Makeup Artist Claims She Was ‘Persecuted’ Over Tattoos

Hairstylist, makeup artist, and cosmetic tattooist Gordana Poljak was turned away from a bar because of her tattoos. (Photo: Facebook/Gordana Poljak)
Hairstylist, makeup artist, and cosmetic tattooist Gordana Poljak was turned away from a bar because of her tattoos. (Photo: Facebook/Gordana Poljak)

The latest in ridiculous reasons to discriminate against someone? Tattoos. A famous hairstylist, makeup artist, and cosmetic tattooist was turned away from a club in Sydney, Australia, because of her neck and hand tattoos, and she is putting up a fight.

Gordana Poljak, who has worked with stars such as Russell Crowe, Vanessa Hudgens, and Zac Efron, went out to celebrate a friend’s birthday over the weekend and was rudely turned away at the door. Two doormen at Coogee Pavilion, a restaurant-lounge in a Sydney suburb, said she couldn’t enter due to neck and hand tattoos, Poljak explained in a Facebook post on Saturday.

Official:Now I'm disappointed, not because housewives rejected me if you really want to know! I'm way more offended at…

Posted by Gordana Poljak on Saturday, March 18, 2017

“They stopped me and said, ‘I’m sorry, you can’t come in’ and I said ‘Why? I’m here often. I was here a couple weeks ago.’ They said, ‘Your tattoos’,” Poljak told “I said, ‘I always get in with my tattoos. I’m upstairs [at the bar] a lot.’” According to Poljak, they weren’t even nice about it.

She explained that there was no visible sign saying guests couldn’t be tatted, and the doorman couldn’t present any proof that this was the venue’s policy.

The artist defended her skin. “My tattoos describe me, they don’t define me!” she wrote. “Make a diff to support indifference! I love my tattoos, to me I resemble encouragement, diversity, and adversity! No person has the right to judge your attendance based on your choice of body adornment!”

Poljak urged her fans and followers to stop supporting the popular waterside spot. “Well, you just lost a nice person, I promote love not war, but you read my cover and see something worthy of kicking out,” she wrote.

She felt she was “persecuted” by the bar for what they deemed her “inappropriate” appearance. “’I was dressed nicely. My hair was up. It’s not like I looked like I was going to beat someone up or do drugs in the bathroom,” she told In fact, her neck tattoos are stunning and depict black birds.

“Your manager made me feel really uncomfortable, as did the other 2 staff members! I alone would attract more people than the three of them put together any day yet you kick me out,” she wrote.

According to, Australian venues are allowed to deny entry to anyone. As long as they do not breach anti-discrimination laws, they are not required to provide a reason.

A spokeswoman for the Anti-Discrimination Board of New South Wales told that banning patrons from a venue because of a tattoo does not count as discrimination unless the tattoos are related to a racial or ethnic practice.

But Poljak still feels she was discriminated against. Luckily, the CEO of the hospitality group that owns Coogee Pavilion reached out to the well-known client and apologized. “I was turned away, and then I was humbly and genuinely embraced back!” Poljak wrote in a follow-up post. “I believe in forgiveness, and I will continue to show my support to the real people behind the venue! I say thank you to the Merivale group!” she wrote in a post on Monday.

Unfortunately, tattoo discrimination is a real issue. In 2016, Texas restaurant chain Little Woodrow’s implemented a policy requesting those with face and neck tattoos to cover them before entering the establishment. The restaurant came under fire after a man named Joeseff Rivera was denied entry to the bar because of his face tattoo. Rivera explained what happened in a Facebook video, which garnered more than 32,000 views. The video drove many tattoo enthusiasts to decry the policy on social media and to leave several one-star reviews on the Little Woodrow’s Facebook page. As a result, the restaurant chain rescinded the policy.

A 2015 study found that women with tattoos were viewed as more promiscuous and receptive to sex without being in a committed relationship. They were perceived as having lower standards of partner selectivity and a higher sex drive than women without tattoos.

Luckily, there are people out there, like a man named Body Art, who are trying to bring down the barriers that people with tattoos face when trying to get jobs.

The Marines used to bar people with visible tattoos, but even they are loosening their rules to “allow Marines freedom and flexibility to express themselves.” Now if only everyone else would catch on.

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