Nude: A Muscular Woman’s Natural State (NSFW)

Emery Miller in her natural state.

Emery Miller in her natural state.

One year ago, I published a post titled “A Muscular Woman is Always Nude in Public, Even When Fully Clothed.” The basic gist of my article is that a woman with muscles cannot easily hide her muscles from the public. Even if she wears baggy clothing and acts as inconspicuous as possible, she can never fully conceal the fact that she is indeed a woman with big muscles.

So no matter what she does, where she goes, or who she associates with, her identity as a “female bodybuilder” is forever branded on her body – that is, until she decides to stop training and lets her muscles atrophy. She can run, but she can’t hide.

However, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. One does not pursue bodybuilding unless he or she is okay with, ahem, looking like a bodybuilder. That’s the whole point, isn’t it?

Yes, it is the whole point. No arguments there. I’d like to follow up this post with more thoughts on the concept of female muscle and nudity. Here it goes. Not only is a female bodybuilder always nude even when she’s fully clothed, when she is nude she’s actually in her “natural state.”

By “natural state,” I mean the way in which nature intended for something to be presented. As human beings living in human civilization, it is not encouraged to be naked in public. Nor is it natural for people to live clustered sedentary lives where they spend all their free time glued to a computer screen. In-person human interaction involving people actually looking at and talking to another human being has (nearly) gone by the wayside, thanks to the introduction of social media, texting, and other digital distractions. Life in the 21st Century may resemble a quasi-dystopian (and heavily exaggerated pre-apocalyptic) reality, but that doesn’t mean we can’t occasionally turn back the clock and return back to how we were supposed to behave.

Kathy Johansson showing off her best side.

Kathy Johansson showing off her best side.

As a particular sub-species of humanity, female bodybuilders belong in a unique category. Female bodybuilders are, in many respects, a prototypical 21st Century human being: Strong, independent, rebellious, entrepreneurial, and “feminine” by her own definition. Never mind the fact that female bodybuilders are not celebrated by our culture in quite the same way that pop stars and loudmouth politicians are; FBBs are women who are known to exist but aren’t given the adequate public space that they deserve to exist in.

So in a realistic sense, FBBs will forever be relegated to the backburner of greater society’s consciousness. Or more specifically, they’ll inhabit the backburner of the stove located in the shanty sitting 20 miles away from our culture’s proverbial kitchen. It’s a hard knock life, but a life that our beloved FBBs are willing and able to wade through.

But within the female muscle fan community – and to be sure, God knows how many of us are out there – the accomplishments of FBBs do not go unnoticed. In fact, we spend an inordinate amount of time experiencing these ladies as many ways as we can: Meeting them for muscle worship/wrestling sessions, watching their videos, looking at their photos, reading articles about them, following them on Instagram, etc. And if there is one theme that consistently comes up, it’s that we love seeing our gorgeous strong ladies wearing as little clothing as possible.

Granted, the desire to see a beautiful person without clothing isn’t particularly unusual. Adam didn’t notice Eve while she was wearing a nuclear hazmat suit. He noticed her when she was wearing…uh, nothing at all. I’m pretty sure if any of us were to see a beautiful person walking down the street wearing his or her birthday suit, we’d all stop what we’re doing and stare. If you wouldn’t so such a thing, well, I don’t know what to say to you.

However, in a strangely poetic way, female bodybuilders aren’t just beautiful women whom we would like to see naked. They’re beautiful women who should be naked all the time. A muscular woman should never be covered up. Her body should always be displayed in all its natural glory. A clothed muscular woman is a travesty. It’s an abomination. It’s unnatural, just like eating tropical fruit in the winter or listening to Christmas music in July.

The gorgeous Lindsay Mulinazzi.

The gorgeous Lindsay Mulinazzi.

As bodybuilders, FBBs dedicate their whole lives to developing their physical bodies to fit a certain desired aesthetic. It’s not a hobby. Nor is it just a career choice. It’s a lifestyle. What they eat, how they train, when they sleep, where they find themselves at any given moment, what they spend their money on; it’s all part of the life of being a pro (or exceedingly dedicated amateur) bodybuilder. In short, you don’t become a bodybuilder. Bodybuilding becomes you!

And the human body, when deliberately sculpted to look a certain way, deserves to be seen in its proper context. There’s a reason why bodybuilding contests feature contestants wearing almost nothing. Obviously, the competitors won’t wear anything that isn’t acceptable at any public beach, because “going commando” is still pretty taboo. It’s like going to the movies: Seeing hundreds of people get shot and blown up is okay, but seeing a bare female breast is totally wrong.

It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but plenty of things in life don’t make a lick of sense when you think about it.

So forget about this in a practical sense. I’m not suggesting female bodybuilders – and male bodybuilders, I suppose – should go around completely naked all the time. This is more of a philosophical discussion with regards to who female bodybuilders are and what they represent, not a call to action to defy indecent exposure laws!

