pay the bills. I still don't fit into societal norms and have found other ways to embrace that, like homeschooling my child. 

 

We may be "mean" but the real world can be harsh. My advice would be to find a less permanent way to add shock value to your appearance (if that is the goal) and find some other way to buck societal norms. Go on a world tour, live a life that doesn't match the status quo, or write punk poetry for dogs and read it on you tube. Who knows, something out there is waiting that is earmarked just for this person. It's probably not fanged teeth that will help them make the greatest impact on the world. If they don't know what it is, great, keep looking and experimenting, just try experimenting with things that can change as the person changes. 

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I think the elf ears could be cute.  The contacts can be removed so not a hill I'd die on.  The fangs though.  I definitely think that would effect your employability and I would also be concerned about how that would effect your dental health.  Damaging your enamel like that might cause issues in the long term.

 

If they really need "big pointy teeth" can they look into something that's removable like veneers or something?

Edited by BigMamaBird
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In a follow up question, do you think it's possible that a 17 year might, at some point in the next 60 years, change his mind about where he wants to work, and regret the fangs or ears?

 

The contacts, at least, are removable.

Absolutely! And I have a tattoo on my ankle to prove it.

 

(Let me add that I don't have problems at all with tattoos but as a 40 year old woman working in the finance industry, I wish I wouldn't have gotten one. My former-military husband feels the same. Amazingly, we aren't the same exact people that we were at age 18.)

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I  can't hire people with such a strange personal look. The vast majority of my guests are extremely conservative. I couldn't even hire anyone with ear gages without catching flack. I once hired someone who wore his pants like a moron and he had all kinds of small accidents from his low pants and I would never hire a low pantser again after seeing that he really couldn't do a lot of normal restaurant work because he couldn't bend over without losing his pants.

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I agree with the above.

 

 

I'm curious though, would you all assume someone with red eyes was wearing contacts? Would they be discriminated against?

 

Edited to add "all" despite my not being Southern. I wanted to make sure that it was understood that I was asking everyone and not targeting the O.P.

Yes. Is it even possible in humans? Albino animals can have red eyes, but I thought it wasn't a naturally occurring color in humans.

 

And yes, red contacts and vampire teeth would affect my hiring the person.

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You can remove piercings and tattoos (though obviously that latter can be expensive and painful and piercings can leave scars). Contacts are just a fashion. Even the ears can be covered with longer hair. But teeth? I'm freaked just thinking about how bad and not reversible that would be. I've seen a few people like that and I just feel deeply uncomfortable around them and I'm someone who is usually pretty chill with most body modifications.

Edited by Farrar
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Frankly, if he insisted that permanent body mutilation is a fantastic thing, I would probably find a cognitive therapist and insist on a month or two of visits to help him figure out why, what feeling he anticipates getting from a permanent change, and what else he could do to achieve the same sort of feeling without permanently altering his body.

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I agree with the above. 

 

 

I'm curious though, would you all assume someone with red eyes was wearing contacts? Would they be discriminated against?

 

Edited to add "all" despite my not being Southern. I wanted to make sure that it was understood that I was asking everyone and not targeting the O.P.

 

The only people I know with natural red - actually pink - eyes have other signs of Albinism.  That would not (in my experience anyway) be discriminated against. 

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Yes. Is it even possible in humans? Albino animals can have red eyes, but I thought it wasn't a naturally occurring color in humans.

 

And yes, red contacts and vampire teeth would affect my hiring the person.

Yes, people with Albinism have reddish- pink eyes. The degree is varying. My nephew and niece both have Albinism. Most people can't really recognize that they have it which is why they always comment and are fascinated with their hair, understandably since it is very rare. Often they are wearing sunglasses because bright light hurts their eyes but of course, coming in for a job interview would mean taking them off. I'm sure it looks more natural then red contacts though. I haven't seen people wearing red contacts though so it's hard for me to say.

