Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Muscles as the Great Equalizer

Check out the sexy outfit being worn by Kathy Connors.

Check out the sexy outfit being worn by Kathy Connors.

If I could rewrite a classic cliché that exists with the intent of providing a much needed self-esteem boost to the insecure general public, it would be this:

Beauty is only muscle deep.

I’m not sure if this makes any sense, but that doesn’t matter. Indeed, “Beauty is only skin deep” is a tired and true mantra meant to comfort those of us who are – how shall I say this in a politically correct manner – not blessed with natural good looks. I’m sure every single one of you who is reading this article is as gorgeous as a supermodel, but that’s beside the point. We’re all beautiful in our own way, right?

Well, maybe, maybe not. This is not meant to be a profound discussion about body image, media standards, the saturation of Adobe PhotoShop in fashion magazines, culture, identity, or anything of the sort. Instead, let’s start with the general premise that some of us are genetically wired to be more physically attractive than others. I don’t mean to insult anyone who isn’t considered traditionally beautiful. This is intended to state the obvious, which seemingly needs to be done more often in today’s society.

Call it an unfair advantage. Is it fair that Adriana Lima has made millions of dollars working as a supermodel while the vast majority of us haven’t? Not really. If there are people out there who are willing to shell out that kind of cash for the right to plaster her gorgeous face all across perfume and underwear advertisements, so be it. I have no right to say this consensual transaction between an employer and an employee should not exist.

But that doesn’t stop the feelings of jealousy that boil within us. Studies have shown (to be fair, you can find a so-called “study” that can support almost any position you want it to) that attractive men and women tend to make more money, advance faster in their careers, and enjoy certain “privileges” not easily available to their less-than-attractive peers. I have no logical reasons to doubt these findings. It makes perfect sense. We want to be around people who look good because…well, because. You can fill in the blanks.

But what about my argument that “Beauty is only muscle deep?” Here’s what I mean by this.

Women who are naturally beautiful often are the target of scorn and envy because of the fact they didn’t “earn” their beauty and all of the social and tangible benefits that come from it. It doesn’t seem like handsome men are treated with the same level of vitriol. Trust me, I’d know!

So too often, unattractive women feel like they’ve been dealt a bad (and unfair) hand in life. They’re playing with less chips in the poker game. They have to start 15 meters behind the starting line right before the race begins. It’s a sad world we live in where multi-billion dollar industries exist with the sole intent of convincing women around the world they can effortlessly bridge this gap.

Other than pursing expensive (and often ineffective) plastic surgeries and procedures, there aren’t a whole lot of practical ways a woman can enhance her beauty. Cleverly applied make-up can only go so far. Beauty standards set by society – however you define “society” – can change over time, but your gut instinct is your gut instinct. You know a beautiful person when you see one. No amount of social engineering, peer pressure, or “awareness campaigns” are going to change that.

Who wants to go to bed with Rhonda Lee Quaresma?

Who wants to go to bed with Rhonda Lee Quaresma?

However, there is one avenue a less-than beautiful woman can pursue that can, in the eyes of some people, transform her from a Plain Jane into an Irresistible Sex Goddess.

What avenue is that? You guessed it!

Bodybuilding.

While the sport (and lifestyle) of bodybuilding certainly isn’t for everyone, this is without a doubt one tactic a woman – and man – can utilize to improve her physical beauty, boost her self-esteem, and reinvigorate her sense of purpose. For people who love muscular women, we absolutely adore their big strong muscles. We cannot stop thinking about it. Once we’re hooked, we’re hooked for life. There’s no turning back. There is no “on” and “off” switch that can tamper our love for them. We’re completely in their grasp and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Muscles are the Great Equalizer. A curvy muscular frame can transform Cinderella into the Belle of the Ball with free weights, protein powder, and carbohydrates standing in for the Fairy Godmother. A powerful muscular body can more than make up for a less-than beautiful face.

