In My Own Words: Carmichael

Julia Vins is one of Carmichael’s favorites. Can you blame him?

For our next entry into this series, I’m proud to introduce you to Carmichael. He’s a 22-year-old fellow who is also a blogger like myself. He loves female bodybuilders, wrestlers, and Amazonian Women. Who doesn’t, right?

You can find his blog at lookuptoherblog.wordpress.com. Subscribe to his posts, follow him on Twitter at @dup3rjon1 or send him an email at duperjoni@gmail.com.

Ladies and gentlemen, here’s Carmichael!

When did you first discover your love for female muscle?

It all started when I was a freshman in junior high school. At that time, I didn’t know there was something called an “Amazon woman,” but I was always attracted to tall and huge women. Then one day I decided to just Google “tall woman” and “strong woman” (I know it’s lame, but hey, I was just a little kid!) then I found Mikayla Miles! She was the tallest fitness model I’d ever seen at the time! She was the first huge strong woman I’d ever loved.

At first I didn’t know that I loved women with huge muscle like female bodybuilders, I just knew that I loved a fit woman. But then my love for muscles grew and now I love female bodybuilders more than ever!

Mikayla Miles and friends.

Why are you attracted to (or an admirer of) female bodybuilders?

I’m not really sure why, but maybe because I’m a submissive at heart. I always wanted to get dominated by women, but not just an ordinary woman. I want to be dominated by a strong, huge woman who can really dominate me.

I also got bored by the typical “skinny woman” you see nowadays. It aroused me more to see a woman with arms as big as my legs!

Have you ever met a female bodybuilder (or a woman with a lot of muscles)? If so, what were the circumstances?

Unfortunately no…

How would you react to someone who says that a guy (or gal) who likes female bodybuilders is strange, weird, kooky in the head, etc.?

I’m cool with it.

Female bodybuilders are a strange thing in society. It’s their loss to be honest LOL

It’s their loss for not liking females with muscles!

Cindy Landolt is a common fan favorite.

Have you ever told anyone that you’re into female muscle?

Noooo…even though I love female bodybuilders, I’m not ready to be judged by my friends and family. They will never understand the beauty of female bodybuilders.

If you could tell someone who doesn’t understand your attraction to female muscle one thing, what would it be?

Strong and dominant women are the future.

Do you ever foresee a situation in the future when women with muscles and people who admire them will become more accepted by society?

No, not in a short time. Maybe in another 10 or more years since there are a lot of young female bodybuilders like Julia Vins, Bakhar Nabieva, etc. who can inspire a lot of young girls to train at the gym!

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Gym Bros, Reluctant Girlfriends, and Human Clay

I’d love to have someone who looks like Michele Levesque as my girlfriend. But at what cost?

At the gym where I frequently workout, I often see a sight that I’m pretty sure many of you can also recognize.

I see a huge Gym Bro who looks like he spends way too much of his free time lifting weights and avoiding cardio (not to mention Leg Day) drag his girlfriend (or wife) to the gym with him. She may or may not be in shape. She may or may not even want to be there. Perhaps she’d rather be at home watching reruns of The Bachelorette or reading a book. Or going out to drinks with her friends. Or going to the gym, but not five times a week.

Gym Bro clearly loves working out. You can see it in his huge arms, enormous chest, and cocky strut. The Reluctant Girlfriend of Gym Bro is a different matter. She could be skinny, a bit overweight, or perhaps quite obese. But the body type she isn’t is “muscular.” And you can tell, whether he is willing to admit it or not, that he’d love it for her to become as muscular as he is.

He teaches her how to deadlift, squat, bench press, and shoulder press. She does as she’s told, but you can tell she does it with little enthusiasm. When she uses improper form, he lashes out, or at the very least aggressively tries to correct her “errors.” Not wanting to upset him further, she does her best to please him. It’s a sad sight to see. It’s pathetic. You feel sorry for her and secretly desire to punch him in the face.

I could very well be misinterpreting this situation, or maybe I’m spot on. I don’t see this all the time, but it happens enough that I feel compelled to write about it. Long story short, Gym Bro secretly – or not so secretly – wants his girlfriend to look a certain way. He thinks she’s too skinny, too fat, or too average. Regardless, he wants her to bulk up. He wants her to look like Michele Levesque, even if she has no desire herself to look like that. For those of you who don’t know who I’m talking about, Michele is a gorgeous fitness model who possesses the ideal look: she’s fit, unquestionably feminine, as gorgeous as a supermodel, and has built enough muscle to turn people’s heads – but not so much muscle that she upstages the man she’s with.

Lauranda Nall has some nice triceps.

Our friend the Gym Bro understands that women who look like Miss Levesque, Julie Germaine, Autumn Cleveland, Lauranda Nall, and Sheronica Sade Henton don’t just grow on trees. They are far from a dime a dozen. They are a one-in-a-million rare specimen that must be treasured because they are few and far between. However, Gym Bro secretly dreams about possessing a girlfriend with such a treasured physique…and will not sit around idly and wait for it to happen.

Therefore, he must take matters into his own hands. Even if that requires “forcing” his girlfriend to put a pair of dumbbells into her hands.

Thus, he nudges her in the direction of bulking up like him. He tells her it’s a healthy choice. He reassures her she won’t start “looking like a man.” He insists she’ll develop more confidence, curves in all the right places, and unsolicited compliments from complete strangers (naturally, the flattering kinds of compliments, not the creepy ones). She sort of goes along with it. After all, she wants to spend quality time with her boyfriend, right? Who wouldn’t?

She goes to the gym whenever he goes to the gym. They lift together. He “trains” her and cheers her on. He gives out advice as if it were candied apples on Halloween. She learns how to lift. She’s taught the proper form, breathing techniques, and recovery methods. He makes post-workout protein shakes for the both of them. She begrudgingly drinks it every single time. Maybe she likes the taste, maybe she doesn’t. But it’s all to keep their relationship intact, so it must be worth it.

If this scenario doesn’t seem familiar to you, don’t worry. Sooner or later you’ll witness something like this up close. And it’ll make you squirm. Or at the very least, feel sorry for her and all involved. You might start to ask yourself whether this behavior crosses into the territory of abuse. Does it? You sure hope not, but how can these thoughts not come to mind?

Sheronica Sade Henton showing off her hard work.

Essentially, Gym Bro wants his Reluctant Girlfriend to become Human Clay. He wants to sculpt her into becoming a Perfect Muscle Goddess who will fulfill his every lustful carnal desire. He wants her to become an Amazon, a strong confident young woman who takes life by the horns and never relents in pursuing her goals. He wants the ultimate arm candy. He wants a sexy flesh-and-blood trophy he can call his own and show off to his fellow gym bros.

Meanwhile, you get the sense she doesn’t really want to do this. She’s all for living a healthy life and looking good, but is it worth the soreness and agony of going to the gym all the damn time? It goes without saying that one does not simply become a Muscle Goddess overnight. Nor does it happen by accident. You only look like Cindy Landolt if you put in the effort to look like Cindy Landolt. If you don’t want to look like her, then you won’t ever look like her. It’s as simple as that.

The scenario described above troubles me. But unfortunately, I see it – and hear about it – all too often. It’s frustrating. It’s maddening to see. But alas, it’s quite common. When you start to “force” somebody to do something they don’t actually want to do, that’s problematic.

As I’ve written before countless times, I love muscular women. But I would never pressure my significant other to ever become a muscular woman unless she genuinely wanted to become one. And if that were to happen, I’d enthusiastically support her 100%. But if not, I’d understand completely.

It’s perfectly natural for straight guys to be attracted to muscular women. It happens more frequently than a lot of us are aware of. And it’s also understandable why many of us dream about having a muscular girlfriend. Who wouldn’t want to come home every night after a long day of work to a woman who looks like Minna Pajulahti? I know I would!

And you can share a bed with her every f*****g day? Count me in!

So the awfully awkward situation where guys start to treat their girlfriends like Human Clay seems sort of inevitable. Isn’t that the logical next step? Isn’t this just a natural progression for anyone who appreciates fit women? Well, no. It doesn’t have to be this way.

