We Need to Talk About Nataliya Kuznetsova

Nataliya Kuznetsova 4

This is a real human being. Seriously.

By now, you should be familiar with Nataliya Kuznetsova.

Nataliya is the kind of woman that even the most wildly imaginative female muscle fan will admit – if they’re pressed into being realistic for a hot minute – can’t ever really exist.

No woman, even with the help of all the synthetic steroids, supplements, food, weightlifting equipment, and expertise possibly available, can ever actually look like that. Whether you’ve been a bona fide female muscle fan for 40 years or 40 days, you’ve seen your fair share of muscular women. Perhaps even in-person. Yet, the rational part of your brain understands full well that no woman can ever look like her. No woman can ever have arms the size of a Mr. Olympia contestant. Or legs so thick that they resemble actual tree trunks. That’s not physically possible. It’s not scientifically possible. It’s even too absurd to draw a cartoon that looks like that.

Uh, right?

Well, you would be wrong. There is in fact one particular woman who walks on planet Earth – or is it continuously squats and bicep curls on planet Earth? – who defies your expectations of what a female bodybuilder can and cannot look like. She challenges what you previously thought was the limits of human achievement. Sure, guys who take drugs and work out like a madman with his hair on fire can become that huge. But…a woman?

No way! No how! That ain’t right!!!

Yet, it is so right. And it is possible. Her name is Nataliya Kuznetsova.

Nataliya was born on July 1, 1991 in the city of Chita, Zabaykalsky Krai in Russia. She was born just a few months before the Soviet Union officially dissolved; and although the Iron Curtain had fallen, a child had been born who would take her iron pumping quite seriously (did you see what I did there?). She has won many accolades in her life, including being the bench press and deadlift world champion. She’s also a champion armlifter, which should come as no surprise to anyone who’s ever seen her arms.

She aspired to become a professional bodybuilder at age 14 and never looked back. In addition to breaking several records, she’s dabbled in the field of coaching and personal training – which is not uncommon for many bodybuilders, both male and female. She’s maintained a strict diet since the early days of her career, which has clearly paid dividends. After graduating from the Moscow State Academy of Physical Culture in 2013, Nataliya proceeded to pursue her dream of shattering several powerlifting records.

And put her name in the record books is exactly what she did. In 2014 and 2015 she won various contests in Russia and Europe. While it doesn’t appear that she continues to compete in powerlifting, she’s since gained international notoriety for her unusual eye-popping physique that she proudly promotes on her social media channels.

Oh boy. And she’s also not shy about her usage of anabolic steroids and estrogen blockers. I mean, it’s not humanly possible to get as huge as her without drugs. We all know that. But in her case, it isn’t really about whether or not she “fairly” achieved her musculature. What really matters is that she looks exactly how she looks – and that’s the way she wants it.

Her brand is dependent upon the final result, not the process it took to get to that final result.

Nataliya Kuznetsova 1

Muscles on the beach.

Nataliya is the Ultimate Real Human Photoshop Illusion. You’d swear that she’s not actually real. She must be the product of a female muscle growth fiction artist’s imagination. Someone must’ve artificially enhanced her arms and legs. Or, someone superimposed a male bodybuilder’s arms onto her torso, like a G.I. Joe action figure’s arms being popped inside a limbless Barbie doll.

Yet, that is not the case. She is not a character in an FMG story. Nor are photos of her not genuine (to be fair, very few Instagram and magazine photos are 100% genuine) in the proper sense of the word. Her biceps are really the size of most guys’ quads. Her quads are really as thick as your girlfriend’s torso. It’s all true. It’s definitely not all natural, but if we’re only interested in aesthetics, who cares?

And that’s the crux of the argument. Whether she could ever achieve so much muscle mass naturally – the short answer is “no way, José” – is not the point. Insecure guys who constantly insist that she’s “juicing” or “roiding up” are just projecting their own inadequacies onto a complete stranger. They’re envious that they are unable to get that “swole,” so they need to add as many caveats as possible onto Nataliya’s achievements because it, uh, makes them feel better. Or something like that. I don’t know exactly.

But that’s not really where I’m getting at. Nataliya is noteworthy because she is who she is. Whether she “cheated” or did it through unnatural means isn’t what’s truly important. What’s important is that she’s a human cartoon in the flesh. She’s a female muscle fan’s dream come true, if extreme FMG artwork happens to be your thing. It’s not for me personally, but it doesn’t have to be. I can acknowledge her importance without being totally smitten with her looks.

