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What’s wrong with females having muscular bodies?


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I just came across this article which is nice to see from a journalist. Even though this particular area of mostly full of bull.

But have a read.

http://blogs.bodyandsoul.com.au/what-body-soul-thinks/article/whats-wrong-with-females-having-muscular-bodies

What’s wrong with females having muscular bodies?

Warning: I’m about to get on my soapbox. And here’s what’s triggered my rant: recently we worked with an external PR company to shoot a female athlete as part of our upcoming Olympic coverage.

This woman has phenomenally muscular legs and is strong, talented, gorgeous and completely kickass at what she does. I was blown away by the pictures because her muscles are superb. But when I selected the shot I wanted and asked for it to be sent over, it arrived airbrushed – and the leg muscles were completely gone. See what I mean below…

legs-top-400x600_400.jpg

I was appalled, not only because this woman is the face of a sports apparel brand, but because the PR company did it at all. What’s wrong with women having muscles? Especially a female athlete who is touted as the next big thing? I could hardly imagine a male athlete having their muscles toned down. James Magnussen sans those shoulders and abs – not a chance.

The portrayal of female athletes, not only in the media, constantly frustrates me. Female athletes are more often than not marketed on their looks, and any modicum of talent they show beyond what it took to get them in the spotlight in the first place is seen as a bonus. In a past life I played national league basketball and I clearly remember one game I played with the Canberra Capitals in Canberra before the now-defunct Canberra Cannons. We were leading the league and had Lauren Jackson, arguably the world’s best female player, on the side. And we’d just made it into the grand final for the first time in the club’s history.

Not long after the game finished, the Cannons – who were somewhere not worth mentioning on the men’s table – came on the court to warm up. The (male) announcer: “And now, ladies and gentleman, the game you’ve really come to see….”

Excuse me? I agree there are some sports that men dominate but basketball is not one of them in this country. Anyone who has seen Lauren play would know she’s not a warm-up match. And our team that went on to win that premiership would have given the taller, testosterone-fuelled Cannons a bloody good run for their money. Hell, that rematch can never happen so I’m just going to say we would have beaten them. Hands down.

The sport the previously mentioned female plays is also not dominated by males. In fact, her team are gold medal contenders in London. So why “her people” felt the need to tame the body that will likely win them that gold is beyond me. Does it make people uncomfortable to see a woman with muscles? I don’t know. I hope not. I’d rather see Sally Pearson’s kickass frame upheld as a role model of what young girls should strive for than that of a waify model.

Unfortunately I recall an incident where I heard a (male) sport editor reject a picture of a female athlete because she looked like “an ugly lesbian”. Has that got something to do with it? The “pretty” ones couldn’t possibly be gay and so therefore, their appeal is suitable for all? Granted, there are a number of elite female athletes who are gay but why does that matter? More than once when someone found out I played WNBL they assumed I was gay. I’m not. But most of them had the balls to ask, and then followed the question with: “What’s it like in the dressing room?”. Er, it’s full of showers. Would you ask a male athlete that? I doubt it.

I’m tired of seeing female athletes in “nice” poses – aka, non-threatening, sans muscles. I’m tired of seeing female athletes in men’s mags – surely there’s a better way for us to appreciate them (with all their clothes on).

We should celebrate these women. They are true role models. We should be in awe of their muscles, not air-brushing them.

For the record, I asked the PR company to resupply the non-airbrushed shot with the powerful legs in full view. They did so. You can see them – and other female athletes – in our upcoming Olympic special. I promise, there won’t be a digitally-altered image in sight.

What would rather see: a female with a muscular frame or a thin one?

And is there anything wrong with females having muscles?

"I lift heavy things. Sometimes these things are people."

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As a retired advertising executive who used to argue for hours about retouching already size 0 apparel models and who quit because she simply couldn't believe the bullshit, I completely agree with you!!!!!!

What's funny is that they also ADD muscles to the guys!

