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Tattoos and Body Shape

Updated: Dec 8, 2022

As tattoos have become more mainstream, there has been a flood of people from all walks of life going into parlors to get tattooed. This week I wanted to talk about how tattoos can affect the shape of your body, be it in a positive light or a negative one.

There are so many variations as to how a tattoo can be designed and placed upon your body, but there are some factors that many people may not be aware of before they get a new tattoo.

Location, Location, Location

As you age, your body will change in shape and size throughout the years. For that reason, here at Speakeasy Tattoo, size, shape, and flow of the tattoo has a very strong influence on the designs created.

For instance, a large tattoo wrongly placed on the stomach can overwhelm a petite woman’s body, and can make her appear stockier or wider from a full-body view. Location is very important to think about before you get your tattoo.

Lines and Color

Tattoos are, like most other art, based on lines and color theory. Just like any other visual art, different design elements will draw the eye to certain areas. You can cheat the eye with the use of lines, as lines directs the eye across the page (or your skin). For example, just like how horizontal lines on clothing can make someone appear wider, if you want to emphasize shoulder width, a design that flows horizontally will achieve the same effect. Same with vertical lines, if you want to appear taller, a vertical design will do the same as well.

Use of complementary/contrasting colors with high visual interest will also draw the eye, whereas black will push the area to the background.

Tattoos on Muscle

If you’re muscular or want to emphasize certain areas of your body, keep in mind that black in tattoos becomes matte, which flattens or creates depth on skin. As lines and color can disrupt the flow of your body, arms may appear smaller in size or the tattoo obstruct the curvature and shape of your arms, losing the details such as veins that pop out.

So always have an open mind to suggestions during your consultation with an artist, as they will have alternate design input that may be able to enhance the vision you have in your head. Also keep in mind that you are getting a work of art placed on your body, and as a flexible work of art, can change the shape of your body. If you have specific wants and needs, be sure to let your artist know what they’re working with, so that both of you will be very happy with the outcome.

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