Simply put, female bodybuilders should be appreciated in the nude whenever possible. Yes, it can be incredibly sexy to see a gorgeous FBB wearing frilly lingerie or a g-string bikini or a French maid’s outfit. But that’s all fun and games. I’m talking about how a female bodybuilder deserves to be seen.

What can you conclude by seeing Michelle Tuggle fully nude?

What can you conclude by seeing Michelle Tuggle fully nude?

You cannot fully appreciate her hard work unless you see every single square inch of her body. Her calves. Her quads. Her hips. Her butt. Her abs. Her arms. Her chest. Her neck. Her back. Her face. Her breasts. And yes, her genitals.

Her genitals may seem inconsequential, but they are not. Seeing a woman with big muscles and female genitalia proves the point once and for all that she’s a real woman. Whether her clitoris is small or abnormally large doesn’t really matter. What matters is the stark reminder that this hypermuscular human body is also a female body. Whether her breasts are small or large also doesn’t matter. They need to be seen. If her breasts are normal-sized, they serve as further reinforcement of her femininity. If they are flat, they could then be used to argue either that one doesn’t need breasts in order to be a woman or that “womanhood” needs to be redefined. Or more specifically, our concept of “womanhood” needs to be tossed out the window altogether.

The size of her muscles, the appearance of her genitalia and breasts, and the confidence in which she carries herself (or perhaps, lack of confidence if she’s self-conscious about anything) all tell us the complete story about her. If she’s embarrassed by her small breasts and large clit, this offers a clue to how she views her own femininity. If she’s damn proud of her big muscles, flat chest, and oversized genitals, we can surmise that she doesn’t give a damn what society says or that she wants society to dramatically change the way we view women.

As I’ve written before in a previous blog article, a large clitoris is beneficial for the perception of women and their sexualities. It proves that women are indeed sexually sovereign beings who deserve to experience pleasure whenever they desire to. The vagina is often (unfairly) mischaracterized as a passive bodily organ that only serves to receive a man’s penis during intercourse and to deliver a child during birth. Add to it a clitoris that is often too small to see (without zooming in very closely!) and you get a set of genitals that can be viewed as being submissive, dependent, and unremarkable.

A very sultry Desiree Ellis.

A very sultry Desiree Ellis.

However, that’s not even close to being true. But as far as perception goes, a big clitoris that resembles a very small penis can go a long way in proving the point that women do in fact possess an organ that exists solely to give her pleasure. We might know that in the back of our minds, but a larger-than-life clitoris that shocks you when you see it accentuates that point a hundred-fold.

Thus, yes, her genitals do matter. Every single inch of her body matters. You cannot truly understand who a female bodybuilder is unless you see her completely nude. But do not mistaken nudity with vulnerability. There’s a difference between being naked and being nude. “Naked” is when someone lacks clothing. “Nude” is a state of being in which one shows off all their skin. In other words, “naked” implies vulnerability, deficiency, and being unprotected. “Nude,” on the other hand, connotes an active choice to be bare.

Being naked is humiliating. Being nude is an empowering choice. See the difference?

A nude female bodybuilder is most likely to be in the “empowered” camp. But I guess that’s not always the case. In addition to being embarrassed by her genitalia or breasts, not everyone is comfortable being naked…regardless of the circumstances. Obviously, bodybuilders (male and female) tend to have fantastic looking bodies, but we all hold differing mores when it comes to showing off skin to the public.

There’s an undeniable difference between seeing a muscular woman clothed and a muscular woman completely nude. When clothed, we are reminded of her ordinariness. She wears shirts, pants, socks, shoes, and jackets just like the rest of us. It’s like she’s covering up who she really is, as if wearing clothes is just like Clark Kent wearing glasses to disguise the fact that he’s actually Superman. A female bodybuilder who’s wearing clothes is shielding her identity, albeit not completely.

Yes, you can still tell that she’s really darn muscular. Her tight jeans may generously show off her sculpted glutes and rock hard thighs, but it’s not even close to seeing the actual thing. I’m sure Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen suspected that Mr. Kent was actually somebody else, but who in their right mind would go all the way and suggest that he’s actually the Man of Steel? Preposterous!

Likewise, it’s not the same to look upon a fully-clothed female bodybuilder with a similar amount of awe and wonder if she were nude. That even goes for her wearing a bikini. She’s mostly nude…however there are still a few crucial parts still left uncovered.

Now, contrast that with a fully nude muscular woman. It’s as though you’re seeing her from a whole new perspective. She transcends her humanity and becomes a goddess. When you see her in her “natural state,” you truly are able to comprehend just how amazing her body is. You witness not just her physical beauty; you also get to experience her entire essence. Her personality, her hard work, her sacrifices, her lifestyle choices, her fears, her doubts, her dreams, her hopes; everything is right there on display. She hides nothing because this is who she really is.

