A 31-year old woman recently applied to the Victorian police force but was denied due to her abundance of Pokémon tattoos.
Kathy-Rose Bullen was beginning to feel a bit tired with her job as a data imager. While she loved the work she was doing, she hoped to transition into something that would allow her to make a difference in people's lives while remaining physically active. This is when she began looking into the possibility of a career change.
However, Bullen's tattoos did not adhere to the Victorian police force policies. While she was reportedly "disheartened" by the decision, she respected the law enforcement's stance on the matter and was very polite in being turned away.
When considering her options for a career change, Bullen deliberated with her family members, several of which served on the police force themselves and said they "couldn't recommend it enough". After seeing some recruitment ads and receiving enthusiastic encouragement from family, telling her she would be a great candidate if she decided to apply, Bullen went for it.
Unfortunately, no one in her family warned her that some of her tattoos might pose a bit of an issue for the Victorian police department. Face, neck, and hand tattoos are not permitted under their regulations. While Bullen has not been inked on her face or neck, she does don several Pokémon tattoos across her knuckles and the back of her hands. Learning of these conditions, Bullen reached out to a "really nice constable" who informed her that while her tattoos were not necessarily offensive, they would not uphold the department's strict image of discipline.
Kathy-Rose Bullen was respectful in accepting the department's decision but later expressed that she was saddened by the professional outlook on tattoos and other body mods in 2019. This was the first time Bullen experienced a work-related rejection based on appearances, and she said it was "a bit hurtful" but she understood they needed to follow written regulations. Bullen's brief venting session on a closed Facebook group, which she deemed "a safe place for little rants", caught her a fair amount of flack when it was leaked, went viral and was dependably misconstrued. Bullen attempted to clear up matters stating “I’m not disputing their application criteria, or complaining … I just accepted it, because what else can you do?”
Bullen admitted that the tattoos were a choice she made when she was slightly younger and she didn't understand then the professional limitations they may impose. Even so, she still stands by the decisions made by her younger self, expressing no interest in pursuing such routes as tattoo removal. She states "I feel like changing yourself physically — unless it’s exercise — just isn’t worth it, and I’ve never been rejected by any employer before based on my appearance."
Kathy-Rose Bullen handled this appearance-related rejection with a high level of respect for her local law enforcement, all the while upholding her own ideals. Bullen remains undeterred from her experience and has set her sights on applying to the local fire brigade to pursue her dream of helping others while remaining physically active. The fire brigade also boasts no known employment policies concerning tattoos. Perhaps Kathy-Rose Bullen's new aspiration will prove to be the perfect fit.