Israel just passed a law that says they cannot use models under a certain body fat percentage and they are also toying with the idea that they must mark the ads as "dramatizations which include retouching"...I think this is a start, but we here in the US have a much more complex and lax system when it comes to what can be presented. I mean look at the current mascara ads with girls wearing freaking false eye lashes and it says its just the mascara!!!

I do my best, at all moments to illustrate to my girls what a real woman looks like--she comes in many shapes and sizes and there is NO one perfect...the only perfect is your happiest, healthiest, best feeling place...

The real world is bizarre enough for me....Blue Oyster Cult!

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Agreed. I have always been jealous of my roomies arms - she has muscley shoulders, even without working out! And even at my most fit (and being stronger than her), my arms have *never* had definition. I think it's a family thing. My 13 year old sister who is ... ridiculously fit - you couldn't tell from looking at her that she can easily compete and pwn high school athletes of both sexes.

That said, here are two cents on the female image thing that I agree with! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ujySz-_NFQ

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I love muscular natural women. Not so much the super cut body-building competitors, of either sex. And I do want those muscles, and I would be livid to be "tamed" like that.

The beauty of trying to tame someone like me is, it gets you a face full of belligerent enraged crazy lady, so most people are smart enough to let well enough alone. When I look like the above model I can only imagine how terrifying I will be...<glee>

Never cheat off the dumb kid.

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shiggles - thanks for sharing that article. I agree one thousand percent (impossible, I know, but let's go with it anyway). And I love the picture Catspaw posted -- that is flat-out HOT; I want to look like that! (again, impossible - my proportions are different and it would take surgery to augment certain parts).

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muscle_woman.jpg

That is all.

Nothing at all, women like that are incredibly sexy. Beyond a point (read bodybuilder chicks) it isn't, but those are huge extremes. See ETF's post for what I mean.

Massrandir, Barkûn, Swolórin, The Whey Pilgrim
500 / 330 / 625
Challenges: 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 31 32 34 35 36 39 41 42 45 46 47 48 49 Current Challenge
"No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. " ~ Socrates
"Friends don't let friends squat high." ~ Chad Wesley Smith
"It's a dangerous business, Brodo, squatting to the floor. You step into the rack, and if you don't keep your form, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to." ~ Gainsdalf

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Shiggles, I totally see your point. And I agree.

Not only is it bad that they airbrushed out her muscles, but they did an awful job of it too! :P

I agree the lady that catspaw posted is totally hot. Although to me, that doesn't look much more realistic than the photos they show in men's fitness magazines. Real women who workout wearing an old t-shirt and gym shorts instead of barely more than a bra and panties are also hot, no? :P

Mmm... kaik.


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Real women who workout wearing an old t-shirt and gym shorts instead of barely more than a bra and panties are also hot, no? :P

This is correct, though I prefer the bra and panties. Spandex and tech shirts are my favs.

Massrandir, Barkûn, Swolórin, The Whey Pilgrim
500 / 330 / 625
Challenges: 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 31 32 34 35 36 39 41 42 45 46 47 48 49 Current Challenge
"No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. " ~ Socrates
"Friends don't let friends squat high." ~ Chad Wesley Smith
"It's a dangerous business, Brodo, squatting to the floor. You step into the rack, and if you don't keep your form, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to." ~ Gainsdalf

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Real women who workout wearing an old t-shirt and gym shorts instead of barely more than a bra and panties are also hot, no? :P

Haha yep! That's me! And I think I'm pretty hot...not to toot my own horn or anything...

Also I don't have muscles like that (yet).

Level ? Half-Dwarf/Half-Amazon Warrior

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Maybe a little off topic, but... How do I go about convincing a girl/woman that weight training will not make them look like a man?