I fully believe that a woman has every right to pursue bodybuilding and fitness if they choose to do so. Many women find participating in the sport empowering, uplifting, and worthwhile. Yes, it’s a cliché to use the word “empower” when we’re dealing with women and their physical appearance, but clichés are formed for a reason. For many women, bodybuilding has helped them deal with trauma, overcome emotional obstacles, and provide them with a renewed sense of purpose. The list of benefits goes on.

Who wouldn’t want to come home every night to a woman who looks just like Cindy Landolt?

However, women also have the right to not pursue bodybuilding if such a lifestyle does not totally appeal to them. This seems obvious, yet this is not really at the heart of the problem. I don’t think too many women are forced to lift weights at the gym at gunpoint. But pressure (both overt and subtle) from a loved one can be just as coercive. The desire to please your partner will drive people to do almost anything. The same goes for the fear of losing a loved one – and by “losing,” I mean that person choosing to find a different lover, not death.

I understand why a guy would want a sexy muscle goddess for a girlfriend. Trust me, I daydream about this all the time! But, I’d like to think I would never cross that line and pressure my better half to torture herself at the gym just because I want the shape of her body to be more pleasing to my eye. But this is not about me being “holier than thou.” All I want to do is send a warning to those of you who might (or already have) cross that line, either intentionally or unintentionally.

There’s nothing malicious about wanting your partner to look and feel healthy. After all, don’t we all want to be with our loved ones for as long as possible? Of course we do. But this goes deeper than that. This is about the ethics of female muscle fandom. This is about being a decent human being.

No person is Human Clay. No person should ever feel obliged to do anything against their will for any reason whatsoever. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a muscular girlfriend. It’s quite another thing to use coercive measures to make that dream come true. Even if you’re a Gym Bro who thinks they have good intentions at heart, odds are not everyone around you will agree. Being a Reluctant Girlfriend is like being stuck between a rock and a hard place. Of course you want to look fabulous and sexy. But what are you willing to sacrifice in order to do that? And who is allowed to define what “fabulous and sexy” even means?

If I could snap my fingers and magically make a Sexy Powerful Muscle Goddess appear right before my very eyes, I wouldn’t think twice about doing it. But alas we don’t live in a universe where such miracles are possible. While it never hurts to dream, it can hurt the ones we love if we bully them into fulfilling our dreams – regardless if such a thing is even feasible in the first place.

Autumn Cleveland is heating it up.

At the end of the day, the awkward relationship between Gym Bro and Reluctant Girlfriend is probably never going to go away. It will always be here with us until the world comes to an end. Or until we discover a secret potion that miraculously transforms a humble bumpkin into Muscle Cinderella. If that ever happens, instead of a glass slipper, would the Handsome Prince go around town seeing whose torso is muscular enough to handle a weightlifting belt that was left behind?

In conclusion, we all want Cindy Landolt to be our girlfriend. But women who actually look like her are not so common. So accept that. Understand that we can’t always get what we want, just like The Rolling Stones once reminded us. But, as they also remind us, we get what we need:

A loving companion who joyfully goes to the gym with you but doesn’t want to lift super heavy. It may not fulfill all your dirty desires, but it’s much more realistic. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

The lesson to be learned is this: don’t pressure her to be a bodybuilder. Let her get her workout in, kiss her on the cheek, and tell her “I love you the way you are.” And if she’d rather stay at home and play Candy Crush Saga while you’re across town busting your tail at the squat rack, let her…even if you’d rather watch her bust her tail while jealous onlookers stare at you with envy in their hearts.

Let her be who she wants to be. Period.

That is how you live happily ever after.

A Salute to Deidre Pagnanelli

Without a doubt, Deidre Pagnanelli deserves a salute!

Without a doubt, Deidre Pagnanelli deserves a salute!

If there is one female bodybuilder in this world who has enough crossover appeal to please both fans of muscular women and fans of “conventional-looking” women, it would be the one and only Deidre Pagnanelli.

Miss Pagnanelli is a woman who should make you go “Wow!” She has The Wow Factor. She has “It.” She can make your heart stop mid-beat and you would be powerless to stop it or complain about it. In fact, you might be perfectly fine with the image of Miss Pagnanelli being the final thing you witness during your time on Earth.

As the premiere fitness model of the 1990s, Deidre Pagnanelli is someone you don’t forget. Once you learn who she is, you want to be able to experience more and more of her. Your standards of beauty are raised exponentially. What you previously judged as being “beautiful” diminishes once you regard upon Deidre’s physical being for the first time.

Deidre has, as you can clearly tell, been one of my favorite female bodybuilders for years now. Here’s some background information about her:

Deidre Pagnanelli was born on October 1, 1974 in Italy, but currently resides in the United States. She made her fame being a fitness model and competitive bodybuilder. At the ripe age of 41 (as of this writing), she still works as a personal trainer and mother of four children. You read that right. This gorgeous woman has given birth four times in her life.

Unbelievable.

Standing at 5’9”, her striking good looks and exotic features made her the go-to fitness model of the 90s. Back then she was featured in a small handful of workout videos, but her stardom never really took off. Early in her life, Deidre participated in many low-level fitness and beauty competitions. Her contest history is a bit difficult to pinpoint. One source says she placed 4th at the 2010 NPC Excalibur and 1st at the 2011 NPC Iron Man Magazine Naturally Bodybuilding, Figure and Bikini Championships. I know she’s done more than that, but the available information is scarce.

Deidre showing off her guns.

Deidre showing off her guns.

There are also not a whole lot of Internet videos featuring her. There’s a modest YouTube channel dedicated to her. I cannot verify whether she started it herself or if a fan moderates it, but it only features four videos posted in 2012-2013. That’s not much.

It’s possible her birthday is different than what I could research. Some sources say she’s in her mid-40s, while I can only muster that she’s in her early 40s. Either way, her remarkable figure at her age is both impressive and erotically appealing.

That’s all the confirmed (or semi-confirmed) biographical information I can find on Deidre Pagnanelli. It’s not a lot, but perhaps that’s intentional.

As a mother of four children, I perfectly understand why Deidre would want to keep a low public profile (assuming that is her intention). The Internet can be a horrible place for a beautiful woman. I’d guess she doesn’t want her children to grow up reading and hearing horrible things about their mother. In this post, I will try to be as respectful to her as possible. I hope others will do the same.

Or maybe information about her is scarce because she doesn’t feel any inclination to publicize herself. As far as I can tell, she doesn’t have an official website or too many official social media channels. Her IMDb page only has one credit from 1998. From the looks of it, it’s probably a project she wants to forget about. I don’t blame her one bit. I too would want to scrub from the Internet any evidence that I once was in a low-budget piece of garbage with Andrew Dice Clay.

Judging from past and current photos of her, Deidre was never really a bodybuilder. She is more accurately described as a fitness model or fit model. Her muscularity has never been super impressive, but her physique must be applauded nevertheless. Deidre’s appeal isn’t measured by her degree of muscle mass (unlike Ms. Olympia contestants), but rather by her impeccable balance of traditional beauty, unquestionable femininity, athletic muscle definition, and universal sexual attractiveness.

Of course Deidre appeals to all audiences.

Of course Deidre appeals to all audiences.

Deidre has big enough muscles to appeal to guys like me and more than enough curves and natural beauty to appeal to everyone else. Regardless of how you view muscular women, hopefully we can all agree that Deidre is a one-of-a-kind Goddess whose gorgeous good looks are both unforgettable and unparalleled.

I can say with pretty strong confidence that Deidre has one of the most beautiful faces I’ve ever seen. She’s gorgeous. No, she’s actually drop dead gorgeous. No, no, she’s much more than that! She’s…beyond words.

Her beauty is indescribable. Her body is flawless. Her entire aura is divine. If there’s ever a reason to use theologically-based language to describe a human being, Deidre Pagnanelli would be that reason. She’s a Goddess, an angel, a celestial being. She is not of this planet.

Can you tell I think she’s beautiful?

I often wonder why she isn’t more famous. I brought up the same observation in my post singing the praises of Minna Pajulahti. I’m saddened that both women aren’t international superstars. The difference is that Minna willingly puts herself out there to the public through her social media presence and proactive marketing efforts. I don’t think Deidre is doing the same thing. But perhaps that’s by choice, not necessarily circumstance.

