In 2018, tattoos, piercings, and body modifications barely get a second glance. They don’t hold the same taboo that they once did due to their ever-increasing popularity. But even as society has become more accepting, facial tattoos are still viewed negatively. A Winnipeg man found this out the hard way recently after he was denied entry into a bar over his facial tattoos.
Craig Ginter is a local Winnipeg tattoo artist. He and a few friends decided to grab food at a bar after work. However, he was stopped at the door by the bouncer and informed he wasn’t allowed in, even despite the fact that he had visited the bar before.
The reason? The bouncer notified them there was a sign stating they no face tattoos were allowed.
Ginter was understandably frustrated, stating, “If that’s what they think … that if I have face heavily tattooed that it makes me a bad person … well it doesn’t. I am a father. I work every day of the week. I am just trying to provide.”
While it does seem ridiculous that a man can be denied entry over harmless facial tattoos, unfortunately, the law isn’t on his side. The law prohibits discrimination on a variety of grounds, such as race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation. It doesn’t, however, exclude discrimination based on appearances, such as having tattoos.
This is why businesses can get away with those “no shirt, no shoes, no service” signs. The issue becomes a little greyer in some cases. If Ginter had a facial tattoo related to religion or nationality, there might be more grounds for a complaint. But a facial tattoo or physical appearance alone is not prohibited ground in the eyes of the law.
As frustrating as this may be for Ginter and others that have been discriminated against due to facial tattoos, it’s perfectly legal. This sort of bias is one big reason why many tattoo shops refuse to do “life ruining” tattoos such as graphic images, crude words, or facial tattoos.
Nobody should be denied entry or service due to facial tattoos, especially innocent ones that aren’t rude or graphic. However, with the law not on their side, it’s something that people with tattoos in these locations should prepare for.
This case is precisely why we always encourage our clients to think carefully before selecting their tattoo design and location. Whether or not it’s right, people can and will discriminate based on how many tattoos, what tattoo designs, and where the tattoos are located. If you want to discuss this more, or want to get some new ink (facial or otherwise) please contact us! We look forward to hearing from you!