April 10 , 2021
By Kidist Yidnekachew ( Kidist Yidnekachew has degrees in psychology and journalism and communications. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. )
Do not judge a book by its cover, we say. But we still judge all the same. It is much worse when it comes to a living, breathing person. We often tend to judge people by their appearance, clothes or other external measurement scales. Some agree that these are superficial measurements, but some also believe that these external things reflect the internal assets a person possesses.
I witnessed this a few days ago when I was sitting in a café waiting for a friend. A tall guy covered in tattoos walked in. All eyes were on him, including that of two ladies across from my table. They were probably in their late thirties.
“I don’t understand why anyone would get tattoos, especially this many. I am sure he will regret it when he gets old,” one of them said, looking at the man. “Besides, he could get cancer, and it is a sin to get a tattoo; the fact that it's of a cross doesn’t justify it.”
One of the tattoos on the guy’s arm was a big cross, with “Faith” written inside.
“I wouldn’t want to marry a guy with tattoos as I would have to explain to everyone that he's neither a thug nor a criminal,” the other woman continued. “I also don’t think he would ever get hired by anyone and wouldn’t even get taken seriously.”
I can relate, but with the guy. There are many things one can regret in life, but tattoos do not always make a list. Sometimes they serve as a reminder of moments cherished and memories made.
Unfortunately, the entire entertainment industry has made sure to portray tattoos as the go-to look of criminals and gangsters. It is not untrue that offenders are more likely to have tattoos, according to several studies. But it is a coincidental relationship, not a causal one.
The overwhelming majority are decent people looking to add a bit more character to their skins. They do not deserve to be defined by the ink on their bodies but their personalities, experiences and abilities. Unfortunately, this advice is not heeded, especially by employers. When they are looking to hire someone for a position of responsibility, they are more likely to discriminate starting from their appearance.
Many of them are unwilling to hire anyone with tattoos and piercings. Whenever I go to a job interview, I tend to wear long-sleeve shirts not to expose my tattoo. I do it so as not to attract attention and get judged. I have witnessed how fast the look on a potential employer’s face changes the minute they notice my tattoo. Some have straightforwardly told me that I should cover it if I were ever to get the job.
I also have nose and ear piercing, which, unlike my tattoos, I do not hide whenever I go to job interviews. I have been told to take them out or never to wear them again. It is saddening that I have to be bogged down not by my qualifications and what I bring to the table but a hole on my nose and ears and some writing on my body.
It was such employers that the women reminded me of. The next person they transferred their criticisms to was a young girl in a jumpsuit that walked into the café. She went straight to the table the guy was sitting at and showered him with hugs and kisses. She was most probably his girlfriend. The two women judged the same.
“Dist kidanun ayatam,” one of them said, which is a saying in Amharic about how people, no matter their shortcomings, find a match.
Then they started laughing at their quip. Fortunately, the couple was far too immersed in their own world. They were entirely oblivious to everyone else around them, including the constant judgment and dressing-down going on just a few feet from where they were sitting.
PUBLISHED ON Apr 10,2021 [ VOL 22 , NO 1093]
Verbatim | Sep 14,2019
Editorial | Feb 08,2020
Fineline | May 25,2019
My Opinion | Jun 27,2020
Verbatim | Nov 30,2019
Commentaries | Jan 03,2021
Commentaries | Sep 07,2019
Radar | Jun 29,2019
Verbatim | May 25,2019
Verbatim | Apr 06,2019
Fortune News | 37677 Views | Jul 18,2020
Photo Gallery | 16713 Views | May 06,2019
Fortune News | 16657 Views | Oct 12,2019
Photo Gallery | 15800 Views | Mar 16,2019
Commentaries | May 08,2021
Life Matters | May 08,2021
My Opinion | May 08,2021
Sunday with Eden | May 08,2021
Agenda | May 08,2021
Editorial | May 08,2021
May 8 , 2021 . By HAWI DADHI and NEJAT AHMED
A 50-year old mother, Aster Amsalu, and her son, 26, began their search for an electo...
March 27 , 2021 . By BAMLAK FIKADU
An application developer who has recently taken up hiking to get some exercise, Migno...
February 13 , 2021 . By TADESSE TSEGAYE
In Arada, I stopped over by a hotel in front of Cinema Empire. I sat alone inside wit...
January 30 , 2021 . By FASIKA TADESSE
The Council of Ministers approved a regulation that will establish the Liability &...
The 2021 World Press Freedom Index, by Reporters Without Borders (RSB), ranks Ethiopi...
Leaders of the National Election Board are in a charm offensive mood, of a sort. Last week, they organised a rare tour for members of the me...
When the country’s most senior diplomats and envoys return back to their posts after two-week debriefings, they leave behind a point or tw...
May 8 , 2021
Diplomacy is not the forte of Ethiopia’s officials. They are often too absorbed in...
April 30 , 2021
Nothing can better describe Ethiopia's state of affairs today than the French idiom:...
April 24 , 2021
There were no surprises when the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) decided two weeks ag...
April 17 , 2021
There is not a facet of life in Ethiopia today that is not convulsed by the moral cri...
PM Abiy Ahmed (PhD) at a Gala Dinner Called for the Awarding of the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize
May 6 , 2019
When Ferruccio Lamborghini, a wealthy farmer, met Enzo Ferrari, he commented on the cars' heavy clutch. Ferarri then told the farmer that a...
May 8 , 2021
Bogged down by political instability, logistical constraints, and disputes with regio...
May 8 , 2021 . By BAMLAK FIKADU
Appeals by hotel owners and tour operators for the extension of repayments of loans t...
May 8 , 2021 . By NEJAT AHMED
The embattled Hiber Sugar Share Company eyes new investment opportunities in the agri...
May 8 , 2021 . By HAWI DADHI
Two international consultants are vying to be hired as a transaction advisor for the...
Or see contact page