This is how she’s meant to be seen.

You may be asking yourself: Does the same apply to a gorgeous non-bodybuilder woman? Well, not really. Without question, the sight of a beautiful nude woman is always pleasant to regard, whether she has big muscles or not. I’m only human. However, the major dissimilarity is that an FBB’s sculpted body is so crucial to her identity. Her chiseled physique is central to who she is as a person and what she’s dedicated her life toward accomplishing.

The real Jungle Woman: Rita Sargo.

The real Jungle Woman: Rita Sargo.

A beautiful non-muscular woman isn’t quite the same. A supermodel can wear a sultry black dress and make jaws drop to the floor (although I believe “slay” has become the currently accepted nomenclature). If a female bodybuilder were to wear the exact same dress, she could garner the exact same reaction…but it wouldn’t feel the same. Instead, the dress would seem like a burden. The dress becomes a distraction, an unnecessary diversion away from what’s really important.

And what is actually important? You guessed it! Her hard chiseled muscles.

Perhaps that’s the heart of this discussion. That’s my core message. Clothing seems unnatural when placed on a female bodybuilder’s body. And not just unnatural; it seems sacrilegious. A masterpiece by Monet deserves to be viewed by millions of people at a museum, not locked away in a vault somewhere in an undisclosed underground location. A grand piano deserves to be played, as opposed to serving as a glorified piece of furniture. A novel sitting on a shelf and doing nothing is degrading. It must be read and enjoyed, not relegated as common clutter.

In the same manner, a female bodybuilder’s body needs to be seen in its entirety. And that means she must be fully nude. I’m not suggesting every single bodybuilder must be forced to strip naked and pose for pictures. Heavens no! That’s the furthest thing that I would advocate for, trust me. Rather, I’m talking about this in a metaphysical sense.

A female bodybuilder’s body is maximizing its utility (or purpose) when it’s displayed in the nude. More than being athletes, female bodybuilders are also artists. And like Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci before them, FBBs warrant having their handiwork displayed in a way that provides the viewer an optimal experience:

Nude. No clothing. At all. Just her beautiful body and nothing else shielding it. That’s the way she is meant to be seen. That’s the way nature intended it.

Anything else would be a disservice to all her years and years of shedding blood, sweat, and tears. Maybe I was wrong in my initial assessment that a muscular woman is always nude in public, even when she’s fully clothed. When she’s wearing clothes, she’s just like the Monet sitting in a dark vault or the masterpiece of a novel collecting dust. We’re in the presence of greatness; we just don’t know it. And this is perhaps the greatest tragedy of them all.

That being said, when she’s completely nude, our eyes aren’t the only things that become wide open. So do our minds, hearts, and souls.

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Naked, Proud, and Defiant: The Fantasy of Seeing a Nude Muscular Woman in Public

Who wouldn't want to see Alina Popa working out at their gym?

Who wouldn’t want to see Alina Popa working out at their gym?

I’ve seen a fair share of muscular women in my life. I’ve seen gorgeous fit women at the gym. I’ve met a number of female bodybuilders for muscle worship sessions. I’ve seen most of these female bodybuilders wearing their Birthday Suit, which means (for those of you in which English is not your first language) wearing absolutely nothing.

Seeing a muscular woman naked is like a spiritual experience. It’s like seeing a divine creature up close and not feeling worthy of being able to do so. It’s like being a layman and visiting the Holy of Holies inside Solomon’s Temple. You know it’s strictly forbidden, but your curiosity will always get the better of you.

As a fan of female bodybuilders, I have plenty of fantasies that I daydream about with great frequency. Making love to a female bodybuilder, having a romantic dinner with a female bodybuilder, snuggling closely with a female bodybuilder by a crackling fireplace, and lots of others. Most of them are quite mundane. Most of my fantasies aren’t kinky, violent, or contain any shred of BDSM fetishism. I don’t want a muscular woman to pee on me (gross!) or to stomp her high heels onto my scrotum (ouch!). If that’s your “thing,” so be it. It’s not mine!

One aspect of my female muscle fantasies that comes close to entering the realm of kinky is voyeurism. Voyeurism isn’t all that kinky or bizarre, but it can cross that threshold if taken to certain extremes. Here’s one simple voyeuristic female muscle fantasy that I have that I often think about:

Imagine you’re taking a casual stroll through a crowded street in a big metropolitan city. It’s Sunday afternoon and you see shoppers milling around, people eating brunch, tourists enjoying what the town has to offer, joggers, dog owners walking their pooches, and teenage kids being up to no good. In other words, it’s a typical pleasant carefree day.

