Walking in Their Shoes (Or ~ Why I’m a Reformed Hater)

There are people out there who are highly critical of the new Women’s Physique division in female bodybuilding competitions.  Seems as though most are unhappy with the judging.  I, too, am not happy with the judging.  A lot of people thought this division was intended for the natural bodybuilder.   So did I.  It’s being judged differently than I expected.  But you know what?  It doesn’t really matter.  The way I see it, that’s the division where I fit.  At least it’s where I fit this year.  It’s a new division and I expect that judging will evolve over time.    None of that is in my control.  I will train the way I want to train.  I will work towards my own goal and not concern myself about the politics of the judging.

Reading what some people are saying about the women who are competing in the Physique division makes me uncomfortable, and I know why.  It reminds me of things I’ve said about the bikini division.  When I’ve opined on it in the past, I know I meant to make a general statement about how society views women.  Women have never been allowed to just “be”.  Someone is always around telling us, either directly or indirectly, what we are supposed to look like, how we are supposed to behave – whatever.  “Play your role.”  I don’t like it when women feel confined in their roles or criticized for their choices.  With respect to female bodybuilding, the opinions out there are varied, but passionately held.  Each is sure they are right.   But these are real women who have sacrificed to reach a goal.  If I don’t want others to criticize my choices, I cannot criticize the choices other women make.

I want to be supportive.   So I’d like to take this opportunity to publicly apologize to all bikini competitors for the things I’ve said in the past.   I’m “walking in their shoes” now every time I read some mean comment directed at a Physique competitor.  (Figure of speech – I’m not doing the shoes.  I’d fall over.)

I’m so, so sorry.

I send props to all women who train, diet, practice posing, spray fake tan everywhere, pluck, shave, paint nails, dehydrate, glue down posing suits, and get up on that stage to be judged.

So how scary is a public admission of stupidity?  Very scary.

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7 Comments

Filed under Opinions, Venting, Ranting

7 responses to “Walking in Their Shoes (Or ~ Why I’m a Reformed Hater)

  1. I’m so confused. What is your opinion? What are you apologizing for?

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    • Tammy

      I’ve blogged about the bikini division before. I get wound up when I watch one of those competions. Might be a generational thing. Most women our age understand how I feel and most 20-30-something’s don’t. If you haven’t seen one, search in YouTube for bodybuilding bikini division.

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  2. Oh goodness, this is such a tough issue. First, though, I admire you for apologising, because I agree that even though the rules might be at fault, the women who have to play by those rules are not.

    Every time a woman attacks another woman for her looks, we play the game of hateful, hurtful patriarchy, which damages women AND men.

    That said, I don’t agree with bikini competitions either. I’m concerned that instead of rewarding effort (i.e. the hard slog that goes into building musculature etc. in bodybuilding) they’re more interested in the sex appeal side of things, which is damaging to women. They reinforce a certain look which I think is damaging not so much to my own age group (40-somethings) but to our daughters, and they have enough shit to deal with as is.

    I don’t know what the answer is. Because no competition where someone is judged on looks is ever going to be sexism and discrimination free. And the truth is, there is a lot of the whole “eye candy” side of things to bodybuilding. I mean, I *like* looking at the guys who win. It’s not just about musculature, is it? And the better looking guys, all else equal, probably do win more often than the ugly dudes. So this is just the women’s side of things being extended in a worse(?) and more insidious way.

    Just my (overly long) 2c as usual. What I do know is that *any* champion, in any arena, has worked their butt off. And that the key to true equality for women comes from us all treated each other better, as equals – women to each other as well. Maybe even especially. We can be our own worst enemies. Maybe the best way to end bikini comps is to fill the audiences with supportive women, cheering the competitors on, and make the male perverts feel uncomfortable! 😉

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  3. There is nothing wrong with having an evolving opinion, especially about a controversial subject. As your research and experience grows, you have every right to change your mind. As long as you speak what’s in your heart and true to you, you’re doing the right thing! That’s what blogging is for.

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    • I wish my opinion about bikini competitions would change because there are women I like a lot who work very hard to compete. The most I can promise is that I won’t bite anymore – or I will only be biting my tongue.

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