That said, I did have luck working as a temp. A lot of people overlook temp work, but it's not a bad way to go. Then there's people like my girlfriend, who says she can't temp in offices because of her tattoos, piercings, and haircut... well I have no sympathy for those people. Want to look weird because you like to look weird? Fine, but accept that its a choice that you're making... it is definitely not discrimination for someone to not hire you based on something you could easily change.
This is something that I have to take a bit of issue with. For some, how they choose to modify themselves is about far more than simple physical appearance. There can be a very deep spiritual and personal meaning behind their modifications, as I know is the case for me. Personally, I think it should be something protected in the same way religious expression is protected. I know I am not the only one for whom body modification has an important spiritual meaning.
I understand that in some jobs that involve working directly with the public, there may be certain motivations towards not hiring those who have decided to become modified. There is the idea out there, right or wrong, that in some lines of business to have a piercing or a visible tattoo is to look unprofessional and that can negatively impact customer interactions.
Taking out of the equation direct public jobs for the moment, however, discrimination is discrimination pure and simple. It is NOT ok to decide not to hire someone simply because they have a visible tattoo, especially if they are the most qualified person for the job. If it is not OK to discriminate against transexual people in hiring practices and it is not OK to discriminate against those of different religions than it should likewise not be OK to discriminate against those who choose to modify themselves.
This is coming from the perspective of someone who is not only visibly and increasingly heavily modified, but also someone who has gone into this personal journey with the understanding that it would make being hired in the workplace more difficult. Realistically I acknowledge that in the world we live in, such discriminatory practices are accepted and something that has to be considered in the decision to modify. However, that in no way makes such discrimination right in any sense of the world. Just because I have visible ink and visible piercings does not mean that I am less qualified for the job.
I am fortunate in the fact that I have a good job that I mostly enjoy with an employer that does not discriminate against the visibly modified. I think that, slowly but increasingly more employers are realizing that discriminating because of visible modifications isn't acceptable. Unfortunately it is a very slow process and there are still more that find it acceptable than those that don't.