You’re walking round aimlessly, minding your own business. Not a chore to do in the world. All of a sudden, out of the corner of your eye, you see a sight that you’ll never forget. Nor will anybody else who is also witnessing this event. On the opposite side of the street, you see a naked woman nonchalantly walking down the sidewalk; and not just any kind of woman, but a drop-dead gorgeous female bodybuilder.

She’s tall. She’s muscular. She’s completely ripped from head to toe with big swollen muscles. Her thighs could crush a watermelon. She can bend steel with her bare hands. Her broad shoulders take up almost the entire sidewalk. Her perfectly round butt bounces up and down poetically with every step she takes. She isn’t wearing a single article of clothing. She’s willingly allowing people to see every square inch of her stunningly chiseled physique.

People don’t recognize her and treat her like she’s an extraterrestrial visitor from another solar system. Nobody can look away. All eyes are helplessly glued to her. In fact, nobody wants to look away from her. Some are disgusted by her. Others are instantly turned on by her. But everybody stops what they’re doing, dead in their tracks, and stares at her theatrical nude promenade.

Everyone sees her – children, families, little old ladies, packs of teenagers, Catholic nuns, stoners, homeless drifters begging for spare change, police officers on patrol, dogs, cats, birds, and every living being within view of her immaculate body.

Not only is she boldly strolling around a crowded public place in the nude, but she’s proud to be doing this! She’s confident. She’s defiant. She’s empowered. She knows she has everyone in the palm of her calloused hand. No one can resist looking at her. And from what she can tell, no one has any desire to resist staring at her powerful body.

The police won’t arrest her for indecent exposure because they’re enchanted with her. The nuns won’t chastise her because they feel like they’re seeing the splitting image of God walking before them. The stoners and drunks sober up immediately. A few homeless folks offer to give her whatever nickels and dimes they have for just the opportunity to get a closer look at her. But she ignores all of these people. She doesn’t have a care in the world. As she continues her triumphant constitutional, she develops a following of people. No one dares touch her, talk to her, or bother her. They react to her with a combination of awe, erotic curiosity, and fear.

The countless individuals who follow her create traffic jams. Cars can’t pass through intersections. A jogger who notices this naked muscular woman accidentally runs into a telephone poll. People take out their cell phones and snap pictures of her. She loves the attention. She craves it. She doesn’t care if her flamboyant performance goes viral. She loves being who she is and will never apologize for it.

She’s worked her entire life to achieve this impeccably muscular body. She knows her body will receive mixed reactions. She knows this exhibitionistic exercise violates social norms. She knows her body is polarizing. But she doesn’t care. All she wants is for the entire fucking world to see it!

Wow. Imagine that for a moment. How would you react if you were one of the thousands of people who witness this moment? What do you think is going through the mind of the female bodybuilder who’s choosing to proudly display her body (and years of hard work) to the masses of onlookers?

But, let’s specifically focus on the narrator of the story. Let’s assume the narrator of the story is a secret admirer of muscular women. He (or she) may be caught off guard by our audacious performer (let’s call her “Ginger”), but once he realizes it’s happening he goes with the flow and loves every minute of it. Or, let’s assume he knows it’s going to happen ahead of time and enjoys watches it unfold just to see how other people will react.

Oh boy. Tatianna Butler.

Oh boy. Tatianna Butler.

Will Ginger get jeers from unpleasant trolls? Will the police try to arrest her? Will mothers cover the eyes of their children? Will husbands get slapped in the face by their wives because they can’t stop drooling over her? Will the kindly grandmas suddenly become militant and start to lecture her about the lack of decency she’s exhibiting? Will she inadvertently cause car collisions and pedestrians to trip over themselves? How far is Ginger planning to stroll through the neighborhood? Will she ignore the voices hurling unsolicited remarks toward her? Will she do something more daring like pose for pictures or allow strangers to touch her body?

I fantasize about being our protagonist. I’m just as aroused by seeing a muscular naked woman in public as I am witnessing people’s reaction to her. So my fantasy is less about voyeurism and more about exhibitionism. Call it “proxy exhibitionism” or “surrogate exhibitionism.” I’m not the one who’s nude in public, but I’m on her team. By extension, her display of courageous nudity is also mine as well. Ginger and I could be in cahoots. Maybe I’m conspicuously video recording the whole ordeal. Maybe I’m working with Ginger to make her go viral. Maybe I’m collaborating with her to plan and execute this innovative guerrilla marketing campaign.

Regardless, I love the feeling of making other people uncomfortable. No matter who you are, you cannot witness a naked muscular woman in public (or even a non-muscular naked woman) without feeling some sort of visceral reaction. How can you not?

This fantasy is rooted in the desire to break down social norms and shove certain sexual taboos into people’s faces. It’s one thing to see a naked muscular woman in the privacy of her hotel room (and, it should be noted, this whole interaction is completely consensual) and it’s quite another to see her out in public in the least private manner possible. Meeting her for a muscle worship session is intimate; this fantasy is the total opposite of intimate.

