Muscle Guys with Tribal Tattoos (2/2)

This one is by Tony at Sacred Skin in Brisbane, Australia… The other thing I wanted to mention in this entry is that really, the body building is the real body modification in this entry in terms of dollars spent, hours dedicated, lifestyle change required to achieve it, and so on.

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About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

70 thoughts on “Muscle Guys with Tribal Tattoos (2/2)

  1. I agree. And I actually believe that bodybuilding is one of, if not the most valid forms of body modification.

  2. i so agree….that is a lot of times and dedacation to achive your goals and some times some cant make theres and i think thats where the roids come into play most the time…

  3. i couldn’t handle the thought of intense bodybuilding as modification until i stepped into the gym about nine months ago and started regular free weights. it’s *far* more work and dedication than wrapping some tape around my ears every few months or sitting under a needle for a few hours at a clip – these kinds of guys absolutely have my respect.

  4. I was standing in line at my favorite cafeteria style restaurant when a group of families coming straight from church entered. One of the women in the group pointed at me when she saw my piercings and got her group’s attention. They stared at me with evil eyes as I ordered my food, and then they watched me eat. They even gave me the eye as I put my tray away and walked out the door…

    Candycovered, I find it really disturbing that the same kind of vitriol and intolerance would come from within the body modification community. You may not appreciate the tribal aesthetic or the body building aesthetic, but what on earth do you think accomplished by saying as much?

    I’m not offended as a body builder, or even as a fan of tribal tattoos; I’m offended as someone who comes to bodmod to avoid the kind of scorn that I receive in “normal” society.

  5. i’m personally not a fan of big muscles, because i don’t like weight lifting. (i think the muscle tone developed by manual labor is much more appealing.)

    that said, i totally respect the dedication (and pounds per square inch delivered in a punch) by anyone who’s into body building.

    differences in aesthetics should not hinder one’s ability to appreciate the work put into any art form.

  6. oh goodness, I can’t imagine how long he’s been at this.. (granted could be more or less, depending on add’l things he takes,and body type overall–some shape up more quickly than others), but I’ve been doing weights for a couple months and just now am getting muscle definition.

  7. In defense of candycovered (my first reaction to her post being a genuine “good, I have neither!”), maybe she just meant that it’s not her thing? Anybody dedicated enough to go through that much pain to get a good body has my admiration. I am not attracted by a muscular male body (or non-muscular, for that matter), but that’s just me. And I don’t like tribal tattoos much, but don’t let that keep anyone from getting them to their heart’s content.

    I think the basic Shannon mantra applies: I may not appreciate what you have done, but I will defend to the death your right to do so. That’s the mindset with which I read candycovered’s post.

    BTW, I started thinking of training as body modification too. It’s a bit more motivating :)

  8. I agree with both candycovered and martin… I don’t like tribal, and I don’t like huge muscles, but that doesn’t mean I’m insulting them or being “intolerant”. They can do whatever they want to themselves, that doesn’t mean I have to find it aesthetically pleasing. That said, I do respect body building as a modification that takes a lot of dedication.

  9. The double standard always makes me laugh. Anytime males are posted here, they’re always critiqued worse than the girls. So, when a guy who works hard on his appearance gets a pic on MODBLOG, we get comments about how he looks “gross” for searching for his physical standard. How would it be taken if say, the girls were criticized for being a little thicker than most? Or, “Ew, she’s not attractive at all!” Seems to me that most positive comments are reserved for the ladies…

  10. YAY for body builders[or people that work out] Last time I went to the gym-it was priceless. I had my 2″ lobes flopping when I was running. I didn’t want to take my plugs out[and forgot to put ones that were pretty weightless in] I remember when I use to be obsessed with working out and seeing my body change. I’m trying to get back into that routine. But it’s hard working 5 days a week and only having sunday and monday off-and no car yet :(

  11. usually i’m not a fan of huge muscles (i like my men built but not as much) but HOT DAMN! this may change my mind…

  12. Very nice indeed. I love nicely sculpted muscles with tattoos to accentuate the shapes. WWE wrestler Randy Orton has lovely tribals on his forearms that work well with his body shape, with really nice details like gold outlines to make the tatt ‘pop’ against his skin.