Personally, Nataliya is a bit too much. Everything about her is superhuman, including her lips. Dang. She makes Angelina Jolie look like the before-and-after photo at a lip enhancement surgeon’s office. I tend to prefer ladies who are both large and traditionally curvy. Alina Popa is my jam. So is Isabelle Turell. And Shannon Courtney. And Theresa Ivancik. And Lindsay Mulinazzi. And many others. I have nothing against Miss Kuznetsova as a human being. I’m sure she’s cool and pretty interesting to be around. Apparently, she’s bisexual – which will make any FMG artist go hog wild when crafting erotically-charged dime novel-style fan fiction.

Perhaps this is a reflection of my limited imagination. Is Nataliya’s physique now the new Mount Everest? Are former Ms. Olympia contestants like Iris Kyle, Tina Chandler, Debi Laszewski, Anne Freitas, and Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia merely the tip of the iceberg? Previously, we may have thought of these ladies as being at the peak of the female muscle pecking order. But maybe our standards were set too low. Maybe women like Nataliya Kuznetsova (are there any others like her? Asking for a friend) are where the proverbial bar is now set. Or should be set. It’s not enough to train for a few hours, give yourself a couple of rest days, and intersperse within your daily routine plenty of Tupperware containers full of brown rice, grilled chicken, and boiled broccoli. Perhaps the new normal should be to train for several hours a day – as if it’s practically a part-time job – and eat as much protein as you possibly can without throwing up. This doesn’t sound particularly appealing, but one must suffer for one’s art.

Nataliya Kuznetsova 2

Nataliya’s quads don’t lie.

Hm. Maybe that’s exactly the point. One must suffer for your art. In Nataliya’s case, her body is her art. Her muscles are her canvas. Dumbbells, vitamin supplements, anabolic steroids, and protein are her paintbrushes. And her Instagram feed is her museum. And we are patrons of her art. Instead of sipping champagne, we down a carton of Muscle Milk. Same thing.

All bodybuilders are artists as well as athletes. They might consider themselves athletes first and foremost, and that would be their prerogative. But whether they consciously consider it or not, they’re also artists. Michelangelo used marble. Nataliya uses her own flesh and blood. That sounds odd, but it’s true. Bodybuilders don’t try to hit a baseball into the centerfield bleachers or dunk a basketball over a 7-foot tall defender. They try to look awesome, prioritizing muscle mass, symmetry, and aesthetic perfection over all else.

Yet, I’m perfectly fine with Nataliya being the exception and not the rule. She can be an Internet sensation who makes our eyes pop out of our skulls. She can be someone who essentially provides fodder for clickbait articles on second-rate news aggregate sites. I highly doubt female muscle fans worldwide are clamoring for more women to look like her. If more do choose to look as extreme as possible, so be it. But we’re perfectly content with more “conventional-looking” female bodybuilders (as contradictory as that may sound) such as Miss Popa and Miss Ivancik. At least, they’re conventional within the context of the world of female bodybuilding.

Here’s a question: Is Nataliya Kuznetsova good or bad for female bodybuilding and fans of female bodybuilders? It’s the question sports commentators always make regarding dynasties like the Golden State Warriors, New England Patriots, the UConn women’s basketball team, Alabama football, Manchester United, or the Marvel Cinematic Universe (ha ha). Is dominance a good thing? Can the lack of parity hurt the overall product? Or does it enhance it? Is temporary dominance – because dominance rarely lasts forever – actually a good thing because it provides an incentive for others to work harder in order to catch up?

Chances are she’s not going to have much of an effect on anything. Nataliya exists in her own little universe. She’s carved out her own unique niche. She doesn’t really exist in the realm of bodybuilding because she isn’t a competitive bodybuilder (to my knowledge). She’s a mini-celebrity whose body is her selling point. Her extreme physique is why she’s famous, not because she climbed up the industry ladder or won so many accolades that we cannot help but notice her. In a way, she’s the perfect example of how the entrepreneurial female bodybuilder is most likely the archetype that will survive the longest.

Nataliya Kuznetsova 5

Ever seen someone like this at the gym? Yeah, didn’t think so.