I’ve seen interviews with FBBs who say they enjoy getting stares from people when they’re in public spaces. I’m sure there are many who do not like such unwarranted attention. But it’s undeniable that a number of them do receive a thrill from knowing there are hundreds of pairs of eyeballs fixated in their direction. Likewise, I want to see people react to seeing an FBB out in the open. Even though I am not a female bodybuilder, I also receive a thrill (by extension) from the intense attention she receives.

Theresa Ivancik wearing a sexy red dress. Meow.

Theresa Ivancik wearing a sexy red dress. Meow.

Female bodybuilders receive two kinds of responses from people: lust and disgust. Just read the comments left behind on YouTube videos of FBBs. Some commenters are completely in love with them, and others are irrationally repulsed by them. There doesn’t seem to be a middle ground. So the fantasy I described above panders to both audiences: it gives the people who lust over her a little “show” that they’re bound to enjoy and it gives the people who are disgusted by her a demonstration of defiance and spite.

The best way to counter the “haters” isn’t to ignore them, but to intentionally shove your successes down their throats.

Ah yes. How sweet it is!

A part of this fantasy can be partially explained by my own personal life. As an Asian man, I often hear jokes about guys like me having a small penis. Even when people aren’t joking, they just assume that I’m “small down there” because of my ethnicity. It’s either people trolling me (and guys like me) or spouting off what they think to be “scientific-based” evidence. Regardless, I get pretty sick and tired of hearing this.

I often fantasize about doing this exact same thing as Ginger. I want to walk down a crowded street completely naked and see how people react to me doing this. I want my body (and penis) to be seen by everyone around me. Will women giggle and whisper to their friends all sorts of insulting things? Will men smirk at me and insist their packages are much larger than mine? Or will neither of those things happen?

Part of me wants to do this (although I won’t ever actually do this!) just for the sake of self-empowerment. It sounds clichéd, but it is what it is. Instead of being ashamed of my body (or a certain part of my body), I want to defiantly show it off no matter what the consequences would be. Likewise, I also fantasize about seeing a female bodybuilder do this. People might make fun of her shrunken breasts. Other will comment about her large clitoris and insist that it’s really a man’s penis. Some may even call her a man. But it doesn’t faze her at all. She’s going to be who she is despite what her critics say.

Naked, Proud, and Defiant.

On a side note, have you noticed that people who tend to say “I don’t care what the critics say” are usually the ones who (ironically) really care what their critics have to say? This claim is a defense mechanism that’s meant to downplay the role that critics play in your life. If you view outside voices as being irrelevant to your life’s choices, then what point is there to getting emotional over what those voices have to say?

If women like Kristy Hawkins strolled around the pool more often, I'd go swimming every single day!

If women like Kristy Hawkins strolled around the pool more often, I’d go swimming every single day!

I often wonder how well female bodybuilders tune out negative voices. To a certain degree, they all can. But realistically speaking, it’s nearly impossible to avoid vitriol in every moment of your waking life. Sooner or later, you’re going to hear hurtful or spiteful remarks directed your way. So how do you counter them? One method is to do what I’ve fantasized about: put yourself so out there that eventually your critics get sick and tired of saying damaging things to you. Obviously you can’t just prance around naked in public areas, but there are alternative methods at your disposal.

You can wear short sleeved shirts. You can wear shorts (in the summertime) that generously show off your thick legs. You can wear skimpy athletic swag at the gym. And of course, you can choose to post photos of your beautiful body on the Internet. These suggestions of alternative ways to flaunt what you got are being done by large numbers of FBBs already.

But the “Naked, Proud, and Defiant” fantasy has less to do with how a muscular woman feels about herself and more to do with how fans of muscular women feel about themselves. We don’t expect a muscular woman to feel compelled to put herself out there. She is under absolutely no obligation to do so. She can be as private as she chooses to be. If her husband (or wife) is the only person on planet Earth who is privileged to see her naked, so be it. As fans, we are not entitled to her body. But in our private thoughts, we can fantasize about whatever we want to.

Deep down inside, female muscle fans want their fetishes to be validated. I suppose that’s true of every fetish, sexual orientation, and kinky interest in existence. We want muscular women to be more accepted in society because, logically speaking, that could potentially lead more women to pursue bodybuilding, CrossFit, and lifting at the gym – which then leads to a surplus of more women with big muscles in the world (yay!).

Muscular women are rare in our society and female muscle fans want nothing more than for that to drastically change. But we all know realistically that’s not going to happen. So, we fantasize about the next best thing and wish that one day we’ll miraculously witness a gorgeous strong woman proudly showcase her nude body to all who surround her.

