Can Models Have Tattoos? Your Guide On Being A Tattoo Model

28th September 2021

Can Models Have Tattoos? Your Guide On Being A Tattoo Model
Julia Hanlon

Julia Hanlon

Can models have tattoos? Well, this can depend on some key factors however the good news is that models can indeed have tattoos and having tattoos (or piercings) won’t necessarily hinder your chances. 

Simply put – models with tattoos will be loved by some brands and turned down by others. Many brands will be happy for models to have tattoos or piercings as they are often seen to be artistic and self-expressive. It has even become quite common for models to have become known for their unique markings, some examples of these include top models such as Cara Delavinge, Ruby Rose and Jourdan Dunn, just to name a few!  

It’s undeniable that certain brands won’t be wanting models with tattoos and so it can limit some opportunities. Yet there is a distinct market for models with tattoos and some agencies and brands work specifically with tattooed models to cater for an alternative audience.

So, if you’ve got some great tattoos and piercings fear not! We are here to answer some ink-based inquires with some tips and key info to help you secure some great opportunities as a tattooed model.

Understanding Each Employer’s Needs and Expectations

To apply for the right jobs, it’s essential to understand each employer’s needs and expectations. It all boils down to the target audience of the employer and what they are wanting to represent. 

For example, more trendy and eclectic brands such as Urban Outfitters and All Saints will always welcome tattooed and pierced models to promote their clothes. This is because the clothes they sell are seen to be trendsetting and cosmopolitan; representative of their diverse clientele. There is a lot of tattoos in the fashion industry, so this could be a great market for you to get into if you have tattoos.

On the flip side, brands that are more specific about the target audience they want to reach will not accept models with tattoos and piercings. For example, some skincare brands would opt for skin without ink or piercings so they can show off the product better. Other brands that involve cosmetics, family, medical, government interest or food will also avoid models who have tattoos and piercings so it doesn’t distract from or mix up the message they are sending. 

So don’t be too disheartened if you are experiencing rejection based on your tattoos, it just depends on what the employer specifically needs for that job.

Being Upfront From The Get-go 

female model with rose tattoo

If you have tattoos or piercings you will have to be upfront from the get-go as companies will require you to let them know what and where you may have them. If you are already with an agency they too will ask you to update them on any new tattoos you may get, so they can update the books and be able to find you the most suitable shoots. For example, there are lots of tattoo magazine modelling jobs that would definitely want to have tattooed models to work with!

If you do have obvious tattoos, it’s best to embrace them in your pictures for the agency to see. It shows them your character and vibe as an individual! 

You should also thoroughly research the brands you are applying to first to see if both they are the right fit for you and you are the right fit for them. 

Sizing and Tattoo Placement ​​

If you have small and discreet tattoos these can easily be edited out via photoshop or concealed with makeup. However, if your tattoos are larger, agencies could pick another model with a similar look minus all the tattoos. This is because covering larger tattoos is ultimately more costly in time and money as makeup or digital after-effects will be needed to cover them up.

male model with tattoos on chest and pink hair

Fitness and Lingerie Models

The same applies to both fitness and lingerie modelling in that it will vary from brand to brand. However, where there is more skin exposed in these types of shoots it is a lot more common for these brands to want to hire models without any noticeable tattoos or piercings. 

Can Victoria Secret Models have tattoos? Yes! There are some Victoria Secret models who do have one or more tattoos, Anja Rubik, Erin Wasson, Isabeli Fontana and Adriana Lima are a few whose body art is used to enhance the lingerie they are promoting. 

Models With Piercings

Can models have piercings? Similar rules apply to piercings however with them being easier to remove or conceal it can be less limiting to your modelling opportunities. There are many male models with piercings too so again just be sure to check what brand you are working with and the requirements of that shoot!

male model with tattoos and rings

Good Luck!

This information is applicable to anyone in the modelling industry, regardless of gender and whether you are just starting out or already have an established career in it. The main takeaway is to know that although having tattoos can often limit the number of shoots you are chosen for, tattoos can also make you distinctive. Some modelling agents can also see tattoos as a unique way to make you more identifiable and direct more attention towards the product that you are promoting. 

We hope this advice has cleared up any grey areas around models with tattoos and wish you the best of luck!

Hopefully, this article gave you food for thought! Whilst you’re here, why not check out some more of our articles on our blog? We recommend our guide on How To Get Scouted For ModellingHow To Prepare For A Model Casting, and Model Networking Guide to get you started! 

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