Don't let Lee Priest's 5'4" stature fool you! The Australian bodybuilder is a titan of the bodybuilding world who has carried the sport on his massive shoulders for years.
While his contributions to bodybuilding book no argument, his tattoos are a different matter entirely. His symbols have been derided in the bodybuilding world and the tattooing world, alike.
The piece for which he has received almost universal scorn is the tribal design that covered the right side of his face. Despite sticking by his decision to get the tattoo for years, he has conceded that the tattoo was a terrible idea, and recently underwent tattoo removal surgery.
That is only one of the many tattoos that Lee has gotten in his lifetime. In this list, we look at Priest's ink- past and present- and let you be the judge on whether they were a good idea or not!
Lee's love for tribal tattoos is evident in the amount of tribal ink he has had on his body and his face. He had tribal tattoos all over his arms, the side of his pecks, and even stretched out to cover the right half of his face. He got the facial tattoo circa 2006.
Lee was panned for his tattoos in the bodybuilding world for tastelessness, and in the tattoo world for the lackluster quality of the tattoos.
Lee has stood by his decision to get inked on his face for years. He expressed a generally carefree attitude about the almost-universal criticism of his tattoos.
However, in 2019, Lee decided to undergo tattoo removal surgery finally. But he was quick to note that the decision was not to abate the critics, but because he was simply bored of them.
The news was covered extensively, and even made the rounds of newspapers, one of which Lee shared on his Instagram. He underwent surgery from the Vamp Cosmetic Clinic in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.
In a snippet of the interview, Lee stated of his decision to get the face tattoo removed:
"My mum and wife want me to keep it, but I'm bored of it.
To me, it's almost like a woman wearing the same lipstick every day. After 13 years, you'd be bored of it and need a change.
He also mentioned that he doesn't regret the tattoo, and is considering a new design.
Lee got this tattoo done after the tribal ink on his left face, and while still being criticized for desecrating his face, the artwork was far more sophisticated this time around.
The tattoo is a popular design amongst tattoo enthusiasts, and the artwork is ripped skin steampunk.
Priest currently rocks an intricate full-sleeve tattoo on both arms.
Before the elaborate piece, however, Priest had an assortment of different tattoos all over his arms. Some of the more discernible pieces are:
The gigantic skull rests on Lee's equally massive right bicep. The dramatized skull is the logo for the Marvel vigilante anti-hero, The Punisher.
This set is tattooed across Lee's forearms, with the right forearm reading "it's not revenge" and the left forearm reading "it's punishment."
The tattoo gets inspiration from the tagline for the 2004 Marvel superhero movie, The Punisher: "This Is Not Revenge. It's Punishment!"
A silhouetted face of a tiger rests on Lee's right peck. The stencil design looks dated compared to his other works, but it is one of the more prominent ones.
One of Priest's earliest logos was the logo for the superhero Superman. Lee names Superman as his greatest inspiration and the reason behind getting into bodybuilding.
Lee has a quote from verse number 6:8 from the Book of Revelations on the inside of his right forearm.
The quote reads:
"And I looked,
And behold a pale horse,
And his name
That sat upon him was Death
And Hell followed with him"
One of his more personal pieces is the tattoo that reads "Lucifer" and "Brooke" on the inside of his left forearm.
In an interview, Lee said of his reasoning behind getting the tattoo:
"Brooke was my ex-fiancé. She calls me the Devil."
They couldn't make it work, but Lee remembers Brooke fondly, as he went on to say:
"[Brooke] was the first true love of my life,,, you know, like a soulmate... so I got it for that reason."
Lee has a tribal design of a dragon running across his right hand. One of his earliest pieces is admittedly one of his favorites.
The snake on Lee's left hand is an elaborate piece that ends near his hand.
The giant angel of death carrying a scythe adorns the whole right side of Lee's ribs.
The giant tattoo was scoped circa 2004.
In 2014, Lee revealed a full-body work that took inspiration from the Man of Steel movie. Being a fan of Superman, Lee took inspiration from the Superman gear in Man of Steel and got it tattooed. The expansive tattoo now covers most of his upper body.
One of the more obvious ones, Priest, has a tattoo of a cross smack on his neck.
He also has a more detailed cross on his left thigh and a Celtic cross on his right arm.
The more creative thigh tattoo sees Lee imagined as his hero, Superman, kissing his wife and complete with the logo for the Man of Steel.
Another notable tattoo is a ripped skin steampunk tattoo, not unlike his face tattoo on his legs.
Lee's expansive back tattoo sees a swirling pattern spanning his entire dorsal region.
Pictured above is an incomplete tattoo with only the outline of what would be an elaborate artwork.