Congresswoman says Marine tattoo policy unfairly targets women

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tattoo artist at work

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A congresswoman from Maine says the U.S. Marine Corps should change tattoo rules she says unintentionally discriminate against female recruits.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree wants the rule changed so the Marine Corps can accept 20-year-old Kate Pimental. The Kennebunk woman has a tattoo just below her collarbone.

Pingree says if a man had a tattoo in the same place, the Marines would accept him because he could cover it with a Marine-issued crew T-shirt. But the only T-shirt available to women in the Marines is a V-neck, which would expose the tattoo.

Pingree on Friday sent a letter to Marine Corps Commandant Robert Neller asking for a waiver and a policy review.

Pimental’s tattoo reads, “Let your smile change the world but never let the world change you.”

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