A woman has gone viral after her workplace encouraged her to show off her tattoos for her professional headshot.
Jessica Leonard said she hoped her new photos would ‘resonate or help’ anyone who may have felt they were judged.
In a post on LinkedIn, Leonard explained that she was used to covering her tattoos up with a jacket or long sleeves, but when she was getting her professional photos done for her new role at Evolution Capital Partners in Ohio, her boss encouraged her to be ‘loud and proud’.
In her viral post, Leonard explained: “I was cautious but asked our Managing Partner if he was comfortable with me getting a photo taken sans jacket for my personal use on LinkedIn, but that we’d use one with the jacket for our website.
“His response: ‘Let’s roll with the tattoos in both! Loud and proud!’
“I was honestly shocked. I had grown accustomed to wearing long sleeves in the heat of summer, to tugging on my suit coat sleeves in every meeting, to pulling my hair around my ear so no one would get a glimpse of the small tattoo behind my ear, to avoiding getting any leg or ankle tattoos for fear of never being able to wear a skirt again in a business setting.
“Very often, I simply felt that I needed to be careful about when I was being too freely me.”
The post has since racked up more than 30,000 likes and Leonard has been flooded with comments from people praising both her and her workplace.
Speaking to Good Morning America, she said: "I actually had a father reach out to me who is in public accounting.
"He asked me very pointed advice about advising his daughter on getting tattoos - maybe in places that could be easily covered - because, as a father and as a professional, he was guiding her in that way.
"After seeing my post, he said he would consider having another perspective."
Leonard urged people to find a place where they ‘feel comfortable in their skin’ and that no one should have to work somewhere that is ‘hindering them as an individual’.
She added: "There are leaders that are super inclusive and accepting, and if you haven't found them, just know they exist and they are out there. I'm glad I could inspire at least one person in my network."Featured Image Credit: Jessica Leonard/Wetzler Studios
Topics: US News