A heavily tattooed mother of three claims she’s publicly looked at and subjected to ‘rude’ customer service for her colorful ink.
Sarah Keirs, 32, has always understood that her body art “ may not be everyone’s thing ” and may conjure up potentially unwanted glances.
But the Newcastle mental health worker has been left shocked after members of the public tried their best to chill the shoulder – flashy icy frown, grunting and ignoring her.
The worst incidents occurred last month when she underwent back-to-back acid treatment from a gas station attendant and a mall employee.
Sarah Keirs, 32, (pictured) said customer service staff was intentionally rude after scanning her tattoos
The mother of three (pictured with her two younger daughters Aurora, seven, and Ezrah, five) said she understands that isn’t everyone’s cup of tea – but that’s no reason to be rude
After filling up her car, Mrs. Keirs went in to pay and saw the female cashier smiling and talking to everyone in line.
But when she reached the front, the woman’s attitude changed.
“A cramped face, looking at me from head to toe, her eyes burning through me,” Ms. Keirs told Daily Mail Australia.
“She thanked and said goodbye to everyone else, but there was no talking to me – she was cold as a dead fish.”
Ms. Keirs, who has spent more than 100 hours under the needle in the last decade engraving her thighs on the top of her back, said her tattoos are normally covered, but she was wearing shorts that day.
After returning to her car, she said the woman kept looking at her through the glass window as she drove away.
The next day, on a trip to a store, she received similar treatment when a woman manning the self-service registers scanned her entire body and then grunted.
Ms. Keirs said that both women were in their mid-50s and the judgmental looks she gets usually come from older generations.
While she appreciates that their perspective may be skewed because tattoos used to be related to gangs and criminals, she said there was no reason to be rude.
The Newcastle mental health worker has spent more than 100 hours in tattoo parlors and has had ink engraved on her skin
Mrs. Keirs normally covers up her tattoos, but was wearing shorts due to warm weather when a gas station attendant looked at her with disdain
“The older generation are the first to complain that younger people are rude, but they can be so hypocritical,” she said.
“I fully understand from their perspective that tattoos used to be associated with crime, but things have changed and tattoos are distinct from today.”
‘A person gets them because they want them, not because of other people. I did this for me. I don’t treat you roughly. You don’t have to sit there and tell me they’re nice, but you don’t have to try your best to be mean. ‘
The tainted experiences have deterred Ms. Keirs from visiting both companies, and since thousands of people choose to buy ink, she believes other companies are at risk of losing customers if they feel discriminated against by employees.
Ever since she got her first tattoo as a teenager, she’s always cut opinions and shrugged off, but said it was “ unprofessional ” to practice them during customer service.
Despite clearly having tattoos on social media accounts, Ms. Keirs said she’s also occasionally been targeted by trolls who leave baseless comments like, ‘you screwed up your body’ and ‘what did you do’.
While she’s never felt judged at home or at work, where she hides herself from remaining professional, Ms. Keirs said the public reactions feel like she’s being judged for her capacity as a parent.
Ms. Keirs said parents should not be convicted of having tattoos, what is important is whether they teach their children good morals and values
She now fears that her three daughters Allira, 14, Aurora, seven, and Ezrah, five, will be affected if their parents take a negative view of her personal decision.
“When I’m with my kids and I’m being looked at, is it like people are thinking how to raise my kids?” she said.
‘But getting a tattoo doesn’t affect your parenting in any way. The way you raise your kids has nothing to do with what’s on your skin. What matters is your values, your morals. ‘
“If people want to pass judgment on parents with tattoos, one thing I won’t educate my kids is, be rude or judgmental.”
Ms. Keirs said that more awareness is needed that stereotypes about people with tattoos are not always correct, and that people with ink come from all walks of life.
“We’re just normal people,” she said.
Our body is a temple. We just painted the walls. ‘