The Rock’s Iconic Tattoos Pay Homage to His Cultural Roots

Sure, we all know Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson best for his roles in high-adrenaline action flicks and his time in the WWE ring, but also familiar to most of us: his jacked arms and generally swole physique. The 6’5″ former wrestler puts a great deal of time into his body; even in a pandemic, his split makes our workouts look like child’s play. What you may or may not have also noticed on his body, and so often hidden behind suits on the red carpet, are The Rock’s tattoos.

“The story of my tattoos is a very elaborate story that are all the things that are important to me and that I’m passionate about and that move me to the heart,” he said in an interview with the WWE. “It all comes down to three things: my family, protecting my family, and having a very aggressive warrior spirit.” Let’s take a closer look at the meanings behind The Rock’s tattoos, shall we?

The Rock’s left arm and chest tattoo

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The Rock’s tribal-inspired tattoo that spans the width of his left shoulder to his forearm and chest and is made up of several different elements that pay homage to his Samoan roots and overcoming struggle. In The Rock’s own words, the sun on his neck represents learning to appreciate his own journey. The elaborately designed eye on his chest, too, represents fighting through struggle. As for the rest of the symbols, each makes up a chapter in his story, including those that represent family. The tattoo took 60 hours to complete over three sessions.

The Rock’s right arm tattoo

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Until 2017, The Rock had a small tattoo of a bull on his bicep. In August and November 2017, The Rock’s tattoo went through a massive transformation, becoming both larger in scale and more realistic. “I’ve engrained this bull in my DNA for two decades,” The Rock captioned an Instagram post. “My core. Humbly, it’s also become a symbol of strength, resilience, heart, power and defiance to so many people around the world. I got this tattoo when I was just a kid. Now I need it to reflect me as a man.”

In another Instagram, he said the horns specifically represent forward momentum and progress. “It also represents f***** pain,” he said while getting the ink.

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