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Tattoos taboo? Not so much anymore

By APRILL BRANDON
Aug. 5, 2010 at 3:05 a.m.

Victoria lawyer George Filley received his tattoo while serving in the Marines.

To read more about tattoos and the tattoo industry, check out today's special M3 edition.

Talk to any local tattoo artists about their clientele and chances are they'll tell you it runs the gamut from teenagers to 80-year-olds and from oil field workers to CEOs.

The tattoo taboo is no longer. Tattoos are becoming increasingly more accepted into mainstream society and it's estimated 45 million Americans are sporting some ink these days, according to the American Society of Dermatological Surgery.

In fact, there are people with tattoos you'd probably never suspect.

For instance, George Filley III, a prominent local attorney, has not just one but two tattoos.

"I got them when I turned 18 back in 1966. I never regretted it. It meant something to me and seemed like the thing to do at the time," he said. "Almost everyone knows I have them, although periodically, some people will be surprised by it."

Det. Amanda Clemons with the Victoria Police Department has four tattoos, each signifying a special moment in her life, she said.

"I got them in places where if I want to dress up and look nice, I can hide them," she said. "Tattoos are more popular and a lot more people, even prominent people, have them. But I'm not all for getting random tattoos. I think they should be meaningful to you."

Randy Pollard, a professional photographer and co-owner of L-Ann Imaging, also sports a tattoo that signifies a turning point in his life.

"Not a whole lot of people know about it. I didn't want it out there, I just wanted it for me," he said.

While you'd never be able to guess it from his day-to-day interactions, Anthony Pedone, who is vice president of sales at Office Systems Center and on the Theatre Victoria board of directors, is covered in tattoos.

"I'm covered from my waist up and I've never regretted it. The only thing is that in the summer I have to wear long sleeves to maintain a professional appearance," he said. "Tattoos are definitely becoming more mainstream. Geez, even my 64-year-old mom wants to get one."

Related stories:

Aprill in Tattoo-land

A peek inside the world of tattoo artists

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