    More musclemen please Shannon!

  13. I just had the discussion with someone else a few days ago, but we came to the agreement that “tribal” tattoos are only ok for body builders, mainly because it really does accentuate the muscles.

    Shannon, maybe a cool modblog entry would be to show certain body types tattooed and untattooed. I think it’d help people understand that tattoos can really change how people perceive you…

  14. #3 said “i so agree….that is a lot of times and dedacation to achive your goals and some times some cant make theres and i think thats where the roids come into play most the time…”
    Just a comment, even if a person were to take steroids to help increase his physique, there is still dedication to the activity. Just because someone takes steroids, doesn’t mean they get to sit on the couch, eat chips and watch the muscles grow. In fact, they usually work a whole lot harder in the gym and out to get bigger and keep the fat off.

  15. As i am a bodybuilder, i just wanna say, that bodybuilding, if done right and with thought, is really body modification.

    It´s not only you need training!! You need to know a lot about food, about special diets. You need to know how your body works, what happends when you work out and rest. And you have to find the perfect technique.

    If you work out on a longer term, you´ll see it´s changing your mind too. You not only get stronger with your muscles!

    For me, from the angle of bodymodifitcation, it´s just the nicest way to change my body. And to treat him right!

    Some like it, others don´t. Thats the game. But the here, it should be much more tolerant!

  16. I think some of the reason some of the folks in the “official” body-mod community don’t like gym-rat guys with tribals is that they tend to look down on US as “freaks,” “skinny goths” or “fags” (and in some cases, kick our asses or make us feel as if they are going to do so).

    Having said that, I feel that any person with a tattoo is a friend of mine.

    Having said THAT, I love the big-muscled look when it’s on a man doing manual labor all day. YUM. But I like the gym-sculpted look as well. It’s all good.

  17. I have nothing but respect for guys that build themselves up that much. It’s easy for me to say “i have tattoos on my body, that’s a lifetime dedication”, but man, it takes far more dedication than simply sitting in a chair for a couple of hours at a time.


    If you have such a beautiful canvas to paint on, why cover it in shitty tribal?

  18. Many stated that tribals accentuate muscles. And that makes sense. I think many don’t like tribals because of what they may represent, a small step up from flash, but also trendy and most likely devoid of meaning, just form, and which is faux-traditional or faux-indigenous. Many tattoo artists actually don’t like doing tribal, some of the one I know refuse to do any.

    But here’s this: Mike Tyson has both muscles and tribals (in his face even, where they accentuate what, his frowning muscles?), but he’s still a tool. Everyone will agree with that, I hope.

  19. >>>Some like it, others don´t. Thats the game. But the here, it should be much more tolerant!

    I wonder if someone like Paully would be tolerated on a Body-Building forum ?

    Of course not.

    I have often found body-builders some of the most intollerable people around with horrendously fascistic outlook towards others’ bodies.

  20. I agree that bodybuilding is a huge commitment, but it’s not my thing. I like skinny boys!

    I do like the way the tribal on his back flows with his shape, though, although normally I don’t like tribal tattoos much. I think his really suit him.

  21. >>giles wallwork: don´t concern about others! start with tha man in the mirror (like MJ said it!)!

    MJ has had a fair amount of facial modification over time hasn’t he.

  22. To be honest… theres really nothing “tribal” about these tattoos. Majority of the worlds indigionos people with ink have desighns that resmeble nothing like what we think of as “tribal”.- I personally always find these “desighns” beautiful because they accent the mucles and shape of the body And I appreciate bold blackwork. I think people would receive these tattos better if the label were changed from “tribal” to something else.

  23. The muscles are hot as well. Although gym sculpted it still looks “right” and natural healthy look. Not grotesque and overdone like some guys that are addicted to body building or others who take steroids.

