Barista Calls Out Her Manager For Preferring To Hire Workers Without Tattoos Or Piercings — 'How Does This Affect My Ability To Make Coffee?'

Stigmas and prejudices often stop people with tattoos from being hired but this worker is done with the unfair treatment.

barista calling out manager for preference on employees without tattoos and piercings TikTok

A woman is calling out her former boss for preferring to hire people who don't have any tattoos or piercings.

In a TikTok video, Ellie, who worked as a barista, explained that while working at a cafe, she ran into issues with her boss surrounding the idea of employees being hired who didn't have a clean-cut look about them. 

She called out her manager for only preferring to hire candidates who didn't have any tattoos or facial piercings.

In Ellie's video, she stitched another creator, who claimed that the requirement for employees not to have dyed hair or piercings seems to only be prevalent in minimum-wage paying jobs.


Deciding to reveal a section of a dress code at her own job, Ellie explained that, while working as a barista, a big corporation had ended up buying out the place she had worked for. Afterward, many of the rules changed, including things surrounding appropriate looks for the employees.

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"We had to read all their handbooks, and they do allow tattoos as long as they're not on your face or neck," she revealed. "But there's no nose rings." Ellie herself has tattoos on her arms, and a nose ring in.


She continued, saying that the management allowed her to keep her nose ring in while she was working, but still ran into some snide comments being said by her manager.

"The manager was talking and had to interview some people and was like, 'I interviewed this candidate and she didn't even have any tattoos or nose rings like I'm so excited.'" After hearing that, Ellie pointed out that she works as a barista, who is more than likely getting paid minimum wage.

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She argued that it shouldn't matter if she has a nose ring, or a sleeve of tattoos, as that doesn't interfere with her ability to make coffees and take customers' orders as they come into the shop. 


According to a survey conducted by TeamStage, young people are statistically more likely than older generations to have a tattoo. Approximately 40% of people aged 18-34 in the US have a tattoo, while around 36% of people aged 35-50 have a tattoo, and Americans with tattoos over 50 are only 16%.

"You just interviewed the only barista without a tattoo or nose rings," she pointed out. "How does this affect my ability to make coffee?" 

In the caption of the video, Ellie shared that she has since quit that job, but still wanted to post the video since it raised a good debate and argument.

Around 76% of people feel visible tattoos hurt an applicant’s chances in an interview, according to TeamStage. Job interview statistics show that 71% of companies will reject a candidate for dressing inappropriately, and that also includes tattoos or other bodily piercings.


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In the comments section, people pointed out that tattoos or body piercings shouldn't play a part in someone being hired.

"I don't understand why colored hair, tattoos, and piercings affect your ability to work," one TikTok user remarked.

Another user agreed, joking, "If my barista doesn't have a septum [piercing], will my coffee even be good?"


"Why so many jobs care bout that is beyond me," a third user chimed in. "I can still do my job perfectly fine looking like this."

Of course, there are jobs out there that require a more professional look, which would be understandable if employers, in that case, were seeking hires that didn't have tattoos or piercings, but for minimum-wage paying jobs, especially as a barista, does it matter?

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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics.