"Chinese people are very conservative. Tattooing is a taboo in China. Can I still be a teacher in China if I have a tattoo?"
The answer is YES.
In fact, the Western-style idea of "Tattoos are a way of self-expression" has been popular in China for many years. Young people in first-tier cities in China are very open-minded, and you can find all kinds of tattoos on their bodies.
Of course, I don't mean that Chinese people of all ages in all places agree with tattoo culture. So, if you have a tattoo, there are something important for you to consider.
City or rural area?
Your workplace is the primary factor in determining whether people will accept your tattoo. In China, most people in large cities, especially first-tier cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen, are accustomed to tattoos and no longer be surprised by a person with tattoos. However, people in rural areas have a completely different attitude towards tattoos from people in big cities. The people there are conservative in thinking and cannot accept the tattoo culture. People in some areas may even think that "a person with a tattoo is a street gangster or a criminal."
School or university?
Different educational institutions have their own rules regarding tattoos. Some private training centers or language schools may hire a teacher with a tattoo because of their excellent professional and rich teaching experience. But if you want to find a job in a public school, private school or university, you may need to find a way to cover your visible tattoo since these institutions usually do not accept teachers with tattoos.
If you want to work in Chinese kindergartens, you should discuss your tattoo with the school management in advance and make sure they can accept it. Generally speaking, they will ask you to cover your tattoos with clothes or other things to prevent children and their parents from seeing it. You may have a question like this, “Parents? Seriously?” Yes, that’s true. In China, many parents think that foreign teachers with tattoos are rebellious, not serious and professional even if it is a prejudice.
Shoulder or arm?
Before worrying that you will not be able to find a job as a teacher in China because of your tattoos, take a look at where your tattoos are.
If it is on the shoulders, arms, thighs, etc. that can be covered with clothing, then you don't need to consider the problem of tattoos because no one will see it.
But if you have a tattoo on your finger or face which cannot use physical cover, then you need to ask your superior how to solve this problem. The worst result is that you will be required to remove your tattoo or lose the job offer if you cannot give up your tattoos.
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