It also helps that Minna is about 6 or 7 years younger and understands how to use modern technology to her advantage. I am not implying that Deidre isn’t social media savvy, nor am I saying that she isn’t putting enough effort to make herself more famous. She grew up in a different generation than Minna. Plus, she has a family. I don’t think Miss Pajulahti has a family quite yet. How public you want to make your personal life really depends if you have a husband and kids in the mix.

As I’ve mentioned before, there isn’t a whole lot of information out there about Deidre. I’ve also just lamented the fact she isn’t better known to the general public. There might be a connection here. Maybe Deidre doesn’t want to be better known. Maybe she tasted fame during the 1990s and was disgusted by what she experienced.

We’ve all read horror stories about the modeling industry. There’s a reason why drug abuse, eating disorders, risky medical procedures, and depression are experienced by some of the world’s most recognizable models. I have no doubt rampant sexual abuse goes on by the bigwigs in charge against their young and vulnerable employees. The pay isn’t great. The gigs are scarce, unpredictable, and often humiliating. By the time you reach the age of 28, your shelf life gets close to expiring. Who would want to go through all that?

I am not suggesting in any way that Deidre went through any of those horrible things when she was younger. I am not basing this off of extensive research, hearsay, or personally talking to people close to the situation. I’ve never met Deidre (although I’d love to!) nor have I ever communicated with her. This is all based on speculation. But I’m guessing she loves doing what she does now and wouldn’t want to have it any other way. Good for her.

Sexy heels. And sexy body. Sexy everything, to be exact.

Sexy heels. And sexy body. Sexy everything, to be exact.

Therefore, it wouldn’t surprise me that she’d rather be a personal trainer (and full-time mother) instead of doing whatever is necessary to become more famous. There isn’t a wealth of videos or photos of her on the Internet. Her modeling career seemed to end by the time the 20th century turned the corner into the 21st. But that’s perfectly okay. Not everyone needs to enjoy the spotlight. The road to gain further fame and fortune isn’t for everyone.

Instead, Deidre Pagnanelli will remain one of the most beautiful women on planet Earth that you’ve never heard of. Well, a good portion of female muscle fans will know who she is, but we’re certainly not in the majority. She could have been a major star, but that wasn’t in the cards for whatever reason. I am not critical of her life decisions, of course. I’m just a bit bummed out she never took off like she had to potential to.

It’s not every day you meet the second coming of Sophia Loren but have never heard of her before stumbling upon her by happenstance. While I don’t know her personally, she seems like a sweet and genuine person. She could have been a contender, as Terry Malloy would say. She has the gorgeous good looks to be just as famous as Ms. Loren, Monica Bellucci, and any other Italian beauty. But alas, she isn’t.

Perhaps the biggest tragedy here isn’t that she missed her opportunity at stardom, but rather we fans don’t have more of her to experience. I perfectly understand Deidre doesn’t “owe” us anything. If she wants to live a quiet life away from the public’s eye, that’s her decision and she’s definitely allowed to make that decision. But if she had chosen to pursue a career similar to Debi Laszewski or Denise Masino (I understand she never developed the level of muscle mass achieved by those two), we could have thousands of more photos and hundreds of more hours of video footage of her to appreciate.

But maybe, just maybe, that’s a good thing. Instead of viewing this as a missed opportunity, I should instead look at this as being a positive thing. Deidre never had to sell herself out to make it big in the modeling industry. She never had to resort to doing porn or anything else degrading to her reputation (I’m not ripping anyone who chooses to do porn. If you want to and you feel like it empowers your career, so be it. But all too often desperate young women will debase themselves in order to get their foot in the door of certain employment opportunities).

Applying the Scarcity Principle practically, the fact there’s limited media and information about her might work in her favor. It makes her mysterious. It makes her more legendary. It forces us to use our imaginations. It forces us to treat her not as a run-of-the-mill 1990s fitness girl, but instead a mythical creature who forces guys like me to beg for more and more. She can choose to provide us more of her, or she can deny us what we want. Either way, it’s her choice and her choice alone.

Not too many 40-something mothers with abs like that!

Not too many 40-something mothers with abs like that!

I’m actually sort of okay with Deidre Pagnanelli being shrouded in mystery. I love the fact that in 2016, Deidre is a 40-something mother of four who used to be one of the rising stars of the fitness industry during the Clinton years (we may have 4-8 more years of a Clinton administration ahead of us, but that’s a whole other story. My non-American readers should consider themselves lucky). I refuse to call her a certain term that’s given to attractive women who also happen to be mothers. It’s a vulgar label that’s totally beneath Deidre. Miss Pagnanelli is a classy lady who deserves better. I will treat her better.

Deidre could have been an internationally-renown crossover superstar who brought muscular women into the mainstream of society. She could have been on the covers of magazines for years, making millions of dollars from the fruits of her labor and natural God-given assets. I will say it one more time: Deidre Pagnanelli is one of the most beautiful women in the Universe. From head to toe, she’s absolutely immaculate. She’s the very definition of female beauty. She’s a masterwork.

I don’t know what she’s specifically up to right now, but I’d imagine she’s happy. She’s probably helping people become the best they can be (a personal trainer for busy moms, perhaps). It sounds clichéd, but there are actually people out there who inspire that kind of positive change in others. It takes someone with a special kind of flair, work ethic, compassionate attitude, and charismatic demeanor.

Yup, that’s Deidre alright.

Minna Pajulahti is the Flawless Female Bodybuilder We’ve All Been Waiting For

Flawless? I think so.

Flawless? I think so.

Alright, ladies and gentlemen. Stop whatever you’re doing. Right now. I don’t care if you’re sitting in a waiting room about to undergo open-heart surgery and the nurse just called your name to get prepped. I don’t care if you’re about to have tea with the Queen of England (happy 90th birthday!) or if you’re in the middle of writing your doctorate dissertation that’s due in an hour. Just stop whatever you’re doing and do what I’m about to tell you to do.

Find a device with Internet connection and do a Google search on Minna Pajulahti.

I’ll wait.

Ready to proceed? Great.

I’ve already shared photos of Miss Pajulahti on this blog, but I think now is the time to dedicate a whole blog post to her. She isn’t new to the scene, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t newsworthy at this particular moment. Have you seen what this gorgeous woman looks like? She’s newsworthy 27/7/365. Hopefully we can all agree on that!

There isn’t a whole lot of biographical information about her available, so I’ll summarize what I can.

Minna is a Finnish IFBB bodybuilder who was born on May 4, 1980. At the ripe age of 36 (although she looks 26!), Minna competes in the women’s physique division. She works as a flight attendant and fitness coach when she isn’t busting her butt at the gym.

She placed 14th at the 2010 IFBB Fort Lauderdale Pro, 7th at the 2011 IFBB Toronto Pro, 5th at the 2011 IFBB FIBO Power Pro Germany, 16th at the 2014 IFBB Europa Dallas, and 6th at the 2016 IFBB Karina Nascimento Pro. She also participated at the 2010 IFBB Arnold Amateur International Bodybuilding, Fitness, Figure & Bikini Championships. She might have competed in other contests, but the history on that is scant.

In addition to competing in bodybuilding, Minna is also a powerlifter. She says she also enjoys cheerleading and everything related to fitness. Standing at 5’4”, Minna may not be super tall, but her gorgeous good looks, beach blonde hair, and powerfully built physique makes her stand out above the rest. She currently lives in Nokia, Finland.

A strikingly gorgeous female bodybuilder.

A strikingly gorgeous female bodybuilder.

Every so often I’ll come across a female bodybuilder whose striking beauty and impressive muscular development gives her enough “crossover” appeal to please both female muscle fans and “female muscle skeptics” alike. We all know (or know of) people who are skeptical and irrationally disgusted by strong women. The stereotype they have ingrained in their brains of a female bodybuilder is someone with a man-like face, grossly unfeminine muscles protruding everywhere, excessive body hair, a voice deep enough to make a 17th century pirate blush, and overly aggressive behavior. Minna Pajulahti takes all those harmful images and smashes them with the hammer of Thor.

