This question gets brought up on a pretty constant basis on modeling websites, forums and generally.
Answer is: it depends.
Sometimes you won’t get a job if you have tattoos. Sometimes, you won’t get a job if you don’t have tattoos.
Sometimes you won’t get a job if you’re blonde. Sometimes you won’t get a job if you’re brunette.
Someimtes you won’t get a job because you’re too skinny. Sometimes you won’t get a job because you’re too fat.
Sometimes…you get the point.
If you’re tattooed, you need to go for tattooed model jobs. Now, if you have a discreet lil tattoo on your hip of a butterfly, nobody will really give a shit. If your tattoo is smaller than a 50p, nobody gives a shit. In fact, I’ll go as far as to say that it was a waste of time, money and skin cells to get it done because it’s not much of a tattoo. With a puny tattoo like that you can still do glamour, fashion, commercial work, in fact, you can do most non-tattooed work without too much trouble.
If your tattoos are full sleeves, you’re pitching at a different market. Do work for tattoo mags, alt websites etc. Mainly with your goodies out, because, lets face it. Tits and tattoos just go together like pb and jam. Yum.
If you have 2-3 tattoos that are bigger than a 50p, you’re not ‘tattooed’ and you’re not clean. You’re kind of in limbo. You can alt-up your look to get that work, or you can hope to hell clients don’t mind. It really depends on your look and what you’re rocking. There have been some notable fashion models with pretty big-ass tattoos, but they’re few and far between, and they’re generally a passing fad.
Here it is: if you’re 5’4” and a size 12. a tattoo isn’t going to hinder you in your dream of being a fashion model – you didn’t have a hope in hell to start with.
If you’re 5’10” and willowy, heavy tattooing may well ruin your chances. Weigh it up. Do you want to model more, or do you want the tatttoo? Bear in mind that fashion will chew you up and spit you out by the time you’re 26, and there’s plenty of time to still get tattooed then.