Bodybuilding and tattoos – are they a good match?

Bodybuilding and tattoos – are they a good match?
Bodybuilding and tattoos – are they a good match?

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he debate about bodybuilding and tattoos is a divider and it’s here to stay. There aren’t many tattooed fitness models on the covers of our favourite men’s lifestyle magazines. Bodybuilding competitions’ judges also seem to have a view on tattooed competitors. Here is my [personal] view on bodybuilding and tattoos.

I have been wanting to do an article on bodybuilding and tattoos for a long time. Why? The simple answer is that it’s difficult to ignore it. Every other person (both in real life and in the media) seems to have a tattoo of some kind somewhere on their body (visible or not). Many of the fitness models also have them. Even I have one – but we won’t go there.

[pull_quote_center]Having a tattoo is about celebrating special moments, sharing precious memories and expressing one self.[/pull_quote_center]

Sometimes people have tattoos to cover scars or correct parts of their bodies, like breast reconstruction for example. Others turn to tattooing as a form of permanent makeup and even “hair replication.”

Whatever the reasons, I admire the hard work and the pain that goes into a tattoo. I also admire the quality and the finish of the artwork. I admire those (men and women) who have the guts to tattoo visible parts of their bodies. I am, however, not too sure about tattoos on bodybuilders.

In my humble opinion, bodybuilding and tattoos are two forms of art that, in their finest form, should be kept separate. As a spectator and someone who appreciates both, I find it difficult to concentrate on either of them when they are both on display. Tattoos distract the eye from appreciating the bodybuilder’s body and all the hard work that’s gone into conditioning it.

It’s a bit like having a Rembrandt painting on the statue of David by Michelangelo. They are both masterpieces in their own right but put together, they become neither use nor ornament. Not to mention the negative impact that the “marriage of both” would have on the price tag.

On the plus side: the fake tan that bodybuilders apply before a competition tends to tone down any tattoos. There are also plenty of makeup products that are specifically designed to cover up tattoos.

Have a look at this promotional video where special makeup is used to cover the tattoos of Rico Genest aka Zombie Boy. You may have seen him in the Lady GaGa’s Born This Way video.

What do you think: are bodybuilding and tattoos a good match? Tell us what you think and feel free to mention your favourite tattoo or tattooed person.

[quote_box_center]Photography credit: Empyrean Photography –
Model: Josef Gloor – [/quote_box_center]

4 thoughts on “Bodybuilding and tattoos – are they a good match?”

  1. Totally agree with your comment about a Rembrandt painting on a Michelangelo. I can definitely see the artistic merit of a tattoo – but on an “artistic” physique it’s just overkill! It’s why I also dislike tattoos on women…

  2. I appreciate this articlas I am both…but the tattoos came before the muscles…and as much as I love the art and treasure each memory they represent and story they tell, they do distract (actually disguise definition)from the hard work and achievment of body building. Torn betweens two loves!…

    1. @Carl: Thanks, Carl. In fact, my favourite tattoos are on people who are not into the fitness lifestyle whatsoever. They have the personality to wear their tattoos. It’s one or the other for me, I’m afraid.

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