WOMEN AND BODY BUILDING
look at any beauty magazine or actress in todays popular culture, do any of them have bulging muscle that make even the toughest people feel intimidated? Most likely your answer will be no, todays society is adamant that women be thin and as small as possible because “you don’t want that cute boy that you sit next too in class too think that you look a little too manly.” We tend to associate muscle with men and for other men seeing a woman that might look like them can be intimidating and even scary for some. Even for some women that don’t want people to see them as muscular or too big, I recently saw a video on Instagram from a bodybuilder by the name of Blessing Awodibu, at the beginning of the video there is a woman talking to a personal trainer about putting together a routine to fit her needs and A hulk of a man walks by and she points to him and says “I don’t want to get that big” and the trainer laughs and they continue. The training starts and she’s adds more and more weight and after one rep they switched the woman with Blessing and he screams and runs away as if he were the woman that got too muscular. While this video was made for comedic purposes there was some truth to it, it just goes to show how we view woman with muscle in todays culture.
When it comes to women in bodybuilding competitions there is a variation from the competitions that men compete in. Woman don’t compete in bodybuilding they compete in figure building or sculpting. Their main goal is to look as toned as possible while minimizing the amount of muscle shown, Imagine training multiple hours a day, sticking to an extremely strict diet plan for months on end and come competition day your told that your too muscular to compete. Now men can compete no matter how big or small they may be, do you see the problem? Women’s muscles same as mens will grow when used during training, its part of being human, the way that we see women today prevents us from muscular women. The women who compete in the competitions and build the muscle feel differently, Susanne Niederhauser, who placed 4th in the Ms. international lightweight class said “My personal vision is that bodybuilding put more emphasis on femininity and symmetry, and not only judges based on muscle mass.” society is starting to change its views on women and weightlifting/bodybuilding, an article done by CBS news says that in a lot of places it’s no longer taboo for women to become muscular and strong.
If you ask any male bodybuilder they like the feeling of being noticed for their lean and ripped physique but for women standing out in a crowd for the same reason and feeling like an alien as femalemuslce.com puts it, is not nearly as rewarding. It is not uncommon for people who even admire this female muscularity to publicly scrutinize female bodybuilders. If the female bodybuilder is not judged for her physique then she will either be judged on her choice to chase maximum muscle and because of that choice they apparently have a major character flaw. It amazes me that when people see a female bodybuilder they automatically judge base on looks, not the amount of pure dedication to the gym, clean eating and taking the enormous amount of negative judgment. Then there is the other side of the spectrum, the muscle worshipers. Muscle worship is a real medical condition or fetish which also goes by the name of sthenolagnia. There are both men and women who if given the opportunity to date one of these female bodybuilders will tell you that these women are just like you and me and not aliens as stated earlier, they are just apart of a sport and a profession which requires them to pack on as much muscle as possible.
I personally am all for female bodybuilding, I believe it gets rid of the this is a mans world stigma not only in the gym and on the stage, but most importantly in the real everyday world in which we live in today which is why I expect female bodybuilding to last as long if not longer than male bodybuilding, but there are some people who will say that the female side of the sport is dying out. But is it really? Female bodybuilding really got its start in the 1970’s which if compared to male bodybuilding which can be traced all the way back to the early 1800’s is not all too long ago. When the female side of the sport took off viewers were not as shocked as they are today due to he act that these women truly were not that big, what a female bodybuilder was then is what a bikini level competitor is today. Bikini is the bottom level of the muscle scale in the 4 levels of female bodybuilding, there is as I said before bikini which is someone who was maybe born with a nice body and maintains it in the gym, nothing too fancy. Then we have figure which is a little bit of muscle but nothing too out of the ordinary after figure there is physique which is where you start to bridge the gap between just working out to keep in shape and look nice to wanting to wow an audience and stand out in a crowd, then we have fitness which is not completely building but you do have more muscle than physique and the competitor would add something such as a dance routine or gymnastics routine to their performance. Then last but certainly not least we have the mack daddy of them all, bodybuilding! This is where the women and the girls are divided, just like the male side of the competition, the goal is simple. Get as musclar and ripped as your body will allow and show the rest of the world who the alpha female is.
As the years passed and more and more compettitors started to arrive on the scene the IFBB which the the international federation of bodybuilding throughout the liteweight branch which combines smaller and petite women with the more musclar competitors which gave the more hardcore bodybuilders an clearly unfair advantage such as female bodybuilding great Iris Kyle who has won the Ms. Olympia title a staggering 10 times. As a result of the advantages given to larger women that were clear to the public, the IFBB ultimate got rid of the bodybuilding portion of the Ms. Olympia competition. Although female bodybuilding as a division is no more that has not killed to sport itself, its just not at the professional level anymore.