Don’t believe me? In my opinion, there are plenty of real world examples to back me up. Now don’t get me wrong. I have no intention to insult, demean or shame any of these incredible women. I’m just being completely honest here. Women like Kathy Connors, Jennifer Kennedy, Yvette Bova, and Rhonda Lee Quaresma would not be considered traditionally beautiful if you took a straw poll of 1,000 random people on the street. Please don’t get me wrong! I am not trying to be malicious or nasty toward Miss Connors, Miss Kennedy, Miss Bova or Miss Quaresma! Regardless of how you think of them, I find all four of these ladies to be sexy, sassy, and supremely alluring.

I perfectly understand they are not everyone’s cup of tea, but that’s fine. You don’t have to like every single female bodybuilder in existence. Nor do you necessarily have to defend every one of them from Internet trolls. But there are plenty of guys who really dig muscular women who aren’t considered traditionally beautiful, feminine, or desirable by the majority of society. Even hardcore female muscle fans are split as to how they feel about Kathy Connors, Jennifer Kennedy, Yvette Bova, and Rhonda Lee Quaresma. Some are disgusted by them. Others are completely turned on by them. It’s all a matter of opinion.

Hopefully, we can agree that muscles can be the Great Equalizer. Maybe not for everybody, but for many people they can be. We can be so aroused by an FBB’s muscles that we can overlook her unremarkable face, unfeminine characteristics or disagreeable demeanor. Personality matters, of course, but for now we’re just talking about physical beauty.

People who love muscular women have an expanded definition of “beauty.” We appreciate beauty that’s untraditional. We embrace an aesthetic that’s unconventional. It’s not esoteric, but it certainly takes a particular personality to be willing to value a type of beauty that many people are openly hostile toward.

I really want to go to the beach with Jennifer Kennedy.

I really want to go to the beach with Jennifer Kennedy.

For us, muscles not only enhance a woman’s beauty, they completely transform it. Lisa Cross went from being a dainty little English girl to becoming a Powerfully Tantalizing Muscle Goddess of Epic Proportions after she started going to the gym. Angela Salvagno went from being the cute dark haired girl next door to a Sexy Muscle Temptress thanks to her pursuit of bodybuilding. Mavi Gioia went from being an astonishingly beautiful Italian lady to someone who could make my heart stop mid-beat if I ever were to look directly upon her. Mavi is a modern day Medusa. Except she has curvy muscles instead of snakes for hair. Either way, I’d turn to stone immediately if I gazed at her beauty for even a split second.

Divine, indeed.

If you were to ask me if I’d rather make sweet passionate love to Megan Fox or Kathy Connors, I’d pick Kathy every single day of the week and twice on Sundays. No kidding. Imagine a magician approaching me – wearing a purple cape and golden Gypsy fortune teller hat, no less – with the offer of making this scenario a reality:

One evening only. A secluded beach house by the ocean. A bottle of wine. A delicious meal of steak and lobster. Candlelight. A picturesque sunset. Not a single soul in sight. The offer of one night of total sensual passion with no strings attached or consequences. No specific sexual activity is off the table. Whatever your dirty heart secretly desires your dirty heart will get, guaranteed, no questions asked. Nobody will ever know. Who would you rather choose to experience this with: Megan Fox or Kathy Connors?

Honestly? I’m still going with Miss Connors. Laugh at me all you want.

Raise your eyebrows in puzzlement if you want to (assuming you are able to, obviously). But this is my honest answer. And it’s not even close. If I had to settle for Miss Fox instead of Miss Connors, I wouldn’t complain. If that’s my consolation prize, then at this point we’re just comparing one brand of champagne to another. This hypothetical situation will never ever present itself of course, but this is in fact what I would do. Sorry, Megan. I drooled over you while watching Transformers (because let’s face it, the rest of that movie was pretty stupid), but you lose this particular battle. A middle-aged female bodybuilder with a deep masculine voice, an unattractive face, and pumped up muscles wins my heart over you. It’s not personal. It’s just my preference.

