Nonprofit seeks to change stereotype of those with tattoos

Nonprofit seeks to change stereotype of those with tattoos

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Nonprofit seeks to change stereotype of those with tattoos

When she’s wearing shirts with sleeves, like her scrubs, most people would never realize that University of South Dakota nursing student Candi McIntosh’s arms are tattooed.

McIntosh, 31, of Rapid City has a total of 15 tattoos. She also has five piercings. That’s what makes her a perfect candidate for the Dakotas Chapter of the Modified Dolls — a nonprofit dedicated to making a difference in the community through volunteerism and fundraising events. Members must be women who are at least 18 years old. They also must have five or more visible tattoos or piercings to be involved, since the mission of the organization is to break negative stereotypes by “the different making a difference.”

“Currently, we have 12 members – and five of those members are on our board of directors,” explained McIntosh, the president of the Dakotas Chapter. “We are always taking applications, but we ask that women apply only if they are genuinely interested in making a difference in the community. This takes hard work and commitment, including quarterly meetings and monthly events.”

McIntosh said the Modified Dolls are a diverse, professional group of women – some who are single, some who are married, and some who have children – who go through background checks and probationary periods before they are allowed into the organization. “We don’t tolerate drama or illegal activities,” she said. “We want to show that professional, respectable and community-oriented women can have tattoos and piercings.”

Frances Powell founded the Dakotas Chapter of the Modified Dolls in July 2012. The organization was originally established earlier that year by a tattooed nurse in Washington state, who, like McIntosh, wanted to prove that tattoos aren’t trashy. The organization has expanded to include chapters all over the United States, as well as in England and Australia.

Nationally, the Modified Dolls support a different cause or charity each month, from which the Dakotas Chapter picks a related local charity for which to raise awareness and funds.

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