My New York City self is at my other home in Miami and it is a total different feeling here. I am in my bedroom looking at my walls with there beautiful colors of orange and pink with the tip of the palm tree with its many fingers sneaking in to my window giving me a welcome back handshake. The first thing I did was got completely naked and stood in front of my tall mirror swaying back and forth looking at my body and the scar that I have since childhood. I was wondering if I were to get on stage and do the bodybuilding thing and this scar on my arm were to be seen, Would I get penalized for its ugliness? Would I get placed high for a scar that I accepted and believe to be beautiful? To make sense of what I am getting at, The story goes a little something like this.
Tattooed Model & Physique Competitor John Quinlan was not too happy about being placed high in the 2011 Musclemania Model Universe contest which was live on ESPN3 television. John has one of the best bodies in the business and have been in a majority of magazines from fitness to ink mags. His body was used in a story book and modeled high fashion and sport apparel. He has done bodybuilding shows and have never been placed high in his life. That's why he felt that this was a blow to him. The confusion came when he step on stage and women were going crazy by screaming and making cat calls towards John. The women obviously liked what they saw. The men were screaming words of encouragement and telling John that he was the best of the night. Well something happened that shocked the audience. It was like a 1999 Bodybuilder Shawn Ray moment when the Mr Olympia title went to someone else. The shock and the confusion was all boiled into one pot that over flowed with so much anger and mistrust that everyone felt that third degree burn from the judges.
I contacted John Quinlan and asked him to make a statement on the decision that was made because of his tattoos and this is what he had to say:
John Quinlan: I am Competitor John Quinlan from Boston, Massachusetts represents every hard
working blue collar guy with tattoos and body art.......the regular guys who aren't afraid to be themselves on the competition stage regardless of the outcome"
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 bodybuilder 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.
John Quinlan states that he respects the sport but is confused over the tattoo situation. John made another statement in regards to why he feels that it was and would be unfair for others to go through what he went through.
John Quinlan: "Tattooed physique competitors, there are those who love our look and those that
don't......bottom line is, it's only personal opinion. "I don't think tattoos should should affect an athlete on the competition stage if his or her physique is on point" "I will always have 100% respect for all the judges who are grading my tattooed physique on the competition stage" "My tattoos make me unique as a competitor and that is something I am proud of"