The role of heroes, comics, bodybuilding, big boobs and the untapped secrets of Selective Tanning?

Art Imitates Life

Art has forever been trying to capture the beauty of man but no ordinary man,  the beauty of heroes.




Attempts to capture heroes from all eras have been made across all artforms in order to uphold a moral compass that we all should strive towards. From campfire stories to urban legends to scribbles on cave walls to the pages of  literature to paintings to sculpture to animation to live action films to shitty erique englesias tunes and right back again. This is one unique feature shared by all human settlements on this earth throughout all of history. We all share stories of heroes we look up to.

But apart from the musical realm, portraying a hero’s essence is pretty difficult as it is an abstract quality which can rarely be translated into the art medium. Here’s some hero music to help you get over that



So in order to compensate, art has instead attempted to capture the athletic qualities  attributed to heroes in hoping that our lazy minds would make the connections automatically.

You know what, it works too….

Below is one of the pinnacle examples of where physical prowess alongside a glare of resolve opitimise David, as he stares down Goliath before he embarks into battle with him, wonderfully portrayed by Michelangelo (the orange one with the nunchucks) in the 1500s.




Not much has changed in the last few hundred years though, except our heroes  no longer come from folklore, religious texts or ancient mythologies. They now originate from comics and are dubbed  superheroes, with coked up heroic feats and deeds to keep up with our every growing consuming demand for bigger and better. They also now wear undies (only on the outside though, they are still commando on the inside)



Dare I say though that these new brand of heroes also have a hidden agenda to shift content but every now and again, a story will be written that captures the true essence of what a hero should be and what we should all strive towards, just like in the good ol days.

What also hasn’t changed is the trick of using athletic physical traits in order to highlight their sense of heroism.

I can’t believe this dumb shit is still tricking our minds after all this time. Oh well….


 Life Imitating Art

But  even though our minds are still getting fooled, we’ve become a little bit street wise to this gig. I think it’s fair to say most societies on this earth no longer strive to meet the bar raised by heroes of any kind but we still which to be revered as them and get all the accolades that comes with it.

In order to compensate, people tend now to focus less on emulating the  deeds these heroes perform and would rather attempt to gain their physiques instead (or the perceived heroic physiques as showcased by art over the centuries).

In a nut shell, the drive to be heroic through athleticism has been replaced with the drive to look heroic with aestheticism.

That way, just like with the art that came before it, society would associate heroic deeds and good characters traits with them by default, meaning they can skip all the lion fighting bullshit and just get on with the welcome parade and banging all the hot chicks.




What do I imitate?

Bur yeah, after saying all that, I’m one of those aesthetic look seeking, trial-skipping douches, sue me.

This is because I grew up reading superhero comics and one of the things I always admired was their tremendous shapes,  portrayed as being at the peak of physical condition. Whether I get there or not is another story, as clearly highlighted in my previous post here

Here is a typical example, some work by Joe Madureira who drew alot of the xmen comics in the mid nineties, including a large chuck of the onslaught saga and also the age of apocalypse storylines. Here, he’s maxing it out with a picture of venom and black panther, both looking beastly as fuuuuck.



So  seeing images like this on a regular basis inspired me to get into the best shape I could possibly obtain without any of the roid rage (No offence Bruce Banner). Infact I am trying to emulate a picture drawn by Mark Bagley in one of the Spidermen comics in the 90s. I can’t find the exact ones on line but as you can probably tell from the ones below, I’ve got quite a way to go before I have a physique that ‘amazing’ (chrck out those calves of steel).


mark bagleyASM-400-05


How to draw a superhero body

This brings me on to my point about super hero physiques in the comics world.  In order to give the impression of muscles and texture in the comics, the penciller will go in and shade some areas darker than others, especially in the ridges in between the muscle.


This creates a localised shadow and makes the muscle look bigger by it appearing to protrude out more from the body.  You’d also want areas adjacent to these dark areas to reflect as much light as possible, making them shiny and glossy in order to give that great contrast with the dark regions of the body. It also gives the muscle a contour look making it look rounder and firmer.

