Just because people from all over New Jersey come to Reflections for laser tattoo removal doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate nice body art.  As a matter of fact, tattoo artists in Livingston, Wayne, Morristown, Bridgewater, Edison and many other NJ towns send clients our way to remove their ink so their tattoos can be reworked.  We’re not anti-tattoo by any stretch.

With all that said, the hyper-realistic Kobe Bryant tattoo you see above is a bit much.  While it’s crazy beautiful work, we’ve come up with five reasons we’d say “no way” to Kobe.

1. The Conversation – Being a true sports fan means proudly displaying your team’s colors, whether it’s wearing a jersey, putting stickers on your car or even getting their logo tattooed on your body for all to see.  But taking it to this extreme means a lifetime of having “the conversation” about your tattoo every time you don a pair of shorts.  While the attention might be cool for a few years, it’ll eventually grow tiring, especially in twenty years when some teenager asks “who’s that grown man on your leg?”  Awkward.

2. The O.J. Factor – There’s a risk you run in getting the face of a non-deceased celebrity tattooed on your body – they’re still out there living, breathing and sometimes making spectacular mistakes.  Kobe ran into trouble a decade ago while he had some downtime having his shoulder surgically repaired – imagine what might happen when he has all the time in the world.  Not to say Kobe will go the way of O.J. Simpson, but if he does you’ll be wearing long pants to barbeques for the rest of your life.

3. Not a Flattering Picture – Kobe looks sweaty, veiny, and like he’s catching flies (that’s what I say to my kids when their mouth are hanging open). The Internet is full of more flattering (and more dunkalicious) pictures of Mr. Bryant, but this guy decided to commemorate Kobe bathed in the sweat of his labors.  I bet if you asked Kobe pick the picture, this isn’t the one he’d email your way.

4. The Disembodied Hand – In the tail end of the Instagram video clip, the camera rotates around the left side of the tattooed fella’s calf, where you see the sketchy outline of a hand bearing numerous rings, no doubt a testament to the multiple championships won by the L.A. Lakers (or maybe he’s also a Liberace fan).  The placement of this image right behind Kobe’s head is a little creepy – like it’s the Ghost of Championships Past reaching out to sweaty Kobe from beyond the grave.  This is certainly a case where a bit of laser tattoo removal should be used to clean up the calf clutter.

5. Shaving Kobe – This guy is going to be shaving his legs for a lifetime to make sure Kobe looks smooth and clear.  While it might be fun to play “Wooly Willy” by growing Kobe a leg-hair beard and a crazy hairstyle, the idea of shaving a picture of a sweaty athlete for the rest of your life is a little unsettling.  If I was this guy, I’d look into laser hair removal to make portrait maintenance a breeze.

So there are five reasons this beautifully made tattoo doesn’t make a lot of sense.  Of course it could be worse – he could’ve gone for Jessica Alba in a Hannibal Lecter mask!

What do you think – is it an amazingly cool tattoo, a really bad idea, or both?  Let us know in the comments below!

Medical Director at

Dr. Mitchell Chasin founded Reflections Center for skin & body as a place where physicians specializing in cosmetic medicine could focus on helping empower patients to feel their most beautiful. Dr. Chasin believes strongly that the best cosmetic physicians are those who are dedicated to mastering their craft through continuing education and collaboration with the industry’s top doctors.

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