I realize 99.99999999999% of the world’s population would wholeheartedly disagree with me. That’s okay. I won’t lose sleep over that. But that’s none of my concern. I don’t care too much what other people think. I only care about what I think. And I stand by my assertion that an average to below average looking female bodybuilder is more desirable than a Victoria’s Secret bra and panties model. Or pop star. Or movie star. Or viral Instagram celebrity.

Muscles are the Great Equalizer. Like a Fairy Godmother transforming a slovenly housemaid into the object of affection of a handsome prince, muscles can do wonders. They perform miracles. But here’s another point that needs to be said. Muscles are earned, not handed out.

Yvette Bova rocking a sexy cocktail dress.

Yvette Bova rocking a sexy cocktail dress.

This point cannot be stressed enough. A surgical procedure to eliminate wrinkles, reshape your nose or enlarge your breasts are legitimate ways to make yourself appear more beautiful. But there’s something cheap about that. Not cheap in the financial sense, but cheap in the philosophical sense. It seems like a simple and artificial way to conform yourself to other people’s standards. Please don’t misinterpret me, I am not suggesting that people who choose to get surgery done are somehow debasing themselves or “selling themselves out.” That’s not my argument at all. A person has the right to choose what they want to do with their bodies as long as they’re aware of the consequences and all sides are being honest and transparent about what’s happening.

That being said, there’s something glorious about building up muscle mass that isn’t comparable with getting cosmetic surgery. Bodybuilding requires endless hours of sweat, dedication, frustration, pain, determination, grit, and strategizing. You have to earn your muscles. Even synthetic steroids, hormones, and supplements will not magically transform you into a pro bodybuilder overnight. It still takes an immense amount of strenuous work to look that way. Nothing is given to you. You have to take it.

This is why a female bodybuilder “earns” her beauty. She isn’t born with big muscles, unlike Heidi Klum who was born with a beautiful face. I realize many FBBs choose to get surgical work done in addition to sculpting their muscles the old fashioned way, but that’s beside the point. This isn’t about dogma. This is about the basic idea that muscles can make a woman look more beautiful in ways that a single afternoon at the doctor’s office cannot easily replicate.

I think the moral of the story of Cinderella is that beauty is based more on perception than what you actually look like. To my knowledge, the Fairy Godmother doesn’t physically change how Cinderella looks, instead she gives her a sparkly new dress, a high-class horse and carriage, a respected entourage (consisting of mice and other critters, according to Disney), and fancy glass slippers. The Prince notices her not because she looks particularly different than the other women at the ball, but because there’s something unexplainable about her that captures his eye.

What would this antique mirror say about the beauty of female bodybuilders?

What would this antique mirror say about the beauty of female bodybuilders?

He can’t explain it. He just knows. His brain tells him she’s just like any other of the young eligible bachelorettes visiting the palace. But his intuition tells him something else entirely.

It’s the same way with a woman with muscles. She becomes more beautiful. But not just conventionally beautiful. She reconstructs her entire aura that elicit reactions from people that range from utter repulsion to uncontrollable lust. Either way, you cannot look away nor expel it from your mind.

Snow White, a tale from which the mystical chant “Mirror, mirror on the wall” originates, is a character who happens to be more conventionally beautiful than the Evil Queen. This bedtime story compares an apple with a better looking apple. Comparing a magazine model to a female bodybuilder is more like comparing apples to oranges. Or more specifically, comparing an apple with a large, ripe, sweet, and delectable orange.

Muscles aren’t a magic spell. They’re not something an outside power can just grant you with the twirl of a wand. What Snow White was born with and what Cinderella was given by a supernatural enchantress cannot compare to what a determined woman with a plan, a relentless work ethic, and a gym membership can achieve.

Beauty is indeed only muscle deep. But I don’t need a talking mirror to tell me that.

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2 thoughts on “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Muscles as the Great Equalizer

  1. Pingback: Facing the Facts: Why a Female Bodybuilder’s Face Still Matters to Me | The Adventures of Ryan Takahashi

  2. Pingback: Faster, Female Bodybuilder! Grow! Grow! | The Adventures of Ryan Takahashi

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