Do Tattoos Make You Look Stronger?

Tattoos and people’s perception of tattoos have changed dramatically over the last few decades. Tattoos used to be reserved for the rougher folks in town, but tattoos might have lost their tough image over the years. That being said, the question today is: do tattoos make you look stronger?

Tattoos, in general, do not make you look physically stronger. However, tattoos are associated with pain, making you look a bit tougher, but a lot less than in the past since tattoos have become so mainstream. Certain tattoos can accentuate your muscles, making you look physically stronger, but the effects are limited.

So much go get through on this interesting and once-controversial subject, so let’s jump straight into it and see how tattoos can help us look stronger or not. And if you stick around till the end, I’ll go through a few of the best places for tattoos on a man.

A brief history of tattoo toughness: From prisons to palaces

Before we get into the question of tattoos making you look stronger, we need to look at the brief history of modern western tattoos to see how perceptions have changed over the years as tattoos became more mainstream. The main question is whether tattoos have lost their tough appeal.

Tattoos have been around forever, and evidence of the first tattoos on human sin dating back as far as between 3370 and 3100 BC. For this article, which is not intended as a history lesson, we’re only going to look at modern western tattoos starting from around the 1940s or so.

1940s: The rough and tough

Biker gangs seem like the perfect place to kick off this conversation from.

Biker gangs from the 1940s used tattoos as signs of membership and their affiliation to their respective gangs. Biker gangs were also seen as outlaws and outcasts of society. Around this time, tattoos were very much associated with the same.

Prisoners, bikers, low lives, street punks, rebels, outcasts, trouble makers, criminals, and just all the general riff-raff of society were the only ones who had tattoos around that time of the ’40s, ’50s, and even ’60s.

During this time, tattoos definitely had the stigma of roughness and toughness to it. It signified their defiance of the norms of society and their rebellious nature.

1970s – today: Tattoos for all

In the 70s, tattoos became more mainstream, and more and more people started getting them, from famous artists to lawyers to doctors to housewives, etc.

Since then, it has become a widely accepted form of personal expression, and it’s not uncommon to find an entire household today with tattoos; from the rebellious grandfather with his tattoo from his biker days to the lawyer father with a secret sleave to the mother with her butterfly on her shoulder to the 12-year-old daughter with a small dolphin on her ankle.

I mentioned “from prisons to palaces” in the heading of this section because although things can be mainstream, it reaches another level when it gets embraced and accepted by royalty. And when it comes to tattoos, exactly that has happened as so many princesses and princesses around the world have gotten tattoos, truly cementing its reputation as a mainstream form of expression.

And with that, in my opinion, gone are the general perception of toughness and roughness that was once the case in the ’40s and ’50s.

Do tattoos make you look stronger?

Now let’s look at tattoos today and if tattoos make you look stronger.


When it comes to physical strength, tattoos don’t make you look physically stronger.

Certain tattoos can accentuate your muscles and muscle lines, but I don’t think it makes a huge difference, to be honest. What makes you look strong are the muscles and not the tattoos.

Mentally (Tough)

I think tattoos have simply lost their general perception of toughness since it became so widely accepted and embraced by people from all walks of life. But then again, not all tattoos are equal. Or not all tattoo locations on the body are equal, to be precise.

There is a difference in the perception of toughness when you compare a 12-year-old’s butterfly tattoo on her wrist to a muscular guy with a neck, face, and full chest tattoo.

So yes, tattoos can definitely still make you look tough and rebellious, depending on the type of tattoo and its location on your body.

But then again, if we look at how far we’ve come already, who knows where we will be in another 50 years from now and how our perception of tattoos will change over time.

Do tattoos make you look more attractive?

What makes us attractive as men are very subjective to the women we ask. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, which I believe is the appropriate expression in this case.

Many women out there are absolutely obsessed with tattoos and would find men with tattoos extremely attractive, while others might not feel the same and despise tattoos on men.

What women perceive as attractive really is one of the most subjective things you can debate. My thoughts that I will leave you with on this subject is that I don’t think women, in general, will find you unattractive if you have a tattoo, provided that you are not covered in them, and you do have many other attractive features of course.

There are many other features of a man that women would look for first to determine if they find you attractive or not. Tattoos might not be highest on that list for most of them if you only have a few small ones here and there. Unless you find a woman that is obsessed with tattoos, then the more you have, the better.

Best tattoos for men to get

When it comes to looking tough, and maybe a little bit stronger with the association of toughness, here are some tattoos that I’d recommend as the best ones for men to get.

  • Sleave. The good old sleave. This has become vastly more popular in recent years and not so frowned upon anymore. A sleave basically covers the entire arm and features many different tattoos, all woven together nicely like a collage of some kind.
  • Full chest. Full chest usually features either a big design or many designs like the sleave, all woven together like collages. An example of a typical full chest design is something like an eagle because the wingspan covers the chest perfectly.
  • Full back. Similar to the full chest, the full back typically features a big design or a collage of smaller designs.
  • Calf. The calf is a great place for a design to accentuate the muscle. Typically, the calf features a single big design.
  • Neck. The neck might be the one place, aside from the face, that can increase your “toughness” appearance quite a bit. The neck is not a pleasant place for a tattoo in terms of pain and also a less commonly used location for a tattoo that the average person would ever get.


So tattoos might not make you look stronger physically. It might have also lost its perception of toughness the more mainstream it got; although there are still some tattoos and locations that can make you look tough as nails, one thing is for sure; tattoos are an awesome form of self-expression.

And that being said, with its rich modern history from biker gangs to soccer moms, from prisons to palaces, tattoos are here to stay.

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