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Would you get a tattoo of the logo of your employer?
dennis Wyatt web
Dennis Wyatt

I have little stomach for buying clothing with a company's logo on it.

It took me a while when I started bicycling in earnest - I believe you can call pedaling 10,000 miles plus a year in my 30s being "earnest" in my former commitment to cycling - to fork over decent bucks for cycling jerseys that were emblazoned with the logos of corporate sponsors.

Given I've never had a drop of alcohol it's kind of ironic that my favorite team jersey that I wore was the Coors Light racing jersey from the 1980s. The closest thing I wear now to a logo when I do cycle is a jersey with a large California Bear Republic flag with accenting colors.

The distaste for paying for the privilege to essentially be a walking billboard stopped me for close to 22 years from buying any workout clothing with logos on it such as Nike. Everything I wore had been solid black or blue with no markings of any kind. That finally changed when I discovered if I didn't want to be soaking wet after every workout - I'm in the Niagara Falls category when it comes to working out and sweating - I needed to purchase workout clothes made with certain materials which meant a company's logo would be on them somewhere unless I wore them inside out.

That said I still will not buy any workout clothing unless the logo is somewhat discreet.

When brand names and corporate logos started popping up on T-shirts in the mid-1960s, parents were aghast that their kids wanted to essentially pay firms for the privilege of advertising for them.

Up until then you had two choices in T-shirt styles - crew collar or V-neck as well as tapered or torso fit. The color was always white although a few rebels would wear black. There were basically short sleeve although you could find muscle shirts and long sleeve T-shirts at some stores that weren't mainstream retailers. You didn't need a logo on the front, back or sleeve to know who made the T-shirt. There was a clear quality difference between Fruit of the Loom or Hanes that you could tell just looking at them. And if for some reason you managed to put the T-shirt on backwards and the neck label showed you were ridiculed.

This was a time when shoes for basketball and such came in two basic colors - white and black - and were sold in hardware stores with sporting goods departments.

I might add besides having an aversion to walking around displaying a company's logo on clothing I'm paying for, my affinity for tattoos is zilch.
I get that there are people who like tattoos; to each their own.

All I can say is before anyone gets too carried away with body inking and where it is placed they should give consideration to what it will look like when they are 80 and aren't likely to be as toned.

More than a few people would recommend you not get your skin inked with the name of someone you think you are in love with for obvious reasons.

That brings us to one of the latest trends - people getting tattooed with the logos of companies they work for.

I guess it's a logical progression for today's younger generation that often can get inked with parental impunity long before they graduate from high school. The days where tattoos were a rite of passage reserved for males in the military, in a macho blue collar job, or gangs have gone the way of past eras where only livestock were branded.

Some get tattooed to essentially use art to tell a story of their life or who they are, some do it in protest. That doesn't mean the act involves clear thinking. About 18 years ago a then 19-year-old proudly showed off a large bar code tattoo he just had done. When asked about why he picked a bar code, he said it was because he was against the establishment. To this day I still wonder if he'd gotten a bar code if he had helped liberate the Nazi concentration camps in 1945.

In less than 55 years using tattoos to identify people as things had lost all of its repulsiveness. The opposite can also be true. Getting inked with the logo of Acme Social Media might seem cool today but if that employer later blows your retirement account on a failed initial public offering 40 years down the road you might be singing a different tune.

That's kind of what happened to seven employees of the Anytime Fitness chain. They were among employees who availed themselves to a tattoo room at the firm's corporate headquarters in Minnesota complete with a book on the best way to have the firm's running man logo permanently etched on their skin.

The seven were eventually fired despite having corporate tattoos. The reason, as Anytime Fitness CEO Chuck Runyon told the Wall Street Journal, is because he values performance over loyalty. Go figure.

Perhaps they should have stuck with just wearing shirts with the Anytime Fitness logo on them. That way they could have just tossed them instead of walking around for the rest of their lives with a reminder they were fired from the firm.

This column is the opinion of Dennis Wyatt and does not necessarily represent the opinion of Morris Newspaper Corp. of CA.