Seeing a beautiful non-muscular woman in public is not a big deal, though still a pleasant sight nevertheless. Most of us who catch a glimpse of a pretty lady will appreciate how she looks and quickly forget about her minutes after she leaves. For example, yesterday I saw an incredibly gorgeous Asian girl on a public train in Downtown Seattle. I did not think about her again until I wrote this sentence. Why did I forget about her? Because she was damn pretty, but not out of the ordinary. That’s why.

But what if I saw a gorgeous muscular woman (of any ethnicity) sitting on the same train wearing a revealing sundress that leaves very little to the imagination? I can guarantee you I wouldn’t stop thinking about her. Heck, I might write an entire blog post dedicated entirely to describing my experience seeing her sitting on that train! I’d jot down that article in 10 minutes flat and promptly publish it without editing it too much, spelling and punctuation errors be damned. But alas, she was undeniably beautiful but not exceptionally remarkable.

Seeing Colette Nelson in private is one thing, but seeing her dressed like this in the "outside world" would be a totally different animal.

Seeing Colette Nelson in private is one thing, but seeing her dressed like this in the “outside world” would be a totally different animal.

So, this fantasy speaks to my desire to see something remarkable unfold without prior expectation of it happening. When I visit a female bodybuilder for a muscle worship session, I know what to (reasonably) expect. The anticipation, excitement, and nervousness will still be there, but nothing that happens in the next hour will shock or surprise me. On the other hand, running into a complete stranger of a female bodybuilder in the outside world is a whole different matter. In the “outside world,” I don’t expect to run into women who look like Theresa Ivancik. If I were to do so, all bets are off!

But not only do I want to witness something unexpectedly beautiful, I also want others to experience it too. I don’t want to see car accidents happen as a result of a beautiful FBB strolling down the sidewalk, but a sick side of me sort of does! I want people to be stunned by her. I want her shake up our social order. I want her to cause chaos. I want others to be as spellbound by her as I am.

I want a muscular woman to proudly be herself and people who don’t like her can go f**k themselves!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yikes. That’s quite an emotional response, but sexual fantasies aren’t always perfectly rational. To conclude, the “Naked, Proud and Defiant” fantasy can be explained by the pent up frustration female muscle fans often feel when it comes to the women we love. We love them to death, but not everyone else does. People can say the most horrifying things about them, and we feel powerless to do anything about it. Trolls feel emboldened to insult, diminish, and belittle these women, and we feel that they’re also attacking us indirectly.

We feel helpless and voiceless, so we secretly want an FBB or two to take direct action and shut up these “haters” in the most bold and audacious way possible. But we also want them to change the hearts and minds of those who aren’t necessarily “haters” but are either indifferent or on-the-fence about them. Basically, we want them to be more “out there” than they currently are.

Their bodies are beautiful. Like patrons visiting a prestigious art museum, we want to immerse ourselves in beauty whenever possible. The “Naked, Proud, and Defiant” fantasy opens the doors for that to happen.

A Muscular Woman is Always Nude in Public, Even When Fully Clothed

Kathy Johansson, a strong black woman in the flesh.

Kathy Johansson, a strong black woman in the flesh.

Female bodybuilders are caught in a perpetual problem. One they can temporarily try to remedy, but one that will always face them as long as they choose to be bodybuilders.

Imagine this scenario: A world class female bodybuilder goes to the grocery store. She walks down the produce section and selects her desired fruits and vegetables. She notices out of the corner of her eye two teenage boys staring at her incessantly. They can’t help themselves. She thinks nothing of it. Then she strolls through the breakfast cereal aisle to choose which granola she wants to eat in the mornings. Once again, she sees a little old grandma straining her weary eyes to determine whether or not the figure in front of her is a male or a female. The old woman doesn’t say a single word, but the FBB knows exactly what she’s thinking. A few moments later, she moves on to the meat section and tries to calculate in her head how many pounds of chicken and steak will last her for the rest of the week. Before she can make a definitive determination, our heroic FBB – almost on cue – spots a family of four pointing at her and whispering to each other. For the third time in the past ten minutes, she blocks out this experience and tries her best to maintain a dignified aura of “normalcy.”

For our hypothetical FBB, this is not a unique sequence of events. This is daily life. This happens all day, every day. There’s no stopping it. But over time, she’s come to expect all this unwanted attention. After all, it is unusual to see a woman with so much muscle on her body. She’s not naïve. She knows the typical person minding their own business doesn’t expect to come across a human female with the muscle mass of an NFL defensive end. But that doesn’t make the feeling of being a “circus freak” go away. It doesn’t make it any easier to swallow.

This scenario illustrates a simple fact: A muscular woman is always nude in public, even when she’s fully clothed.

