Body Modifications

Tattoos and body piercings have in the past been generally discreet but are becoming more visible and outrageous, for lack of a better expression. Gaining in popularity are body modifications such as designer implants, horns on the head, split tongues and such.

How do any of you handle such in your appearance and grooming policies? We are a public agency that responds to emergency calls and require a high degree of public confidence. Appearance is the beginning of that. I would sure like to hear your thoughts and comments on this.


  • 4 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Hi Cappy,

    Our policy states that there should be no visible body piercing, except for the ears, and no visible tattoos.  I've never had to deal with or ever seen (thank goodness) designer implants, horns on the head or split tongues.  I'm guessing there is no religious belief behind the implants, horns and split tongue.  I have worked at other companies (non-manufacturing) that along with the visible tatoos didn't allow for bright pink, purple or any other color of the rainbow hair as there was always a lot of public interaction.  Don't know if this helps you any. 

  • Some of the things I have not personally seen thankfully.  I know of them through other circles. But what I have seen is the enlarged earlobes with 'giant circles' (don't know what else to call them) inserted. Even with them taken out the earlobe will have to hang way down. But you have hit on my concern, public interaction.

    And the tattoos are really something. But thanks for your response. I wanted to see if others have concerns or am I just out of touch with norm. 

  • Thankfully, I've not had to deal with any of that here.  However, this does lead me to the business of Gender Transformation.  A couple questions:  1). How do you address someone that's obviously in the midst of a gender transformation (and it's not clear which direction they are headed), and 2.) how do you handle customer interaction?
  • Cappy - most of the public safety agencies I know about have grooming standards that include the required uniform (provided by the department), and include such things as the color of the undershirt, socks and type of shoes required.  Most then go on to talk about grooming standards.  I have seen policies that require things like long hair to be tied up and back, no earrings other than posts, no visible tatoos or piercings (tattoos and piercings under the uniform are ok).  All of these things are required since otherwise it could be a safety hazard to the first responder.   What if a patient/victim pulls on long hair, low hanging jewelry, etc and hurts the first responder while they are trying to help the victim?  Many people don't even wear a wedding ring because of the risk of getting it caught on something. 

    In fire departments, there has always been the issue regarding facial hair/shaving and use of breathing apperatus.  I believe the DCFD just went through a big case on this. 

Sign In or Register to comment.