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NY 's Claudia Reid ask Can a bodybuilders tattoos place them high on stage?

Photos: Chris Duffy

After I did my interview with NY Bodybuilder Clay Johnson, hours later I took a flight to Miami which I had to switch planes with heavy bags and it really took its toll. I find myself having major attitude because I am tired and weak from all the traveling I have been doing for the past couple of months. Writing this article700 times does not change my attitude from mean to sweet sauce. I started writing an article about a situation I saw written in facebook by a fitness model who was placed high in a competition because of his Tattoos. That made me wonder if bodybuilding is changing for the better or worse.

Bull Stanton
Credit for Story: Claudia Reid Credit for Photos: Men 4 men

Are tattoos an issue in bodybuilding competitions? Is it in the rule book and we have not seen the tiny print that tattoos are not acceptable on stage? I have gone to so many bodybuildings shows and I can say that every group of five or ten that comes out on stage, two or three guys from each group is covered in tattoos. I've noticed these days that tattoos do affect your placing on stage. Judges tend to think that it is not clean or attractive.

My question on this matter is, are we there to look at the incredible physique or the art of tattoos? I remember back in 2002 When Christian A. Duffy from Florida did a comeback and placed in the top 5 with full tattoos all over his shoulders and arms, he has a huge yellow grafitti tattoo of his ex wife's name on his shoulder and it read Joni in big letters (Joni Bovino). It never bothered the judges to make him the top 5 winner that day. Now we come to 2011 where tattoos maybe less tolerated in the sport.

The sport of bodybuilding is changing a lot with so many rules and regulations which we do need in the sport, but the tattoos really should not be an issue with the judges. I have been to many shows where bodybuilders have qualified for the pro card and have two sleeves of tattoos on there arms. Should judges be called to the front to explain there decisions if they are looking past the physique? Would this be considered a form of discrimmination of body art? It will be interesting to watch when the judges have to answer for why the tattoo is an issue.


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