Minna is different. Despite her huge muscles, her curvy figure is undeniably feminine. Her face is as gorgeous as you’ll ever see. She seems approachable, pleasant, and “normal.” But more important, her incredible good looks makes you stop dead in your tracks. You see her once and you’re hooked. How can you not want to check in on her Instagram every single morning?

First impressions matter. I can guarantee you your first impression of seeing pictures of Miss Pajulahti is to be hypnotized by her flawless combination of beauty, muscularity, and etherealness. She’s so physically beautiful she seems almost not real. She’s like a female muscle fan crafted a flesh-and-blood female bodybuilder from scratch and created the Perfect Dream Woman. Minna is that damn gorgeous.

This is how we react. Will others follow and be captivated by her like we are? Maybe, maybe not.

Whether Minna is likely to become a “mainstream” celebrity isn’t the point. Bodybuilders as a whole, even today’s most popular male competitors, are only known to a limited number of people. Guys like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno had what it took to become household names, but this isn’t the 1970s anymore. The sport still exists, but it can’t compete with soccer, basketball, baseball, football, and MMA in terms of widespread popularity. Bodybuilding’s market share isn’t what it used to be.

Minna has fantastic muscle development...

Minna has fantastic muscle development…

In a previous blog post, I talked about the difficulties of maintaining the so-called “perfect balance” of being a female bodybuilder who can appeal to a wide audience. Miss Pajulahti is someone who comes very close. I personally think she hits the nail on the head, but not everyone will agree with me. That’s perfectly okay. They have every right to be wrong!

But seriously, Minna is striking for being two things at once: She looks like a Baywatch lifeguard while at the same time having the muscle mass of an NFL linebacker. For my non-American readers, I apologize if I can’t come up with a better analogy. Heavyweight boxer, perhaps?

If you follow Minna closely on Instagram – and I highly recommend you do if you don’t already – she does everything you’d expect a beautiful woman on IG to do. She posts selfies, photos of what she eats, her friends, her work life, her accomplishments, inspirational quotes, and shots of herself modeling. The fact she isn’t a world-famous supermodel by now astounds me. But I get it. Women with biceps that large can’t possibly draw interest from the general public.

Or can they?

If given a chance, I have no doubt Minna could shake up the advertising industry. If she were 10-12 years younger (though like I said earlier, she looks a lot younger than she is) and were born and raised in Southern California instead of Finland, perhaps things could be different. If she chose to pursue a sport like MMA or if she became famous for posting viral fitness videos on YouTube, Minna could be a bigger international star than she is right now. Today, Minna is only “famous” to people who pay close attention to the fitness/bodybuilding world. But it didn’t have to be that way.

This “missed opportunity” isn’t necessarily tragic, but it is a bit disappointing. Minna is unquestionably beautiful, feminine, and accomplished. She also has bigger muscles that most people aren’t accustomed to seeing on a woman’s body. I can’t fathom how anyone would be shocked or repulsed by her. She would force you to do a double-take, but that’s not the same thing as wanting to turn away from her because you find her appearance unbearably unpleasant.

...and a gorgeous face to boot!

…and a gorgeous face to boot!

How can you not help but stare at videos of her deadlifting, squatting, and bench pressing massive amounts of weight? It’s impressive for anyone to be able to powerlift all that, never mind someone who also looks like she could be arm candy for Hugh Hefner (try not to vomit when you think about that). I am not in the least bit surprised that she used to be a cheerleader. She definitely looks the part.

Is Minna a “flawless” female bodybuilder? Well, that depends on how we define flawless. I find no fault in her physique, attitude, professional goals, and accomplishments. Will a diverse array of people, both those who are already sympathetic to muscular women and those who are not, like her in the same way? That remains to be seen. Sadly, we may never have the chance to find out. This is the missed opportunity I am quietly lamenting.

I will not attempt to project where her career goes from here. Will she score a small role in a big studio Hollywood feature film and become a major celebrity hereafter? Probably not. The odds of that kind of good fortune are nearly nonexistent. However, that isn’t totally outside the realm of possibility given the pop culture trends we’re seeing play out today.

Superhero movies are more popular than ever. The sci-fi and fantasy genres are about to take off to new heights. The rebooted Star Trek franchise and reinvigorated Star Wars universe are prime avenues for non-traditional looking performers to hog the spotlight. New episodes of Game of Thrones is starting to become a national holiday. Lots of popular sci-fi/fantasy books and graphic novels are ready for an HBO or Netflix executive to greenlight. Nobody knows what the future will hold.

So it’s not outside the realm of possibility for a sexy, gorgeous muscular woman to score a role in a major TV or film project that will attract millions of eyeballs. I won’t hold my breath for such an occurrence to happen, but it’s not inconceivable. It may not be Miss Pajulahti who lands this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity per se, but it doesn’t have to be.

I cannot bring up Minna Pajulahti as being the flawless female bodybuilder we’ve all been waiting for without giving proper respect to Shannon Courtney, Dani Reardon (despite an unfortunate domestic violence arrest), Sheronica Sade Henton, Beata Antoninas, Lauranda Nall, and other young rising stars. I wouldn’t say Minna is my favorite current FBB, but she’s definitely one who’s effortlessly captured my heart.

We will definitely be experiencing some turbulence during our flight this evening.

We will definitely be experiencing some turbulence during our flight this evening.

This lineup of young female bodybuilders who aren’t afraid to build abnormal levels of muscularity is impressive and encouraging for the future of the sport. It is unreasonable to expect the sport to become as popular as tennis or golf, but it doesn’t have to be. The goal shouldn’t be to find ways to expand the brand of female bodybuilding just for the sake of expansion. The ultimate goal should be to maximize the amount of support these incredible athletes receive so that they can feel emboldened to pursue their dreams.

Who knows? Maybe sometime in the near future someone else will emerge as the much-awaited “savior” of female bodybuilding. Perhaps this hypothetical person will be blessed with supermodel-level beauty, a charismatic personality, top-notch performance talent, intelligence, wisdom, grace, humility, passion, drive, the desire to be great, and an unapologetically hyper muscular frame. She’ll love who she is and will refuse to apologize for her muscles. She’ll be an inspiration, a one-of-a-kind pioneer, and someone who we can truly say revolutionized the way society views strong women.

That day may never come. Or maybe it’s right around the corner. Either way, all we can do is wait and see. This Ultimate Female Bodybuilder may or may never arrive on the scene. This could just be a pipe dream. Regardless, until that day comes, we’ll just have to embrace Minna Pajulahti – and hundreds of women just like her around the globe – with a full heart and an open mind.

Envy: The Deadly Sin of Female Bodybuilding

It's understandable to see why some people might be envious of Tatiana Anderson.

It’s understandable to see why some people might be envious of Tatiana Anderson.

Not many of us may be familiar with or sympathetic to the teachings of the early Christian church, but most of us have heard of “The Seven Deadly Sins” at some point.

Whether you’ve seen David Fincher’s classic 1995 film “Se7en” or you just happen to be well-versed in the ethics of medieval Christendom, The Seven Deadly Sins are:

  1. Wrath
  2. Greed
  3. Sloth
  4. Pride
  5. Lust
  6. Envy
  7. Gluttony

These seven vices are associated with self-indulgence and contribute to the fall of humanity. While changing social mores throughout time might knock a few of these sins off their perch, we still to this day regard many of these behaviors with shame.

Female bodybuilding, to switch gears just a bit, is in a position of both strength and weakness right now. On one hand, the popularity of CrossFit, Fitbit, hybrid workouts, customized personal training and fitness apps is making it less taboo for women to lift weights and exercise hard. These trends may not necessarily lead more women down the path of bodybuilding, but the doors are definitely more open than they were in generations past.

On the other hand, the sport of female bodybuilding is being more and more marginalized as the years go on. Elite, hyper-muscular female athletes are being pushed out of the industry while more watered-down “fitness” and “bikini” competitors are taking their place. Pretty soon, it’s not inconceivable that the Ms. Olympia competition may not exist anymore. Competitions involving highly muscular female bodybuilders will definitely still persist, but they’ll most likely receive less mainstream support than they did before.

The gorgeous Debbie Leung flexing her bicep.

