why, when building muscle, does it seem like a body part with tattoos is smaller or less defined?

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I have a sleeve on my left arm and have always just known “Tattoos= looks smaller and less defined” and I’ve never really questioned it until now.

In: Biology

Optical illusion. Your eyes follow the contours of the tat rather than those beneath it. Tattoos are a distraction from the underlying structure.

This can be exaggerated by the contents of the tattoo, also. Vertical lines increase the illusion somewhat while horizontal ones slightly alleviate it.

I also have a sleeve on my left, but not my right. My left only looks smaller and less defined because it’s not my dominant arm. It’s always been weaker, especially since I broke it.