These techniquest combined makes the individual look like they are bigger and have lower body fat values, making them look incredibly vascular, ripped to shit and aesthetic as hell.

Give them a tragic upbringing, some tights and a strong moral compass, and within minutes, you’d have given birth to a stan lee -esque hero (without the plagirism and glory credit taking from co-creators).




Life imitates art….AGAIN….

To some extent in real life the same shading tactic could be done with professional bodybuilders.

When it comes time to compete, they will tan themselves up very darkly as they will be performing on stages with super bright lights. It is this dark tan that will make them look big and will bring out all their muscles instead of looking washed out and flatter than pele’s penis.


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However, I’ve noticed that bodybuilders tend to go for having the same dark coat of tanning , all the way around their body. If everything gets darker by the same magnitude, then even though their muscles will show up on stage, they will not have an enhanced contrast of  between their muscle flat surfaces and the dark ridges, so they won’t look as big as they could technically.

Just based on the line art shown above, one would think that they would want to select certain regions of their bodies to catch and reflect the light differently from one another to highlight them best.

To emphasize this, check out the varying shadings of the same arm below. Current tanning is like the top left when actually the bottom right gives the best shading and makes the arm look significantly bigger than the rest. It’s amazing how much the aesthetic qualities of the same arm can be manipulated by such a simple thing.




So would someone look bigger if they perhapsused  a lighter tan all round their body as a base coat and then used  a varying degree of  darkers colour in selected areas, in order to make them look fuller and bigger and rounder, then make everything shiny with some lotion in order to create the visual illusion  of fullness given in the comics.

.index contouring

In competitive bodybuilding where it matters less on how  big and strong you are, rather how big  and conditioned you look in comparison to the guys next to you and also how big you feel, you would think small differences like this could make the difference between  immortality and a lifetime of obscurity. Just ask grandad…




Now a boob orientated interlude

This isn’t just more of my mumbo jumbo horse shit, this theory is backed up by hard science…and boobs too.




A few years ago, I watched a video on youtube on how females can increase the look of their bust size without any push up bras or surgery. The lady in question then gave a tutorial on how she applied dark bronzer make up in her boob crevice in order to create a darker shadow in that region, then lotion on the top part giving the optical illusion that her  cleavage was deeper and her breasts looked  larger and fuller than they really were. I think the technique is called contouring.



While I can’t find that video, here is  a similar one below albeit additional tricks of the trade are also utilised in this one.


or even more impressive


The results as you can see are insanely effective considering how simple the process actually was, I’m not surprised more people aren’t using this on a regular rather than contemplating evasive surgery. This adheres to the same policy with regards to the line artists and their art work. The only difference is instead of shading a 2d canvass, you are shading a 3d one in instead.




I’ve even seen the same type of technique used in order to radically change the perception of someone’s face. Again with incredible results.




So with all this in mind, I find it interesting that no one is really using or pushing the use of selective tanning techniques with perhaps makeup touch ups in order to help them win bodybuilding shows. Regardless of whether it is for male of female contestants, it’s bound to help.


Idiot Imitates Entrepreneur

The reason I bring this up is because I few years ago, I was watching Dragon’s Den in the UK and this guy came up with a selective tanning product


For those of you who are too lazy to press the play button, here is a quick summary

The guy’s name is Glenn Harden and his product is effectively a set of screens that reduce the amount of UV rays absorbed by the body across specific areas. notably the meaty part of your muscle, allowing the ridges to catch more shade, hence getting darker.


ST TAN 16.08.11_PD1889175_l

Over time, the ridges would get increasingly darker giving you the appearance of muscle definition across  those areas. It’s exactly the same premise as the cleavage makeup and also the shading work done by line artists.

Immediately I thought it was a great concept with a vast generic market of holidayers. He was though marketing it towards the masses in doom and gloom UK which may or may not have been a good thing. Had he gone and pushed for it on california, it would have been a completely different thing.

Now having got into fitness, it tweaked, the mark up and market could be out of this world….

Unfortunately his pitch is less convincing that Oscar Pistorius’ alibi and he didn’t get any further investment on the day…


And there your honour, is where the misunderstanding started...