  24. I love love love his back. I slept with a guy like this once back in the day, and that kind of back is the NICEST thing to wrap your arms around. The big arms are a give/take, but in all, he is YUMMY. I like me some skinny boys too, though. Just men in general, actually!

    I only wish I had the kind of dedication and self-discipline that body builders have.

  25. I’ve been bodybuilding for nearly 2 years now. It’s a huge part of my life, and I definitely look at it as body modification. And just like extensive tattoos and piercings require patience, determination, and discipline, so does this, if not more. My GF loved my body before when I was a chubby 160lb mess. She loves me still while I’m pushing 205 and pretty lean (10% body fat), but I love myself so much more because of it. It evokes a sense of self worth that wasn’t totally there before.

    Muscled bodies aren’t for everyone, even I have a stopping point. But it’s very interesting how so much of the body modification community has what most would consider to be the “anti-bodybuilder” physique, and how they perpetaute the often false negative connotations that go along with body building or just weight training in general.

    For a group of people who preach acceptance and equal rights for modified peoples, and go as far as to correlate it to the “whites only, coloreds only” issues from decades ago…

  26. Yeah, it’s true. Bodybuilders and breast implants seem to belong to a different “crowd,” than most BME people, (stereotypes, I know) but they technically are doing the same thing.

  27. Somebody mentioned that “many don’t like tribals because of what they may represent, a small step up from flash, but also trendy and most likely devoid of meaning”.

    I wonder if the comments I’ve received about my tattoos would change if everybody knew that they have absolutely no meaning to me. Mine definitely aren’t flash, and took a lot of time to plan, but there’s nothing sentimental about them.

    Who cares what style it is? The dude got it because he liked how it looked.

  28. >>>>Yeah, it’s true. Bodybuilders and breast implants seem to belong to a different “crowd,” than most BME people, (stereotypes, I know) but they technically are doing the same thing.

    I would suggest that the motivations behind them and the outputs from them are very different.

  29. >>For a group of people who preach acceptance and equal rights for modified peoples, and go as far as to correlate it to the “whites only, coloreds only” issues from decades ago…

    Not really a valid point. Body Building and Body Modification are about choices, nobody is born with them so acceptance or not is more about accepting the choices someone has made rather than the way they were born.

  30. I’m with J-Knuckles on the strange double standards in the body modification community. But what makes us a community if we can’t agree on what constitutes modification? I’m not advocating homologous philosophies (god forbid we conform to a fringe mindset), but it’s sad that we’re allowing stereotypes and preconceived notions to cloud our awareness of what it means to be modified.

    I’m not encouraging anyone to censor himself, but it would be nice if people could own up to their prejudice, as so many of these criticisms of conventional body modification (plastic surgery, exercise) originate from fear, envy or emotional injury, and not some reasoned categorization (as if that were even possible: hmm, penis splitting, yes; muscles, no; silicone horn implants, yes; silicone breast implants, no.)

  31. All true, but I think the reaction comes not from the comparison in scope or dedication or ideals of freedom, but from the social acceptance (as in general, wide public). I don’t think many body builders would be refused for a job working with the public, nor a woman who has had breast implants, just on account of those modifications. But show up at an interview/bar/public place with many facial piercings, facial tattoos, hand tattoos, or anything else that shows (and is known to “disturb”, and you’re bound to get turned down.

  32. nothing against tribal tattoos or body builders, i just prefer guys who don’t look like they would crush me if we hugged.

  33. #66 – but think about how safe and protected you’d feel! Noone would touch you if you were on the arm of a man such as the one pictured..
    I love how the tattoos complement the curves of his body.. and those broad shoulders and that back! Yummy.

  34. I am an avid weightlifter, and to those people who do not

    like big muscles…you are all haters!! Getting big, muscular

    arms and shoulders takes many hours of pain, sweat, and

    dedication. Also, you must adhere to a high protein, low

    fat diet. In other words, you must exercise enough self-

    discipline to eat the right foods and to stay away from all

    junk food! People who diss those with big muscles are just

    jealous because they can’t tolerate the time, pain, dedication,

    and self-discipline it takes to get a powerful body! And that

    is the bottom line.

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