As a general rule, public nudity is discouraged in our society. Not just in the Western Euro-American world, but all over the planet. Call it a product of Adam and Eve, the Forbidden Fruit and the Garden of Eden; but whatever the reason is, every single one of us wears clothes for a reason. Besides, we don’t want to freeze to death every winter, do we? And let’s face it. Some of us would prefer not to see certain people naked. Ugh. We’ll leave it at that.

Whether we choose to wear pants, skirts, dresses, shirts, sweaters, socks, shoes, jackets, coats, scarves, slippers, neckties, nylon stockings, boots, robes, or jorts (denim shorts, something we need to legally ban), wearing clothes is both expected and something that’s not debated. Yes, occasionally we’ll read about local municipalities trying to outlaw bikini coffee stands, nude beaches and strip clubs, but overall the expectation that everyone wears clothes goes unspoken. Heck, public nudity is so taboo that something as mundane as a mother breastfeeding her baby will occasionally raise eyebrows from inadvertent onlookers. It’s unfortunate, but that’s the way things are these days.

I wouldn't mind seeing Diana Tyuleneva naked in public.

I wouldn’t mind seeing Diana Tyuleneva naked in public.

But there are some people in this world who can’t entirely cover up their bodies. Bodybuilders, both male and female, have silhouettes that stand out from the rest of us. They can wear baggy pants and large winter overcoats all they want, but you can’t do that during the broiling heat of July. So for the vast majority of the year, when a female bodybuilder struts around in public, she can’t help but garner attention to herself – even if she’s not seeking it.

This attention won’t always be unwelcome. Nor will it always be negative. I’d wager a guess that it’s a mixed bag. Positive attention, negative attention…it’s all part of the packaged deal of living life as a professional (or as a dedicated amateur) bodybuilder. Of course, it goes without saying that public harassment is never warranted. Don’t bother people when they don’t want to be bothered. Nobody ever “asks” to be bothered, but FBBs are in the unique position of pulling attention their direction whether they want it or not.

Thus, female bodybuilders can never actually hide who they are. They are always naked. Not in the technical sense, but in the sense that their identity is always on full display to the world. But, if you think about it, isn’t that the point? Bodybuilders – whether they intend to compete or not – are trying to sculpt their bodies to fit a certain preferred aesthetic. Maximizing muscle mass, maintaining perfect symmetry, achieving the “chiseled” look, you name it. It’s all part of a master plan to attain “perfection.”

So it’s not unfathomable why female bodybuilders attract so much unprovoked attention. Not only do their bodies look different, they intentionally seek to look different. A female bodybuilder’s hard work is evident in every square inch of her body. Nothing is hidden from plain sight. So when people can’t help but stare at an FBB’s body when she minding her own business in public, can you really blame them? It might be a tired cliché to say “it is what it is,” but clichés start for a reason.

What we’re discussing here isn’t a major problem, but instead a fascinating insight into what it’s like to walk in the shoes of a female bodybuilder. They are always bare. They are always nude. They are vulnerable to unwanted attention in ways not too many of us can comprehend.

Lauranda Nall, a young up-and-coming blonde muscle bombshell.

Lauranda Nall, a young up-and-coming blonde muscle bombshell.

Additionally, FBBs are nude not just in an aesthetic sense, but in a social sense. People have certain stereotypes attached to female bodybuilders. Many are fair, many are undeniably unfair. Let’s go back to the grocery store anecdote from earlier. What do you think the two teenage boys, elderly grandmother and family of four – not to mention the check-out line clerk, deli employees and the countless shoppers who aren’t in the story but definitely exist in the same environment – are talking about or thinking about when they see our protagonist up close and personal? What assumptions do they have about her? What prejudices do they hold against her? Here is a small sample of some the thoughts that might be going through their heads:

  • “Is that a man or a woman?”
  • “Somebody needs to go to the gym less!”
  • “Gross!”
  • “That’s nasty! Who would want to look like that?”
  • “I wonder if her boyfriend is the ‘woman’ in the relationship…”
  • “Boyfriend? She’s probably a lesbian. And a scary one at that.”
  • “She probably has a penis hiding somewhere!”
  • “Tranny. Without a doubt.”
  • “She’s probably single. Most guys would be too scared to be with her.”
  • “She’s a freak on steroids.”
  • “Boy, if I ever got her mad, she’d probably pummel me to death!”
  • “Seriously. Why the fuck does she want to be that buff? Doesn’t she know that’s disgusting and no guy wants their girlfriend to be like that?”
  • “Steroids. That’s it. That’s the only logical explanation. I wonder who sells to her…”

And blah, blah, blah. It goes on and on and on. So, unfortunately, not only is an FBB bare in the physical sense, she’s also bare in the psychological sense. People start to make assumptions about her lifestyle, relationships, sexual preferences, emotional attitudes, behavior patterns, opinions, and so on. To compare, there are a lot of people in this world who physically stand out from the rest of the general public. Someone who’s really tall or really short can catch your eye. But the difference is that you know they can’t help it. How tall or short you are as a human being is determined by genetics, not lifestyle choices.

