TATTOOS & BODYBUILDING
TATOOS – DISTRACTION FOR JUDGES:
Tattoos are an art form and an important expression of your individuality, BUT they can also be a distraction for judges if you are a competitive bodybuilder or figure competitor.
WHAT DO YOU SEE FIRST? THE TATTOOS OR THE MUSCLES?
The little cutesy-cute strategically-placed ones aren’t so bad, but some of the larger full-torso, arm-length, or bizarre-looking tattoos can greatly detract from your physique or figure. You are supposed to be trying to display your body to best advantage – not your tattoo(s).
There is a reason why very few, if any, top bodybuilders or figure competitors have very large or prominent tattoos. They know that tattoos – or, for that matter, even birthmarks, pigmentation conditions (e.g. vitalago), or even a bad case of zits – can divert the judges from looking at what they should be looking at , and the voting among the top competitors is often so close that they don’t want leave anything to chance.
A LOOK BACK AT TATTOOS IN BODYBUILDING
Dorian Yates won the Mr. Olympia competition six times and had tattoos, but the placement of them could have been the trick. According to IFBB, there is no penalty for having tattoos in competition so long as they do not distract the judge when scoring. Dorian had his tattoos on back of forearms, making it a bit more difficult to locate then. You will not get points deducted for having tattoos, but you may not score as high if the designs take away from the definition of your muscles.
WORKING TATTOOS EFFECTIVELY DURING COMPETITION
Luckily, these days you can get painted before a competition by someone else or by yourself, a process that will hide most of the tattoo. Bodybuilder Lee Priest has numerous tattoos including on his face, but they are not noticeable during a competition because of both tanning and paint.
While tattoos used to be associated with the Navy or rock ‘n roll, they seem to have progressed to be “okay” in bodybuilding today. Of course, remember to still always offensive tattoos as your tan can come off and hurt your score should they offend the judges. Cheers to art in all of its forms, whether it be tattoos, bodybuilding, or both!