The gorgeous Debbie Leung flexing her bicep.

For fans of female bodybuilding, this is a tragedy that feels both inevitable and sadly predictable. We hope this day never arrives, but one can certainly see which direction the tide is turning.

That being said, how does one explain this downgrading of the sport many of us love so much? One of The Seven Deadly Sins may offer a plausible explanation.

Envy.

Let us explore this issue in greater detail.

  1. Envy, in both men and women, is contributing to the assault against female bodybuilding

Unfortunately, the attack against female bodybuilding is coming from two different directions: men and women. Let’s first start with men.

Traditionally-speaking, men are considered to be the “stronger sex” while women are, by default, dubbed the “weaker sex.” There is biological data to back this up, as well as centuries of culturally imposed gender roles – spanning across the entire globe – that contribute to this well-entrenched social paradigm. The concept of men being naturally stronger than women is something we didn’t have to learn in school. Most of us know this by our own accord.

Therefore, when we (and by “we,” I’m referring to us guys as a whole) encounter a woman who’s clearly stronger than us, we feel emasculated. We’re supposed to be the stronger ones, not the losers coming in second place. If you’re at the gym and you see a lady deadlifting two or four 45-pound plates more than you, it makes you feel puny, incomplete and a shame to your gender.

In other words, you feel envious. “Envy,” just to be clear, is defined as “a feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to another’s advantages, success, possessions, etc.”

I still don’t quite know the difference between “envy” and “jealousy,” (I think “jealousy” is being resentful toward another person as a result of your feelings of envy) but it’s pretty clear what’s going on here. The guys who disdain or are disgusted by female bodybuilders are more targeting their own insecurities instead of expressing their hatred toward someone else. When you see an Internet troll describe a female bodybuilder as “trying to become a man” or saying “she probably has a penis,” what they’re really doing is conveying their personal anxieties rather than stating an objective opinion.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Akila Pervis.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Akila Pervis.

Emasculation can be a powerful motivator. Or a powerful wrecking ball of other people’s accomplishments. It’s sad that more guys aren’t encouraged by women who achieve high levels of strength and muscularity. But not all of us see eye-to-eye. What some of us guys perceive to be sexy others interpret to be an attack on their manhood.

Conversely, envy among women is also at play here. Female bodybuilders may not be shattering any proverbial “glass ceilings” per se, but they do tear down certain excuses we use to justify female weakness. Like men who feel emasculated when in the presence of a muscular woman, there are most certainly women who feel “effeminated” – if such a word actually exists – by the same thing. The small number of women (but by no means insignificant) who achieves strength that surpasses the average man brings about a sense of inadequacy in the majority of women who cannot achieve similar results.

They too are repulsed by their more muscular sisters because they feel challenged not by “society” as a whole, but by their peers. It’s one thing to call yourself a “strong, independent woman” and hope the rest of the world goes along with you, but it’s another thing entirely to actually put in the effort to become a genuinely strong woman. Talk is cheap. What female bodybuilders and athletes do is definitely not.

  1. The best way to deal with envious feelings is to pretend like the object of your envy doesn’t exist

Nobody wants to feel emasculated, degraded or second rate. Nobody wants to wake up, look at themselves in the mirror, and see mediocrity reflected back at them. You feel mediocre because you can’t compare to your competition, however you define “competition.”

So what’s the best way to assure you don’t lose to your competitors? Simple. Don’t have any competitors.

Obviously, it’s impossible to snap your fingers and make everybody who is richer, smarter, stronger, better looking and more successful than you magically disappear. So the next best thing is to pretend like they don’t exist. Or, on a more practical level, deny their identity as a method of “erasing” who they actually are.

This is why the insult “she looks like a man” is so common among trolls. Women aren’t supposed to be stronger than men, so when a woman is proven to be stronger than a man, then she must not actually be a woman. She’s probably secretly a man disguised as a woman. Or a woman with biological characteristics more becoming of a man, which by association means she’s not a genuine woman. Which then means her accomplishments aren’t legitimate. And if her accomplishments aren’t legitimate, you feel better about yourself because that battle you thought you lost you then win by default.

Also flexing her beautiful bicep is Mindi O'Brien.

Also flexing her beautiful bicep is Mindi O’Brien.

Delegitimizing your opponents is a classical tactic to eliminating their victories. If you convince enough people – including yourself – that female bodybuilders are actually women with substantial male components (biological traits, hormone levels, etc.), it makes their accomplishments as elite athletes null and void. It comforts your mind knowing Alina Popa isn’t really a normal woman who, by her sheer willpower and hard work, built herself to be stronger and bulkier than most guys. She has to have an unfair advantage somewhere! Perhaps she has an unusual amount of natural testosterone hidden in her system that, scientifically speaking, makes her a “man.” Yeah, that must be it! There’s no way that she can be that buff while being 100% female. Case closed.

While it’s true many female bodybuilders take drugs that increase their capacity to build muscle mass, that doesn’t make them less of a woman. Scientific arguments aside, the point I’m trying to make is that delegitimizing the accomplishments of a female bodybuilder is the primary way critics try to pretend like the objects of their jealousy don’t exist. Deny them their identity, and you “win” because it gives you personal comfort knowing there’s nothing wrong with your own identity.

It’s a terrible thing to do, but unfortunately it’s all too common.

  1. Envy is more of a product of your own insecurity

As mentioned before, the contempt critics of female bodybuilders feel toward them is more a product of their own insecurities rather than anything else. They aren’t angry at them necessarily, but are actually angry at themselves for not doing enough to measure up.

I won’t stress this point any further, but I will add one more nugget. One of the biggest problems facing our society is the belief that someone’s accomplishment is automatically someone else’s loss. In other words, too many of us embrace the idea that life is a zero-sum game.

In case you need a refresher, a zero-sum game is “a mathematical representation of a situation in which each participant’s gain (or loss) of utility is exactly balanced by the losses (or gains) of the utility of the other participant(s). If the total gains of the participants are added up and the total losses are subtracted, they will sum to zero.”

You don’t need to be a mathematical genius in the vein of the late John Forbes Nash, Jr. to understand what this means. In sports, athletic competition is a zero-sum game. Either you win or you lose. There’s no middle ground. Yes, some sports have ties. Other sports have placements, so you can come in third or fourth place and still earn a comically oversized check. But most of the time, athletic competitions end with either an absolute winner or an absolute loser.

Stay positive. Look at the gorgeous Gina Aliotti.

Stay positive. Look at the gorgeous Gina Aliotti.

But life is not always like that. One smart kid earning an A+ on their spelling test doesn’t in any way, shape or form prevent other kids from earning a similar grade. Theoretically, every single kid in your class can earn a perfect score (logically, every kid could also earn an F). Yet when you’re the only one who earns the highest mark, why do the rest of the kids treat you with scorn? Why are you labeled a “smarty pants” or other such similar names? For whatever reason, too many of us have been taught that someone else’s gain will automatically result in everyone else’s loss. They can’t prove it, but they inherently believe that you earning the A+ means they’re left with the B- or C+ grades by default.

But life is not a zero-sum game. Seeing a strong, beautiful woman at the gym doesn’t mean you can’t accomplish the same thing. Nor does it mean she got there through some unfair advantage. Beauty doesn’t have to be a competition. Even if you aren’t gifted with a lot of natural beauty, I’ve written before that female bodybuilders earn their beauty in ways that their peers who hit the genetic jackpot don’t.

Some of the most beautiful female bodybuilders in the world have faces that aren’t traditionally pretty. Some are plain looking. Others might have faces that revolt you. But their bodies are breathtaking and deserve high praise. Regardless, one woman being beautiful doesn’t mean the woman standing next to her can’t also be beautiful. Life isn’t like that.

Perhaps this psychologically explains where envy is rooted in. We, for whatever reason, are socialized to believe that people who are successful make it harder for the rest of us to be just as successful. But this is a fallacy. Life isn’t about fighting over who gets the biggest slice of the pie. It’s about each one of us baking our own delicious pie, without any regard to what other people are doing. This may not be true in every facet of life, but we’d be better off if we all lived life in the positive rather than the negative.

