A MELBOURNE businesswoman has hit back at claims that tattoos hinder job prospects for those who have them, saying her body ink is her "greatest business asset".
Isobar Head of Experience Design Chirryl-Lee Ryan, 38, got her first tattoo at the age of 16 and now has so many she counts them collectively as "one".
Ms Ryan told news.com.au that as far as she knows, she has never lost a job opportunity because of her tattoos.
"But if I have it wasn't the right place for me anyway," she said.
Her comments come after New Zealand man Mark Cropp yesterday made headlines around the world for getting his face tattooed while drunk on home brew in a jail cell and then later claiming he couldn't get a job.
Ms Ryan - who lives between Hong Kong and Melbourne and has been a designer for more than 20 years - said her tattoos have helped her succeed.
"When I walk into a room, I start conversations without saying a word and have instant creative credibility," she said.
"I don't see any reason why my tattoos would affect my work in the future.
"Once people see past the surface and get to know me, they find out what I'm capable of professionally."
Ms Ryan said her tattoos are an expression of who she is.
"Genuine, honest people of all shapes and sizes are beautiful," she said.
"I look forward to being older and looking at my colourful, wrinkled skin as a way to remember the amazing life I was blessed with."
In a public post on her LinkedIn account, Ms Ryan listed '10 reasons why my tattoos are my greatest business asset'.
News.com.au has republished the full list below with Ms Ryan's permission.
'TEN REASONS WHY MY TATTOOS ARE MY GREATEST BUSINESS ASSET':
1. Instant creative credibility. If I had a dollar for every time I've been asked if I'm a designer (or tattooer) in an elevator, I'd be a millionaire.
2. I'm comfortable with being uncomfortable. Tattoos don't tickle, and I've sat through more hours of tattooing than I care to remember. They've taught me to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
3. I have creative confidence. I have a heart on my hand that is there to remind me that I continuously need to grow creatively and to be confident in what I do.
4. I'm an agent of change. People often tell me they'd like to get a tattoo, but are afraid because they might change their mind after it's done. Nothing is forever, and the one thing you can be sure of is change. You can always get a cover up. Or laser (see 5).
5. I'm not afraid of commitment. A tattoo is for life, unless you're prepared to get laser (that's a painful story for another day).
6. I'm a conversation starter. I get as nervous as the next person. Opening lines don't matter so much because I've already given people something to talk to me about.
7. I smash the stereotype. Tattoos have a bad reputation for being on bad people who do bad things and live bad lives. Well I'm a good person trying to do great things to improve people's lives, and I have tattoos.
8. I leave a lasting impression. It's hard to forget the 'one covered in tattoos'.
9. They make me work harder at being the best I can be. The stereotypes are there to be broken, and that's my personal incentive to go the extra mile.
10. They remind me of why diversity is so important. Everyday when I look in the mirror, I'm reminded that I'm responsible for what I've done to myself. But others who are subjected to intolerance or ignorance are not. We're all made of flesh and bones, let's be excellent to each other.