Almost all bikini competitions allow competitors with tattoos. Good news? Yes! But the real question is: will your tattoos affect your score? Or will you lose points because of them?
From a judging standpoint tattoos shouldn’t affect your score if there is nothing in the rules against them. However it may not be quite that simple.
How Tattoos Can Affect Judging- bikini tattoo
Here’s a few things to consider:
- Some tattoos may affect your overall symmetry, especially large ones on one side of your body. You may not get marked down directly, but given how little time the judges have to look at each competitor, it may make it slightly harder to judge the symmetry of your body.
- Most competition rules will include some objectives, such as: beauty, overall cosmetic appearance, how photogenic you are, skin tone / color, and physical appeal. Do tattoos have an impact on these? It may depend on the size and location of the specific tattoo and the judges personal preferences.
- Some federations give tattoos a qualified green light. For example, INBA states that points are not deducted unless the tattoos ‘hinder definition or muscularity’. Basically if your tattoo starts obscuring detail then it could be counted against you.
Having said that, you should always check the rules and regulations of the specific bikini competition / federation youre entering.
Should I Cover Up my Tattoo for Bikini Competitions?
If you feel that your tattoo(s) may be distracting or may get you marked down against some of the competition objectives then you may consider covering it up for your competition. However, here are some important points to remember:
Tanning makes tattoos less noticeable
- The tan that you apply to your body for the competition will significantly reduce how much your tattoos stand out. The tan wont completely cover them up but it will tone them down so they are far less noticeable (or distracting).
- Heavy tanning products will help cover your tattoos even more. Don’t go overboard, but your tattoos will be less visible if your tan is slightly darker rather than slightly lighter. Heavy tanning will also help hide any other blemishes on the skin. Check out Protan.
Tattoo Cover Up products do work, but not always
- It is possible to try and cover tattoos with coverup / makeup, but when you apply competition tan it may not stay looking perfect. In fact if its not done well it can end up looking blotchy or like a big smudge on your body. This can look worse than not covering the tattoo at all. According to NPC judge Sandy Williamson, when you cover up a tattoo and then apply tan ‘the discoloration is distracting and can take away from the depth of the muscles and your overall appearance’. However, if youre keen to try and cover it up for your comp, then I suggest you have a trial run applying the coverup and then tan. See how it goes. This will hopefully avoid things going wrong on the day of your comp, when you cant just wipe the tan off and start again. Some products you could try include: CoverMark Cosmetics, ColorTration, Jan Tana Makeup and Tattoo Cover, Derma Blend.
Judges Personal Preferences
- Girls sometimes ask ‘What if some judges don’t like tattoos?’ True, youre up against the personal preference of the judges to some extent, but remember that their job is to apply the rules of the comp, and if the rules state that tattoos are ok then most judges will see past them. Sure if two girls are very close a judge may choose one or the other based on their personal preferences, but will this realistically make any difference to the overall results? Girls with tattoos regularly place from 1st place all the way to last. So I don’t think judges are having too much trouble ignoring tattoos. While some judges may not like them, there is usually enough ink on stage that any negative impact is pretty minor.
Increased Acceptance of Tattoos
- Tattoos are generally more accepted now, basically because so many more girls have them now compared to many years ago. These days there are even pro bikini competitors with tattoos. Something to consider, however, is whether you get any more tattoos. Getting photo work as a model is definitely harder with tattoos, especially large pieces.
- Who is to say that your tattoo doesn’t add to your appearance, just like your hair style, face makeup or bikini? Just because something draws attention to you, doesn’t mean its a bad thing. Looking different can make you stand out in a good way.
The Bottom Line
The decision whether to cover tattoos is not always an easy one, and is a personal preference to a large extent. I hope the above information helps you make your choice, but if youre still not 100% sure I recommend you talk to more people, such as your coach or trainer, or other girls who have competed with tattoos.
Whatever you decide, don’t let it stop you from competing! The bottom line is: your body will speak for itself and your tattoos are unlikely to influence things much at all.
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