Can Models Have Tattoos?

  • Amy Bebbington

Can models have tattoos is a question asked by hopefuls who either have artwork or are thinking of starting the addictive process and don’t want to hinder their chances. The answer is not as straight forward as one may think with the industry becoming more accepting of an alternative image. At one stage the modelling world would not have allowed for tattoos or piercings yet the idea has become less niche with body artwork becoming more popular. In fact, Tommy Hilfiger applied temporary tatts and Dries Van Noten designed printed sheer gloves and body suits to give an tattoo illusion. Due to this shift in thinking more alternative model agencies are emerging in the hope that tattooed models will not just be a current trend but a permanent change on the catwalk.

If you are thinking of getting a tattoo take these pointers into consideration.

can models have tattoos


Think carefully about where the tattoo will be placed as discreet, small ones can be hidden yet large artwork in an obvious place will be more difficult to disguise. Before you go ahead with your choice consider how successful you wish for your career to be. Commercial modelling will not be as open minded as high fashion who will only hire you if the tattoos fit their vision. Therefore, artwork could affect your chances of securing work. Some models are solely picked on their tattoos  yet may not receive offers regularly. Take time to think through the decision and make your choice.

can models have tattoos


Unfortunately, gender does come into play as if a guy has a sleeve the negative effects of securing work will be less in comparison to girls. Although, this is unfair the visual identity of the model and the image they portray is the main concern. Tattoos can be perceived as masculine and therefore, in a feminine setting a large number of artwork will not be welcomed. Therefore, in particular female models need to take this factor seriously when opting for tattoos.


Never get a tattoo on a whim. The artwork will be a permanent fixture on your body that can not be removed. It is important to be sure it is exactly what you want as there is no going back on your decision. Do not follow others or a trend that will fade, only get a tattoo if it is what you would like to do. Be 100% sure and go ahead with your choice confidently. Tattoos can also be expensive so whilst you save you can think carefully about your decision.

can models have tattoos


It is highly important to think about the type of tattoo that you choose before making the appointment. Offensive and rude images are not advised as designers will not hire a model with  distasteful artwork. Do not limit your desirability with an offensive tattoo as you will hinder your progress. Even with the industry becoming more open minded, many designers will not be welcome to disrespectful images.

Before getting a tattoo models need to consider:

  • Who will be employing you?
  • What will you be modelling?
  • The size, position and quantity of the tattoos.
  • Your gender.
  • The amount of work you would like to secure. 

Therefore, in reaction to the question, can models have tattoos, it all depends on the type, size and placement. Consider all the possibilities before making a decision that could affect your future career.

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