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It seems like it may be time to do a little personal finance lesson.  Look for apartments, do a grocery budget, price out cars and insurance, and so on.  Then figure out how to make it all work on a minimum wage, no benefits job.  Because that's likely all that would be open to someone with such body modifications.

Then do some career research, about interesting jobs that pay a living wage and let you have some flexibility in your work wardrobe (video game designer?) and what is needed to get such a job.  

Here's the thing - there's nothing wrong with weird hair, contacts, and clothes.  Those can always be changed.  But there are times in life where it is useful to pass as someone different than your true inner self.  Looking for work, trying to rent a house, dealing with government officials (police, border patrol, etc. - perhaps on behalf of a friend), going to a wedding or funeral, even parent-teacher night one day down the line.  And if your "look" is not permanent, you can clean up nicely when it benefits you.  And then go back to your True Self once the need to pass is over.  

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My SO has fangs.  He got those around 5 years ago.  They aren't as pointy as when he first got them, but I believe they are still noticeable (I haven't stared at his teeth recently).  He also used to wear white contacts with fangs (yes, this is his second set of fangs, the first set fell off or something).  He has been gainfully employed through all of his phases (and he was late 20s when he decided to start).  You really cannot tell he has fangs unless he smiles.  He routinely has to meet professionals in the field, and no one has had a negative comment.  Now red contacts, eh, that could be a deal breaker.  White contacts at least were a bit less creepy.  He stopped wearing those a few years back (about 3 years ago).  He'll probably get another pair, but won't wear them in the workplace honestly.  Positive of contacts is you can remove them if necessary.

 

I'd definitely considered exactly what field he is going into and then decide what modifications would be ok.  If my SO could do it over, he would do tattoos that are less visible.  It's very uncomfortable wearing long sleeves in the summer to hide the tattoos at meetings.  We had an acquaintance's son that decided to get a lower left arm tattoo (whole lower left arm that is) when he was 16 (a parent said it was alright).  I don't think he thought that through all the way.

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You might be relieved to know that this person has already investigated ear surgery, that makes one appear to be an elf, but decided that it sounded painful and time consuming. 

 

However, out of curiosity, do you think that elf ears would be received better or worse than fangs in the employment marketplace?

 

Elf ears are definitely better than fangs. Can be covered by hair, if desired.

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So two options I see that both parties will be satisfied to some degree.

 

prosthetic vampire teeth that can be glued on (they actually will stay on for awhile if you get the good quality kind). Try them out for awhile, see how you're treated, if you can get a good job or any job.  

 

If the person MUST have "real" vampire teeth then look into having fake glue on normal looking teeth made for when they go to work.  

 

The red contacts will probably become irritating eventually too.

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FWIW, I have a friend who has vampire fangs.  She has veneers.  They were expensive and they are essentially permanent but they CAN be removed and dental work done to restore her underlying teeth.  She has been gainfully employed at a night club for nearly 20 years and her teeth are famous.  

 

If the person who is thinking of fangs is truly determined to do this, they might talk to a dentist about veneers.  If they have to pay for the veneers themselves they may think twice, though.  They might also ask how painful it is to file down teeth, especially if you accidentally hit a nerve.  And yes, fangs will absolutely affect employability in some circles, as others have posted.  It doesn't mean they can't get a job.  It just means they have seriously narrowed down their options.

 

As for the ears, I would go with prosthetics.  As others have mentioned, changing their minds about the ears means expensive plastic surgery and potential pain.

 

Contacts?  No big deal whatsoever...they can always be changed.

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Yeah, wouldn't be hired.  He/she would be given some generic reason why they weren't right for the job...after everyone else in the company went in the back room to snicker after the interview (with the vampire?).  I'm surprised anyone would even have a different opinion on this one. 

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Better than fangs because a person can cover them up if need be.

You might be relieved to know that this person has already investigated ear surgery, that makes one appear to be an elf, but decided that it sounded painful and time consuming. 

 

However, out of curiosity, do you think that elf ears would be received better or worse than fangs in the employment marketplace?

