Will a Tattoo Affect Your Model Career?

  • Amy Bebbington

Are you considering finally taking the plunge to getting a tattoo or a new piercing but are concerned the artwork will negatively affect your modelling career? 

It’s a realistic to be sceptical as the permanent ink design cannot easily be removed. The industry has moved towards accepting a more alternative look. Tattoos and piercings appear on the catwalk and in fashion photoshoots. A move that has witnessed modelling agencies specialising in alternative looks supporting a more diverse fashion world. However, consider the following points before braving that skull head that you have planned.

tattoo models


Tattooed models are well received by top designers who require an alternative look. However, if you are hoping to seek work in the commercial and catalogue field you may hit a few barriers. Brands working in this arena usually prefer a model without artwork to appeal to a wide audience. Some may accept a tattooed model. However, your accessibility could be drastically reduced if the artwork works against the vision in mind. Consider if you would prefer to be accepted for a lot of jobs or wait for opportunities that are more open-minded.


Please bear in mind that the alternative model preference may be a fashion trend that goes out of style as fast as it emerged. The fashion world moves at an incredibly fast pace with trends coming in and out of style at a high speed. Therefore, do not get a tattoo based on the fact that it is in style. It should be a personal decision made with no influence on current trends.

tattoo models


Think about the size of the artwork you have planned. A small tattoo can go unnoticed or be airbrushed over if absolutely necessary. Tiny, delicate body-art is easy to cover up, visible tattoos are not. A whole sleeve or a piece that covers your back will be easily noticed and is bound to affect your dreams of becoming a model. The placement and visibility is a factor that you should carefully consider when booking the appointment with a tattoo artist. Think about the number of tattoos that you have also as a large amount is a statement that may not be perceived well and negatively impact your modeling career.


As we mentioned, alternative modelling agencies are popping up all over the place. Therefore, approach the correct audience for your look and style. If you already have tattoos and piercings register to a company that caters for this. They will have the necessary contacts in the industry to help find work where artwork is not viewed as a negative. High fashion may be open to a few tattooed skin whereas commercial brands may not be. The likes of Kate Moss and Cara Delevingne both have tattoos and have enjoyed a successful career.

Take Your Time

Never get a tattoo on a whim, when drunk or because your best friend is. It should be a personal decision that you make based on your own style, preferences and feelings. Take enough time to consider your next move thinking of the size and placement in relation to your aspirations and dreams. It is a positive step that the fashion industry is open to a more diverse style allowing for individuals to express their personal style in their own way.

Are you as successful model with tattoos? Did you artwork affect your career at all? Did you receive any negative reactions?

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Posted by Amy Bebbington

I express my love of fashion through writing, blogging and styling. My creative personality ensures that I produce unique and original work. I am a keen knitter and enthusiatic dancer.