And there your honour, is where the misunderstanding started…


It was also unfortunate that his model didn’t showcase the effects well and neither did the pictures, clearly he needed a bodybuilder model in his before and after pictures in order to clearly show what his product was capable of (ideally with the use of a set of modelling twins, both male and female) and as we now know, the use of a much darker tan on his model as his original model was (surprise surprise) washed out by the set lights. He couldn’t have known this at the time.

He also had no clue on anatomy as his pads were generic shapes associated with nice physiques, not everyone’s muscles are to be situated in the same place or be the same size so he should have gone with a tailored approach. He also should have allowed for spray tan or other fake take application processes and not just be limited to the effects of natural and artificial UV lights.

SO how could he still make this work..


Novembre Pleut Imitates Entrepreneur.

Now knowing what we know now.

I would target the bodybuilding market

If he used body scan technology or body moulding clay in the same way orthodontics use to make a mould of your gum line, he could use 3d printing technology to custom design body templates to suite each individual from Joe Blogs on the street to Phil Heath, Mr Olympia.

Each piece would be custom made for each individual muscle group, each ab, each oblique, each serratus, each bicep, each pec etc.

Then by adhering them onto the body as a barrier, they could spray tan a customer, specifically for a region of their body with a specific shade. By doing this numerous times with different shadings, the results could be astonishing.

Plus if topped up with some brush work (usually for the day of competition etc)

SO he could sell the entire process as a onesie with the waterproof foundation application (due to the lights and sweat involved with posing and moisturiser as an additional top up kit being sold as an extra so people can apply it for themselves at home. This would really help people bringing out their apparent weak and underdeveloped spots to make them pop out as much as the rest of the body parts

and because no one’s physique ever looks the same, for each competition prep, a new model and body shield mould would have to be developed. So return custom is inevitable, especially if  significant results are seen on the first attempt.


Now my marketing strategy would be aggressive, I would trial the hell out of this with the lower end of amateur bodybuilding and show it can help get people into the professional leagues, I would also go after the number 2 bodybuilder at the time, which is Kai Greene and would let him use it for free, hoping that the differences it makes would allow him to overcome his rival Phil Heath and become Mr Olympia.


phil heath and kai greene


Since Kai Greene hasn’t one his last two/three duke outs with Phil, everyone will wonder what changed in order for him to win this time and then bam, he’d mention the product. It might even be worth giving it to a caucasian outside contender who could literally come out of nowhere and become the new face of the industry

Following the success, Trial booths would be set up at all fitness expose and the product would forever be associated as the missing link to achieving a great looking physique.

From there, you’d then set up a franchise with tanning specialists offering this product where you would train them to build plates, apply accordingly and then provide them with a license to apply your product so you no longer have to do the hard work, you would then set up a training and licensee business, sit back and let everyone else do the work for you.

It would start focusing in on the fitness community, then in California, spread to Florida, then everywhere in between, eventually trying to saturate in all spray tan and UV salons as a standard way to tan.

Sales will forever be high and selective tanning would become a norm in the industry, pretty much allowing you to name your price since everyone is willing to do what it takes to win and look good…




Then of course you have the breast augmentation non-evasive procedures just to top if off incase you aren’t greedy enough and want to retire twice as quickly

as you can see, in the right hands,  this business concept is almost a license to print money.

Again, skipping the lion killing and going straight to the parade and banging all the hot chicks

With a product like this You’ll be a hero of the aesthetic generation and maybe one day, stories will be told of your feats and a statues sculpted in your honour, perhaps with some selected shading thrown in 😉




Enough Imitation, Back To Reality

Anyway, that’s some food for thought.

Some things just make real sense to me and are obvious no brainers, it just annoys me when you see something like this and no one (including the inventor) can see the real big picture behind it, especially since the concept is so damn simple.

Until selective tanning becomes a main stream thing, we’ll have to manage with basic weight training and plain ol boring cardio instead to get that superhero look. Boo hiss…

In order to keep us going here’s some motivation to inspire you into your next workout.

Remember, no pain, no gain. Tara