 

Edited by reefgazer
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In a follow up question, do you think it's possible that a 17 year might, at some point in the next 60 years, change his mind about where he wants to work, and regret the fangs or ears?

 

I think someone who doesn't change between 17 and 60 must have led a boring life! I hope my 15 year old has many, many life experiences that change her. I hope most are good. Some will be bad and unplanned. I hope she positions herself to respond best to whatever life throws at her - keeping an open mind on jobs she might be holding at 60 (through choice or circumstance) is part of that package.

 

I think an interesting question is whether the 17 year old has any opinion about his grandparent with fangs and elf ears? Or his parent? In other words, is this really something 'ageless' or something that, if appropriate at all, is more suited to 17 year olds than 45 year olds or 70 year olds?

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:lol:

 

What? No one is laughing yet? Speaking as someone that used to be active in the goth subculture I'm not meaning any disrespect as I say this... but yes, definitely that's going to effect employment opportunities. That's why you have "corporate goths."

 

You can push the envelope a little, but eyes and fangs? That's too far for most people. I believe you can get fake fangs (not the plastic ones kids get on Halloween) made to wear for special occasions. I would suggest that as an alternative.

 

Bottom line, whether we're talking jobs or just networking in general, you want to be approachable. Something that can be perceived as weird/creepy is probably not going to make people comfortable.

 

This thread reminds me of Richmond from the IT Crowd. Loved that character.

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:lol:

 

What? No one is laughing yet? Speaking as someone that used to be active in the goth subculture I'm not meaning any disrespect as I say this... but yes, definitely that's going to effect employment opportunities. That's why you have "corporate goths."

 

You can push the envelope a little, but eyes and fangs? That's too far for most people.

I played Live Action world of darkness games for several years in my 20s. (Though my characters were always Garou well except for that one Egyptian cat I remember now.), made costumes, painted my face and hunted stores for the right wig (and tried to wear contacts again because wearing glasses as a shapeshifter was ridiculous). (oh and I was working for Boeing at the same time). But the games were an evening and weekend thing. I did not dress up during the workday; I felt very weird the day I had to go to the mall before a game, so was already all dressed up. We were all oddballs, in our game, and we did have fun. But permanent/semi-permanent changes were different. They would be expensive to do and expensive to change when my tastes changed. I would urge your family member to find non-permanent ways to costume. There is a lot of scope of freedom even in that.

 

(I met my now-husband at these games. But we are not at all involved now and I am okay with having nothing to explain to our kids and friends now about those days. I am not ashamed of them; it is just totally non-relevant.

Edited by vonfirmath
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Oh, and I've done hiring. I wouldn't hire him. Not because I care but because our clients would have cared, and keeping the clients happy kept me paid. 

 

 

And he needs to realize it isn't that the potential employer thinks badly of him for having the modifications. It is that it can effect business, and it's all about the money when you run a business. If you are likely to frighten off some of the customers then it is a no go. Not because anyone is mean, but because a business is about making money and you can't do that by scaring off potential customers. 

 

No need for me to type much, because you already wrote out our thoughts.

 

No job here.  We need our income from the public, so scaring off the public we deal with wouldn't help.

 

I'll also admit "I" wouldn't want to look at it on a regular basis.  Who wants an employee they don't care to look at?  He'd have to be content at a job where folks either liked or didn't mind the shock value.  We need "the whole package" when we employ someone.

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He just informed me that while he is grateful for your advice I can stop reading it aloud at the breakfast table because you are all members of the "mom" special interest group which explains your lack of diversity of opinions.

 

Should I point out that a significant portion of employers are members of the "mom" special interest group?

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I can think of some of the "dad" special interest group who might not be so tactful in their responses. So maybe it should be the "adult" special interest group that is so mean. Heck, I didn't want to grow up and be an adult, it just kind of happens and we have to figure out a way to pay the bills. Unless he has a big trust fund, that's usually a job.

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He just informed me that while he is grateful for your advice I can stop reading it aloud at the breakfast table because you are all members of the "mom" special interest group which explains your lack of diversity of opinions.