But being as insanely muscular as a bodybuilder? That’s totally intentional. That’s not a mistake. That’s all strategic.

Being a remarkably muscular person opens up a whole can of worms of stereotypes, prejudices and cognitive dissonance. The same could also be said for very overweight people and people who make unusual fashion choices. But we’re more accustomed to seeing people with a lot of body fat than we are seeing women with huge amounts of muscle. So our reactions are going to be that much stronger.

Most of us want to blend into the crowd. Even those of us who say we “want to be different” do so within certain socially-acceptable boundaries. Shaved hair, a nose ring, hot pink stockings or tattoos may have been distasteful a generation ago, but it’s not much to blink at today. So how do you genuinely separate yourself from the herd? Simple. Be a woman with a body like Brigita Brezovac. Do all the eating, lifting, supplementation and resting necessary to achieve that look. That’ll turn heads in a hurry!

Brigita Brezovac would definitely turn my head in a hurry.

Brigita Brezovac would definitely turn my head in a hurry.

Let’s shift this conversation toward the subject of public nudity itself. What exactly about the human body is taboo? Besides multigenerational tradition dictating that we all clothe ourselves, in the Western world it’s not taboo to show a little bit of skin. We can show bare arms, legs, faces and shoulders without too much trouble. But a woman showing her bare chest? That would be unacceptable. A man letting his penis hang loose? Same deal. Do that and you spend the night in jail. Do that in front of an elementary school and you get tracked by the government for the rest of your life. These rules, it goes without saying, are quite strict!

The parts of our bodies that we really have to cover up are our genitals, butt and for women, their nipples. She can show most of her breasts without much trouble. But expose her areola? Watch out!

Generally speaking, we use the Beach Rule to decide what is or what is not acceptable. Can you wear it at the beach without getting kicked out? Alright, then it’s fine. I won’t get into too much detail as to how we established these social rules to begin with, but they follow a similar pattern: If it can be used for reproduction and nursing one’s young, it shouldn’t be seen out in the open. The penis and the vagina obviously play an important role in conceiving a child. The vagina also plays a role in giving birth to the child. And her breasts are crucial to feeding her child once he or she is born. So there’s that: Conception, birth and nurturing. The three common elements that tie together the parts of the human body we can’t show in public.

But more than that, the three body parts that we can’t show in public – the penis, vagina and a woman’s breasts – also share another element in common. They distinguish men from women. Men have a penis, women have a vagina. Men have flat breasts, women have larger breasts. The parts of our bodies that identify who we are, strangely enough, are the parts we can’t freely show off. I can’t explain why, I just know that’s the way things are.

Jennifer Abrams is showing us muscles aren't just for men. Women can have them too!

Jennifer Abrams is showing us muscles aren’t just for men. Women can have them too!

So, what about muscles? Muscles are something that men have traditionally had a monopoly on. From the statue of David to the characters in Frank Miller’s “300,” men are the ones who are physically strong and determined. Women, however, are not expected to be as physically dominant as their male counterparts. Thus, in addition to genitalia, muscles are another part of the body that separates masculinity from femininity.

Therefore, when a woman is seen with big muscles, she is clearly breaking that paradigm. She’s shattering her subordinate role and challenging men in an arena where they’ve always had the upper hand. Kathy Johansson shows us that a strong black woman can be a literal strong black woman, not someone whose strength is defined by emotional grit. I have no doubt that Kathy has incredible mental fortitude, but her physical strength is what puts her on a level playing field with men.

Thus, an FBB’s muscles don’t just expose her nakedness. They expose our nakedness too! They challenge a physically weak man’s masculine credibility. They challenge our perceptions about the differences between the genders. They defy our standards of beauty, sexuality, gender roles and power structures. A female bodybuilder’s muscles don’t just expose who she is. They also expose who we are. Our beliefs, assumptions and habits are put on display. We become vulnerable as well. Who am I as a man if a woman can work hard enough to achieve strength that surpasses mine? What kind of a man am I?

I’m not saying these assumptions are good or bad, nor that our reactions are justified or unjustified. What I’m saying is that a muscular woman’s body exposes not just what we think of her…but also what we think of ourselves. Her ability to smash perceptions forces us to reevaluate what we believe. Should we treat people differently? Should we treat ourselves differently?

This is why the subject of female bodybuilding and female bodybuilders will always fascinate me. There are an endless number of topics we can discuss related to this. Muscular women are gems. They work so hard to look the way they look. And their beautiful bodies are specimens we cannot look away from. But there’s more to it than that. When we look upon the body of a female bodybuilder, we’re not just looking at her.

We’re also looking within at ourselves.