  1. Envy keeps everyone down, even those who’ve reached the top

The last point is probably the most important. Envious feelings hurt everyone. Everyone. Including those who are the object of envy.

Call it “victor’s guilt.” Some people feel guilty for “winning” at life. A parent who has a healthy family might feel bad for their neighbor who can’t conceive a child no matter how hard they try. That same kid who earned the A+ on their spelling test might secretly tank their next test so that they could be more like everyone else. That rising star in the world of female bodybuilding may reduce her muscle gains so that she could encourage her less successful peers to feel better about themselves.

These reactions are understandable. They also reflect a larger issue when achieving the most you can becomes discouraged, or worse, taboo.

It goes without saying that there are many examples in life when someone’s gain truly comes at another person’s loss. But more often than not, this is not the case. Female bodybuilders are already stuck between a rock and a hard place (and I’m not just referring to their rock hard abs and firm glutes). They live a financially and emotionally draining lifestyle that’s receiving less and less support from their own industry, their own peers, the opposite gender and their own gender group. Perhaps this is a slight exaggeration, but perhaps it’s not. Either way, it’s hard out there for a female bodybuilder. The battles, both large and small, they have to face every single day is enough to boggle the mind.

If I went to the gym and saw Autumn Raby and Nadia Nardi posing like this, I'd probably have a heart attack. Oh boy...

If I went to the gym and saw Autumn Raby and Nadia Nardi posing like this, I’d probably have a heart attack. Oh boy…

How they manage to maintain their lifestyles and persist in pursuing their dreams is a testament to their inner strength, which is probably mightier than their physical strength. Not all of us are that mentally tough. Female bodybuilders are without a doubt that tough minded.

In conclusion, female bodybuilders create cognitive dissonance in our minds. Or more accurately, emotional dissonance. They spark feelings of envy within us that make us hate them even though we have no justifiable reason to actually hate them. Hate is often attributed to a lack of understanding. It’s also been described as irrational. Whichever it is, envy is at the root of all this. It is until we wrap our minds and hearts around this that we will be able to treat FBBs the way they should be treated: with great respect, not malice.

The best piece of advice I can give is to celebrate people’s accomplishments instead of dwelling on your own shortcomings, either perceived or real. This fortune cookie mantra could be applied to almost all aspects of our lives. Life is too short to hate on other people. Life is also too short to waste your time wishing you could be “better.” Who can really define “better?” This is not to justify mediocrity, but instead to point out the fact that it’s harmful to kick yourself over not being “perfect” or “better than XYZ.”

This is partly why I started my blog. I want to celebrate these beautiful women and their beautiful bodies. Not because I want to shame anyone or tear down anything, but because I want to focus on the positives in life instead of the deficits. We may not all universally agree that “envy” is a Deadly Sin, but we should agree that it tends to lead us in poor directions.

Cut out the frivolous negativity in your life, and good things will follow. And that’s a game we can all play and win.

Female Bodybuilders are the Original Hipsters

The beautiful Alina Popa, one of my personal favorites. On a side note, you'd be surprised how difficult it is to find photos of FBBs wearing glasses!

The beautiful Alina Popa, one of my personal favorites. On a side note, you’d be surprised how difficult it is to find photos of FBBs wearing glasses!

Question: How do you drown a hipster?

Answer: In the mainstream.

Another question: Why did the hipster burn his tongue while eating pizza?

Answer: Because he began eating it before it became cool.

Last question: Why did the hipster stop swimming in the ocean?

Answer: Because it was too current.

No doubt you’ve heard these jokes before. If you haven’t, you obviously don’t spent enough time on the Internet. But for those of you who love to waste your valuable free time, I’d venture a guess that you should be familiar with the social phenomenon of labeling people who are (supposedly) anti-establishment, anti-pop culture and anti-cool as being “hipsters.”

According to Wikipedia, a “hipster” is defined as “a postmodern subculture of young, urban middle-class adults and older teenagers that first appeared in the 1990s and became particularly prominent in the 2010s, being derived from earlier movements in the 1940s. The subculture is associated with indie music and alternative music, a varied non-mainstream fashion sensibility (including vintage and thrift store clothes), progressive or independent political views, and alternative lifestyles.”

Alternate lifestyles. Independent ways of thinking. Doing things most other people don’t. Being involved in a subculture that is as far away from the “mainstream” as you can get.

In other words, marching to the beat of your own drum. Going against the grain. You get it.

After much thought and deep contemplation, I’ve come to a radical conclusion – one that sounds strange on the surface but actually makes a ton of sense once you get down to analyzing it from every possible angle. Are you ready for this?

Female bodybuilders are the original hipsters.

No, seriously. They are. Think about it for a moment.

Female bodybuilders exist outside the, ahem, “mainstream.” When we think about the typical form of a human female, certainly one with the physique of an NFL linebacker shouldn’t initially come to mind. A woman with shoulders the size of bowling balls isn’t exactly typical of what you see every day. Seeing a lady strut around with arms strong enough to bend steel is a rare sight.

Monica Mollica working her triceps.

Monica Mollica working her triceps.

How often do you run into a female homo sapien with bulky legs, a broad back, six-pack abs, a wide chest, burly arms and veins popping out of her skin? If this happens often to you, please let me know where you live!

But outside of what you see on her exterior, consider what a female bodybuilder has to do in her personal life. She has to dedicate her life (not a portion of her life, but her entire life) toward her sport (or art) in ways that go well beyond what any casual hobby would ask you to do. Bodybuilding isn’t a leisurely activity like knitting or scrapbooking. It’s a lifestyle in every sense of the word.

She has to radically change the way she eats, works, exercises, sleeps, drinks and schedules her life. She has to make a commitment to live her life in a way that’s contrary to how most of us conduct ours. She even does this for reasons that most of us wouldn’t understand.

Why torture yourself? Why endure so many long hours at the gym? Why give up eating sweets, fatty foods and other delicious goods? For what end?

And why the hell would you want to LOOK like that?

These are questions that “mainstream” folks ask all the time. These are thoughts that people who aren’t “into that sort of thing” contemplate whenever they encounter a woman with biceps like Alina Popa or legs like Julie Bourassa. Expectedly, you have to be more knowledgeable about the world of bodybuilding and athletics in order to genuinely appreciate what she has to go through to look the way she does.

The beautiful Autumn Raby. You'd be surprised how difficult it was to find photos of FBBs wearing glasses!

Autumn Raby on a bed. Need I say more?

Additionally, bodybuilding is truly a subculture. They have their own slang. Their own events. Their own hierarchies. Their own social rules (both spoken and unspoken). They have their own clubs. Their own circles of friendships. Outsiders. Insiders. Those who are actual bodybuilders. Those who are pretenders. Those who are wannabes. Those who wish to be a bodybuilder but don’t want to lift that heavy-ass weight (Ronnie Coleman reference, anybody?). These are common traits of any subculture.

I will admit I am not informed enough about the world of competitive bodybuilding to write extensively about it. I am not an insider. I’ve only met a small handful of truly professional (and hardworking amateur) bodybuilders, both male and female. But I know enough to know what I don’t know. I know that unless you’re actually a legitimate bodybuilder, you’ll have no idea what it’s like to be one.

This is what a subculture looks like. I am merely an outsider looking in. Many of you are, too.

But what’s even more thought-provoking is when we discuss specifically the world of female bodybuilding, which is a subculture within a subculture. I could go on for days writing about female muscle fetishism, women who wrestle men, men who love to be dominated by muscular women, women who travel the world to book “sessions” with male (and female) fans, muscle worship, BDSM, D/s roleplaying, sthenolagnia, the psychology of admiring female muscle and plenty of other topics related to this sub-subculture.

What this really means, in a nutshell, is that female bodybuilders are so radically different, they belong in a category of their own.

Carla Maria is one very fine female.

Carla Maria is one very fine female.

This should be justification for why female bodybuilders are the original hipsters. Alternate lifestyles? Check. Existing outside the mainstream? Check. Being part of a sub-subculture that’s so hidden most people in the general population probably couldn’t even tell you the name of a single FBB? Triple check!