 

Should I point out that a significant portion of employers are members of the "mom" special interest group?

 

Yeah...what job is he looking for that is significantly run by the 17 year old body modification special interest group?

 

And let me assure you, the "dad" special interest group probably feels just as strongly about this, if not more so. And between the mom and the dad groups....that's most employers. 

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He just informed me that while he is grateful for your advice I can stop reading it aloud at the breakfast table because you are all members of the "mom" special interest group which explains your lack of diversity of opinions.

 

Should I point out that a significant portion of employers are members of the "mom" special interest group?

Let's have a "People who actually do interviews and hire other people" special interest group then. Present! CFO of a small business here. A small business that, uh, wouldn't hire a vampire.

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What if the mom of this potential vampire dressed up as a vampire for a week? With plastic teeth. It might lose it's appeal if his mom dressed that way. if it doesn't work and you are brave you can drag him out in public with you dressed like a vampire. Go to the bank, the employment agency and even the video arcade and let him watch how people react to you and he can decide for himself if he wants dirty looks and snickers for the rest of his life.

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If an individual, over the age of 18, chose to have his or her canine teeth filed into a point, similar to those of a vampire, and wore red contacts, might they experience employment discrimination* when seeking a job. 

 

Yes, and if your son claims not to understand this, he is being disingenuous.

 

His feelings on whether the individual should find it harder to get a job are not at issue.

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He just informed me that while he is grateful for your advice I can stop reading it aloud at the breakfast table because you are all members of the "mom" special interest group which explains your lack of diversity of opinions.

 

Should I point out that a significant portion of employers are members of the "mom" special interest group?

Well, a lot of us are homeschoolers so we're practically rebels in our own right. Does that give us more cred? ;)

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He just informed me that while he is grateful for your advice I can stop reading it aloud at the breakfast table because you are all members of the "mom" special interest group which explains your lack of diversity of opinions.

 

And he is a member of the adolescent special interest group, which explains his desire to do whatever he wants with no consequences and his lack of foresight.

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He just informed me that while he is grateful for your advice I can stop reading it aloud at the breakfast table because you are all members of the "mom" special interest group which explains your lack of diversity of opinions.

 

Should I point out that a significant portion of employers are members of the "mom" special interest group?

Does it improve my street cred if I tell the vampire that I went to art school in NYC and have my BFA?

Because I did and I can tell you all about the metamorphosis of an art major who needs to get a job.

You enter freshman year as a somewhat clean cut high school graduate. Maybe your hair is a funky color/cut, maybe an unusual piercing.

By the end of freshman year you are doing some crazy stuff with your hair. Some more piercings, maybe you even got a tattoo.

This trend continues through your sophomore year.

Then comes junior year. The light bulb moment that you may not be the next Andy Warhol and your parents won't support you forever and the realization that advertising can pay pretty well while you pursue your art.

Some of the piercings come out. The hair gets a little toned down.

Senior year you are interviewing and getting feedback from potential employers. Most of whom may love your funky hair and piercings but tell you that it won't fly in the office.

By the end of senior year you look like every other corporate sell out but with an artsy hairdo that is somewhat mainstream . But hey, you have a job. On the weekends you get to go out and be crazy. Show off the ink that is hidden when you are at work. Maybe put in those piercings.

 

I will now give you the wisdom that my father gave me.

Don't be an idiot. What are you, stupid? How did I raise someone who is such a moron. You want to do crazy things? Go ahead. But don't do permanent changes that are noticeable. Unless you don't want a job one day. Tattoo where they can be hidden by clothes if necessary if you really must have a tattoo. And why are you so sure that when you are my age you will still think fangs are a great idea? They aren't. They are stupid. In 10 years you may wake up one morning and wonder what the hell you were thinking. Now you have to go get expensive dental work.

And don't come crying to me when you experience discrimination in the hiring process because you look like an idiot. Yes, it shouldn't matter, but it will

Edited by kewb
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