Dodge City Tattoos have become the socially accepted taboo.
Once considered the sole property of bikers and those serving in the armed forces, tattoos have found an increasing vogue within mainstream culture since the mid-1990s.
It's not surprising to see college students, sometimes even high-schoolers, adorned with a tribal armband or the ever-popular butterfly.
And Dodge City is no stranger to people with tattoos. But the inaccessibility of tattoos in southwest Kansas forced people to head to central and eastern Kansas until recent years.
Pin-Ups Tattoos is Dodge City's only tattoo parlor and one of the few licensed shops that has popped up around Kansas.
Owned by Maryn Austin and her husband, Chris, the parlor will celebrate its second year in business this month. Pin-Ups is the only licensed tattoo parlor in southwest Kansas.
The two set up the shop in the small strip mall and started work.
As for her clientele, Maryn Austin said it was impressive to see the influx of people from every walk of life.
"It's the great equalizer," she said. "I have clients ranging from nurses, cops, teachers. Even my parents got tattoos."
Despite the increasing presence of tattoos in the mainstream, Austin said the body art still has a certain forbidden quality, which lends it an exotic air.
"It's still seen in some circles as being underground or taboo," she said. "But that's part of the intrigue."
And the Austins will keep supplying tattoos as long as people from all walks of life want them.
"I'm just glad we've done so well here," Maryn Austin said. "There's still a long way to go before tattoos are fully accepted in western Kansas, though."