But let’s look at this from a slightly different viewpoint. Consider how a female bodybuilder is treated by others. Consider how people around her behave when she’s in their presence. Consider what it’s like to exist in a society where you can genuinely be considered “unique.”

People stare at you. Some are disgusted by you. Some are uncontrollably mesmerized by you. Men are jealous of you. Women are flabbergasted by you and can’t stop wondering why you would willingly choose to be that “big.” Children are confused by you. There are those who think you’re weird. Others are turned on by you after one mere look and can’t stop obsessing over you. And all of the above cannot look away no matter how hard they try.

Am I generalizing a bit? Of course. But let me generalize to my heart’s delight.

Considering the world an FBB lives in, it’s not hard to see why more women don’t pursue this lifestyle. Personally, as an admirer of female muscle, I would love nothing more than for more women to look like Deidre Pagnanelli, Lauren Powers, Denise Masino, BrandiMae, Monica Mollica and Yvette Bova. But sadly, these fantastic and gorgeous lasses are the exception and not the rule.

If women with big biceps were the norm, I think a lot of problems with misogyny in our world would disappear (not completely, but significantly). If society at large openly encouraged women to lift at the gym instead of killing themselves doing endless cardio, we would be a lot healthier overall. Eating disorders would slowly regress. Sexism would dissipate. The dynamics of gender-based violence would change (I’m not an expert to say in what regards).

Random fitness girl on Instagram. Does anyone know her name?

Random fitness girl on Instagram. Does anyone know her name?

Therefore, as we all know, this is indeed a rarity. Which explains why female bodybuilders are as counterculture as you can get. A physically strong woman goes against every gender stereotype our culture has engrained inside it. A woman who’s stronger than a man only serves, as many of us unfortunately believe, to emasculate him. A woman with big muscles is a traitor to her gender. She will inevitably scare away men who are intimidated by her statuesque physique.

We’ve all heard this before in some form or fashion, haven’t we?

But I don’t feel that way. And most of you probably don’t either. But enough do to discourage most women from ever picking up a dumbbell at the gym. What a shame that is.

The reason why I’m asserting that female bodybuilders are the original hipsters is because, I’d argue, an FBB is truly countercultural. Unlike those who claim to be “countercultural,” a muscular woman proves it every day of her life.

There’s the conventional wisdom that someone who’s countercultural can’t actually admit to being countercultural. To self-label makes you vulnerable to being attacked.

You’re not really anti-establishment. You just want others to think you are so you can fit into certain social circles. Postmodernism, if my understanding is correct, is a worldview that aims to defy traditional labels and establish a more subjective manner of describing things. So anyone who claims to be a hipster really isn’t one.

This is why an FBB is really the only group of people who can legitimately claim to be outside the mainstream. Whether they openly admit to it or not, they are regardless. For all the reasons I just outlined, being a muscular woman is as far from “normal” as you can get. It’s an authentic alternative lifestyle that is immune to “wannabes” and “posers.”

Being an FBB isn’t something you can casually “be.” Either you are or you aren’t.

Think of it this way. How many of us went through a “hippie” phase during college? Even if you never attended college, maybe you had a similar experience at a different point in your life. The point being, remember that time in your life when you had a so-called intellectual and pseudo-philosophical “awakening” where you became the biggest anti-Establishmentarian in the known universe?

If so, how many of you eventually scrapped most of that crap once you entered the “real world” and saw things to be somewhere in between? I’m guessing a lot of you…myself included.

Another cute Instagram fitness girl. Yowza!

Another cute Instagram fitness girl. Yowza!

Most of us love the idea of being a hipster (or hippie, if you’re from a different era) more than actually being a hipster. We fell in love with the snarky glamour of being “different” instead of embracing the unique facets inherent in whatever makes you truly different. Do you listen to indie rock because you actually like the music…or because people around you are listening to it and you want to fit in?

College Hippie: Hey, Bob! Do you consider yourself an anti-Bourgeois, Proletarian-supporting Marxist liberal free-thinking “citizen of the Earth” socialist flower child?

Bob: Uh, sure. Why not?

This isn’t so with female bodybuilders. You can’t pretend to be one. You can’t put up a façade of being one, unlike people who like to think of themselves as a “don’t-tread-on-me” beatnik. You can’t fake being muscular. Your muscles are either big…or not big. Period.

But the problem with being anti-mainstream is that you never make any attempts to become, you know, mainstream. I really wish female bodybuilding and athletics would become more mainstream. That would be spectacular! Imagine turning on your TV, opening a magazine or glancing at a fashion ad in the mall and seeing ladies like Autumn Raby instead of Giselle Bundchen. I have nothing against Mrs. Tom Brady, but come on! Let’s give women like Ms. Raby some love!

All of us female muscle fans would cheer that on. Trust me.

So I guess this is one aspect to this discussion that I hope isn’t true. I don’t want female bodybuilders, athletes and fitness professionals to hide underground. I also don’t want society to reject them for being who they are. I want mainstream acceptance of female muscle, admiring female muscle and the idea of women lifting at the gym. This is what I want.

If it suddenly became “cool” for a woman to have toned muscles on her body instead of just skin and bones, then count me in!

I’d be as cool as a cucumber.

The Adventures of Ryan Takahashi: Chapter Nineteen – Fired

Sure enough, I was very sore the next day. Come Monday morning, I could barely get out of bed without being reminded of my aching pelvis.

Oh well. That’s a small price to pay for experiencing the greatest night of my life.

The greatest night of my life. Yes…I can actually say that. It truly was the greatest single night of my life. The morning afterward wasn’t bad either.

But alas, I have to go to work because that’s what responsible adults do. So here I am, it’s 10:26 a.m. and I’m stuck in the laundry room cleaning sweat towels nobody bothered to do anything about yesterday. This is not an unusual occurrence.

Ho hum. What to do? I have to wait a whole week till I can see Cindi again. Damn. That’s going to be hard. All I can think about is Cindi North and the carnal activities we shared on Saturday night. I bet if I told every single person here at Wellford Fitness Center I had sex with a female bodybuilder this past weekend, none of them would believe me.

Who cares? I know it’s true and that’s all that matters.

Michelle, the cute receptionist/personal trainer whom every guy here wants to bang, enters the laundry room carrying a whole new batch of dirty towels. Good God, how many are there? I can’t remember the last time I had to clean so many at once. Is there a sweat epidemic going on around here?

“Here you go. Sorry, Ryan.” Michelle sets the basket down on a table next to me.

“No problem. It’s my job. Are there more people than usual here today?”

“Yes, I think so. I had four clients show up already. That almost never happens.”

“Hm.” My monotonous response is borne out of the dread of having to smell more people’s drippings. Will this madness ever stop?

Michelle prepares to leave but stops before she gets through the door.

“Can I ask you a question?”

I turn around, surprised by this. Michelle almost NEVER wants to make casual conversation with me. Especially when we’re busy at work. Doesn’t she have another client to attend to? And why would she want to hang out around here? I’d think the stench alone would encourage her to run out of here as fast as she can.

“Sure, Michelle. What’s your question?”

“Are you dating that girl that I saw you with the other day?”

I’m taken aback by this comment. Who is she referring to? Cindi North? Did Michelle see me with Cindi North this past weekend? That’s impossible, unless Michelle happened to be in Everett at the same time I was. I suppose that’s possible, but it’s not likely…

“What girl are you talking about? Does she work out here?”

“Yes, she does. I saw you talking with this really pretty black girl at that coffee place down the road. Are you hooking up with her or something?”

“Oh! You mean Monifa. You’re right; I was having lunch with her last week. No, we’re not dating. We just met each other. Gee, you’re quite the stalker!”

Michelle takes a few steps toward me, assuring me she wasn’t being a creeper. Ah…this makes sense! Of course she wouldn’t have seen me with Cindi North. She easily could have seen me with Monifa. And, Monifa does in fact work out here regularly.

“Ha! I’m not stalking you. I just thought it was kind of cool. Do you know she’s one of my clients now? I’m helping her get ready for a bodybuilding competition.”

My head starts to spin as I hear this. Monifa is training to become a bodybuilder? Really? Does she have time to do that? I guess bodybuilding is sort of an art and she does consider herself to be an “artist.” She can live her life the way she wants to, I suppose.

