It looks like having a tattoo or body piercing or both isn’t just for rebels anymore, at least not in New Jersey.

A new Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll released Monday showed quite a few Garden State residents said they’ve been inked or tatted or both, but a small majority said it’s not right to display piercing at work.

“About one-in-five (22 percent) say they have a tattoo or body piercing in a place other than their ears or both,” said Krista Jenkins, director of PublicMind and professor of political science at FDU. “When asked if it’s acceptable or unacceptable to wear facial jewelry such as a nose ring or eyebrow ring at work, 51 percent say it’s unacceptable with 40 percent who don’t have a problem with it.”

The younger the person, the more likely they were to have a tattoo, body piercing or both and to think it’s okay to display a body piercing in the workplace. The age and demographic breakdown:

  • 39 percent of those 18-34 said they have a tattoo, body piercing or both. 60 percent said it was acceptable to display a piercing at work;
  • 24 percent of those 35-59 have a tattoo, body piercing or both. 37 percent said it was acceptable to display a body piercing at work;
  • Four percent of those 60+ have a tattoo, body piercing or both. 27 percent said it’s acceptable to display a body piercing at work;
  • 25 percent of Democrats have a tattoo, body piercing or both. 54 said it’s acceptable to display a body piercing at work; and
  • 18 percent of Republicans have a tattoo, body piercing or both. 22 percent said it’s acceptable to display a body piercing at work.

“There’s not of much a difference among Democrats and Republicans when it comes to those who are inked or pierced, but Republicans are just a bit more sheepish when it comes to seeing pierced adornments in a workplace setting,” Jenkins noted.

Respondents were not asked if it’s acceptable to display a tattoo at work. Jenkins said that was because if someone has a permanent tattoo in a place that is clearly visible they can’t take it off during work hours and put it back on in their free time, but they can do that with a body piercing.

“Tattoos are more popular than body piercings,” Jenkins said. “Twenty percent say they have a tattoo and six percent say they have a body piercing in a place other than their ears.”

The poll was conducted by phone from Nov. 9 -15, 2015 among a random statewide sample of 906 adults. The margin of error is +/- 3.6 points.

Kevin McArdle has covered the State House for New Jersey 101.5 news since 2002. Contact him at kevin.mcardle@townsquaremedia.com. Follow him on twitter at @kevinmcardle1.