I know I could just show her the NF article on Spezzy, but there's nothing I can do to make her read it. Are there any studies that have been done to prove that women won't get huge unless they are specifically trying to? I'm following up this post with some google searching, but I thought I might check here first because you guys are beast XD

I am a dyslexic agnostic insomniac who lies awake all night wondering if there really is a dog

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Maybe a little off topic, but... How do I go about convincing a girl/woman that weight training will not make them look like a man?

I know I could just show her the NF article on Spezzy, but there's nothing I can do to make her read it. Are there any studies that have been done to prove that women won't get huge unless they are specifically trying to? I'm following up this post with some google searching, but I thought I might check here first because you guys are beast XD

Tell her it's physically impossible to build muscle without supplying a giant calorie surplus, your body needs the building block before it can build.

Massrandir, Barkûn, Swolórin, The Whey Pilgrim
500 / 330 / 625
Challenges: 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 31 32 34 35 36 39 41 42 45 46 47 48 49 Current Challenge
"No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. " ~ Socrates
"Friends don't let friends squat high." ~ Chad Wesley Smith
"It's a dangerous business, Brodo, squatting to the floor. You step into the rack, and if you don't keep your form, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to." ~ Gainsdalf

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Just show her Spezzy's pictures. That's what I did with my husband because if I sent him the article, he would never read it. I don't know if he completely buys it, but at least he's stopped complaining that I'm going to look like a man.

Level ? Half-Dwarf/Half-Amazon Warrior

STR:21.25 STA:15 DEX: 10.95 CON: 14 WIS:15.5 CHA:17

SWOLE BUCKS: 1

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

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As for the question, to the Tumblrs, for Crossfit women. That's as hardcore a physique a you'll get without special measures.

Thanks for the idea! There are tons of great picture here for me to use as ammo :courage:

I am a dyslexic agnostic insomniac who lies awake all night wondering if there really is a dog

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I've said before, I know bodybuilder women who are offended that people think it's easy to become a freak, when they spend years working and during to look that crazy for contests

Thank you Andy! My sister is an Olympic Powerlifter and bodybuilder. She eats 5k a day and trains alot! Hours a day. All of the professional bodybuilders she trains with don't look like that everyday. Just when they cut and compete.

Its not easy either. I can't tell you how many times we've worked out together and men have gotten pissy at the gym cause she can bench double their working weight when she's been doing this over 10 years. She's not doing it to be manly, shes doing it because she loves it.

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Scott, i agree with you. the point isn't about how any one particular person looks it is the prevading belief in the media that you MUST look a certain way and retouching a woman to look that way sends a strong message to youth.

If you want to know how strong the message is, I ask you to take a walk down memory lane and look at what a "HOT" female body represented over the past 5 generations and then find pictures of typical women--all of these typical women are certainly "emulating" the celebrities and models and then you get a generation of girls with a certain body type. 40's busty, butty-50's pointy tiny boobs, tiny waist-60's sporty surfer fit, bigger boobs, firm thighs and more up and down from waist, 70's much much thinner, much more long waisted, height becomes important, 80's thin with a bit more muscle but completely flat stomach with small ribcage was important, 90's buttocks and slight belly bulge become acceptable and larger boobs are the norm but heroine chic also makes a push, 00's extreme long waistedness (models at this point have belly buttons surgically moved down their bellies to give more long waisted look), flatter buttocks, long limbed and thin but still with larger breasts, 10's more muscular but still extremely thinness, long waisted still popular as well as larger breasts...go ahead, cruise through old pictures of each generation and you will see the progression....so, when you put up a figure that is absolutely NOT possible in nature...what happens then?

The real world is bizarre enough for me....Blue Oyster Cult!

Oystergirl: Bad Assed Lightcaster (aka wizard!)

STR: 2 | DEX: 3 | CON: 3 | STA: 2 | WIS: 4 | CHA: 5

Oystergirl's Bad Ass Lightcaster Wicked Rocking Adventure Challenge!

Come visit my wicked rocking Nerd Fitness blog!

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