“You are? That’s kind of cool. I had no idea she wants to become a bodybuilder.”

“She says it’s something she wants to try. Why not? Live a little, right?”

“Right. Live a little.”

I stare down at the floor. I sense Michelle is doing the same thing. This is probably the longest conversation we’ve ever had together. She doesn’t usually have this much to say to me. I guess it is rather juicy to see a client have lunch with a coworker outside of work.

“Ryan? Can I ask you another question?”

My eyes leave the floor. I look up at her. Michelle looks gorgeous today, her beach blonde hair waving carelessly below her shoulders. Her fit, toned body is openly on display in her tight black Wellford Fitness Center shirt and petite white shorts. Her breasts look scrumptious, as if they’re beckoning me to give them a firm squeeze. I know for a fact I’d be fired for sexual harassment if I ever considered doing that!

“Yeah, sure. What’s your other question?”

“Do you find me attractive?”

Silence.

“Um…uh…I, er, I…”

“Answer me truthfully. Don’t worry. I won’t get offended by whatever you say.”

“Uh…yes! I do find you attractive. You’re one of the prettiest people I know. Does that answer your question?”

“Yes it does. Thanks.”

“Hm…why do you ask? That’s not exactly a typical normal question you ask a coworker, wouldn’t you agree?”

“Yes, I do. I ask that because…this is going to sound weird, but…when I saw you and Monifa having lunch together that day…I, uh, felt a little…jealous.” Michelle is now the one staring down at the floor. Her feet shift side to side uncomfortably.

I think about this for a moment. Jealous? Why on earth would Michelle, a Perfect Blonde, a Perfect 10, be jealous seeing me having lunch with another woman? It’s not like Michelle and I ever dated before. We’re just coworkers! To top it off, this is without a doubt the longest conversation I’ve ever had with her in all the years we’ve worked together.

WTF???

“Jealous? Um, why are you jealous seeing me with her?”

“I don’t know! I just felt a bit, you know, betrayed seeing you with her. I know…this shit makes no sense. I’m fucked up in the head or something, you know?”

“No, no, no…you’re not fucked up or anything. Maybe you feel, I don’t know…like you’re in competition with her. Is that it?”

“Yeah…that’s probably it. She’s gorgeous and she has a fucking amazing body. I look terrible compared to her.”

“Hey, don’t say that! You look great. Why would you think you look terrible? That’s ridiculous.”

“I’m old. I feel so old!” Tears start to form in her eyes. Oh great! Michelle’s having a midlife crisis at the tender age of 36. Cindi’s 48 and you never see her complain about her age. What’s the world coming to–

“Fuck me.”

My mind turns blank. I look at Michelle but nothing registers in my mind. Did I just hear that correctly?

“Excuse me?”

“You heard me. Fuck me. Right here, right now. Fuck me!”

“Um…I don’t know about this. Isn’t this a bit…sudden?”

“I don’t give a shit. I want you to fuck me, Ryan!”

Michelle turns around, pulls down her shorts and her panties and bends over, exposing her gorgeous round butt to me. Her vulva is glistening, wet and ready. Unlike Cindi, Michelle’s pink vaginal lips look soft and feminine, whereas the Muscle Goddess looks like a burlap sack down there (I know, that’s a crude analogy, but give me a break!). My penis hardens and stands at attention, awakening to this unexpected opportunity.

“I’m not so sure about this…what if Thomas sees us?”

“Who gives a shit about him? I want you to fuck me! Fuck me now!”

“Oh, uh, do you have a condom?”

“Screw that shit! I’m clean. Are you?”

“Yeah…I’m clean.”

“Then we don’t need one. What the fuck are you waiting for? I’ve asked you a million times to fuck me! What are you, scared?”

Scared? Hell no! I’m not scared! What gives her the right to call me scared?

“Fuck you! I’m not scared of anything!”

Anger running through my system, I unzip my pants, pull down my underwear, grip Michelle’s hips and shove my penis inside her, hard and reckless. This time, I’m going to take charge and fuck her like she’s never been fucked before!

Like two wild animals, Michelle remains bent over as I thrust into her from behind. My fingers dig into her flesh as I pound and pound, releasing any pent-up aggression and any doubt that I’m afraid to have sex with a woman in a public place. Wow! This is really something. A beautiful blonde just pulled down her pants and demands I shtup her on the spot.

What is this, the plot to a cheap porno?

As my penis continues to thrust in and out of her, Michelle’s heavy breathing gives way to a loud moan and fills the entire room. Not even the rumble of the washing machine cleaning the towels can completely muffle the sound of us fornicating in the laundry room.

A million thoughts run through my mind at once. Here I am having sex with a prototypical blonde bombshell who never spoke more than two sentences to me at a time. She’s also someone with a checkered past, given the less-than-stellar reputations of some of her previous boyfriends. I also realize she might be going through an early midlife crisis and this is her way of reclaiming her lost youth. Is she jealous that I preferred to socialize with a younger woman like Monifa instead of her? But she never gave any indication that she wants anything to do with me!

And she’s only 36! She’s not old. She looks great for her age. She looks like she can pass for 23 or 24…

These thoughts linger as my orgasm builds ferociously. I feel my climax approaching. My quick thrusts become slower and more measured as I try to penetrate her as deep as I can. I keep imagining Big Danny (her ex-husband) and his extremely huge penis thrusting into her tight little body. How am I doing? Can I compare to him? Is my little Asian penis any match for Danny’s gargantuan, monstrous endowment? Is she feeling anything?

Her loud moans stop and she lets out an uncontrolled scream, loud enough that I’m sure everyone outside this room can hear. But I don’t care about that as I sense my climax coming closer and closer…

“Hey! What the hell!!!”

Michelle stops moving and stands upright. Out of the corner of my eye I see Thomas Wellford, our boss and owner of this gym, standing in the doorway with a look of surprise and outrage on his face. The moment Michelle sees we’ve been caught she jerks forward, my penis suddenly leaving her vagina. This sudden jerk is the final act of stimulation I need to come…

“Aggghhhhh!” I groan, looking up with my eyes closed as I ejaculate all over the floor.

“Holy shit!” Michelle screams to herself, realizing our impromptu coitus session will get both of us in big trouble.

Thomas closes the door behind him and takes a few cautious steps toward us. My mind returning back to reality, I look down and see my semen sprawled across the floor. Did my boss just see me come? Oh FUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

FUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

“This…is…unbelievable, you two. This is serious. What the hell are you doing?!!!!” Thomas yells at us. This is going to get ugly. Really ugly. Oh shit…

Michelle’s face is beet red. We’ve been caught literally with our pants down. This is definitely THE MOST AWKWARD MOMENT OF MY LIFE!

“I don’t believe this shit. Half the gym can hear you guys fucking. Are you both out of your minds? What the fuck is going on here? Don’t you know what professionalism means? Really? You two are fucking…in here? During work hours? What the HELLLLLL!!!!!!”

Thomas is REALLY pissed. Holy mother of God. This is bad.

At this moment, Thomas is steaming (I swear I can see smoke coming out of his ears), Michelle is crying and I’m befuddled beyond words.

And this entire time, my semen is awkwardly lying on the floor.

Fuck my life…

***

I’ll spare you the ugly details, but long story short…we both got fired.

Michelle was supposed to see a client but she never reported to the front desk, so Thomas personally searched all over the building for her. And when he found us, we were “in flagrante delicto,” going at it like two bunny rabbits during mating season.

We said nothing to each other as Michelle and I gloomily walked out of the fitness center with our heads hanging low. No words, no looks, nothing to acknowledge that we even know each other. There we were, no more than twenty minutes earlier screwing each other like wild dogs, pretending like we’re total strangers.

This is a sad day for both of us.

Fired. Just like that. Out of a job. Nothing can possibly make this painful awkwardness go away.
This is going to be the longest walk home EVER.

Ten minutes later, emotions still flooding through me, I had a thought. As we speak, some poor chap at the Wellford Fitness Center, probably either Robbie or Maria (two employees who regularly work there when I do), is on their knees scrubbing my semen off the floor.

My semen. My seed.

Awkwardly staining the carpet.

This thought puts a smile across my face.