DEAR HARRIETTE: I am working with a program that helps young people get a leg up. My most recent intern is a friendly, eager young woman who is covered in tattoos. I didn't notice at first, because she was all covered up. But I just saw the tattoos, and they concern me. It's not that I am against tattoos, but I work in a fairly conservative business, and she stands out -- and not in a good way. How can I help her be more modest? -- Inked Out, Bay City, Mich.
DEAR INKED OUT: Talk to this young woman about her dreams and goals. Find out what she wants to do with her life. She may want to choose a career path where tattoos are irrelevant.
Continue the conversation by explaining to her that in some environments, her tats may be too distracting, like at your job. Recommend that she wear long sleeves, turtlenecks or whatever other clothing she can to veil her tattoos when the moment calls for that. She has to learn how to move between different worlds effectively. You can help her learn that navigation. It will be important for her to understand that she need not be ashamed of her body adornment, but she does need to understand that not every environment will welcome them. If she has to be in a situation where her tattoos may cause her discomfort or even cost her an opportunity that she wants, she may want to downplay them.