The bodybuilding industry’s marginalization of female competitors doesn’t need to be rehashed here. The death of the Ms. Olympia is really all you need to know. Wings of Strength is doing their best to resuscitate the spirit of the Ms. O, and we wish them all the best in this endeavor. Long story short, female bodybuilders need to find alternative avenues of earning an income in order to continue doing what they love to do.

Nataliya has done exactly that.

She’s found a void and filled it perfectly. Impeccably. She busted her tail to look as hypermuscular as possible. She knew not everyone would dig her look, but that didn’t matter one iota. There are plenty of people who will. And do. She’s made sacrifices – including long-term risks to her body – to achieve her Human Photoshop figure. She was able to go “viral” because she stood out from the rest of the herd. There are plenty of muscular women out there. But few are as surreal in their musculature as her.

So because of that, she was able to break through in front of more “mainstream” eyes because of her freakish physique. Cindy Landolt or Minna Pajulahti are famous within the small community of female muscle fans, but Nataliya has been able to rise above that and attraction attention from non-female muscle fans. And chances are pretty good that for many people, Nataliya is the only muscular woman whom they care to follow on social media. She’s “famous” – in a 21st century viral Internet meme sense – for being a living and breathing statistical outlier, not because she happens to be a female bodybuilder who’s broken the mold of her predecessors and peers.

And that’s the meat and potatoes of our discussion. Miss Kuznetsova is nothing more than a freakish statistical outlier to the vast majority of Internet-savvy people out there. She won’t help the visibility of the female bodybuilding industry. She won’t hurt it either, but that’s beside the point. She’s a Human Island. A once-in-a-lifetime Black Swan Event. She’s like the people who love to follow Tiger Woods but couldn’t care less about other golfers.

There are golf fans. And there are Tiger Woods fans. And they are often not one and the same. Likewise, there are Nataliya Kuznetsova fans. And there are female muscle fans. And they are not necessarily the same thing.

Nataliya Kuznetsova 3

Can’t tell if those are her quads…or an actual tree trunk.

Some people love Eminem but don’t particularly like hip hop. Some people loved “The Dark Knight” but never read a single Batman comic book. And some people are enamored with Nataliya Kuznetsova but couldn’t identify Alina Popa in a police lineup.

Life is funny like that.

Whether you love her, hate her, or have neutral feelings about her, one thing is certain: You’re totally justified to initially think that this woman couldn’t possibly exist. This has got to be like “Simone,” that 2002 Al Pacino movie about a movie star who’s digitally animated and isn’t really real. Certainly Nataliya has got to be a digital avatar, right? A fake persona meant to punk all of us into thinking a woman could genuinely build muscle mass that male bodybuilders could only dream of? Well, the truth is that she’s real. Very real.

I have no idea how long she can maintain her physique. I’m not a nutritional scientist or biology expert, but it seems reasonable to worry about her long-term health. All that animal protein, steroids, and hormone-blocking drugs can’t be good for you. Years and years of living like that should eventually take its toll, right?

Eh. Maybe, maybe not.

For now, let’s just appreciate who she is and what she’s been able to accomplish thus far. Only time will tell as to how much of an impact she’s making on the visibility of female bodybuilders, if any at all.

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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!

In My Own Words: Marc from Germany

Marc would love to have been Kim Chizevsky’s husband back in the good old days. I cannot say I’d disagree with him.

The submissions keep pouring in! Today we feature a reader who hails all the way from Germany. See? Proof that yours truly actually enjoys an international fan base!

Want your story to be featured next on my blog? Contact me at ryantakahashi87 (at) yahoo (dot) com to join the conversation. Also, let me know whose photos you’d like me to share in your post, as well as what name (or pseudonym) you’d like to go by. I also reserve the right to edit your post as I see fit.

***

When did you first discover your love for female muscle?

I was about 7 years old. My grandpa and I were in a department store where there was also a corner with a news dealer. My grandpa looked for a TV guide and was filling out a lottery ticket while I was wandering around looking at all these different types of magazines, when I suddenly stopped and was grabbed with fascination with one of them. It was a bodybuilding magazine! If I remember correctly it was a German issue of “Muscle & Fitness” where they covered the Ms. Olympia 1990. The pages were full of interviews, pictures, and stories about all the legendary female bodybuilders: Corey Everson, Anja Langer, and so on. And the icing on the cake was the Ms. Olympia photo section – I was hooked and in love! From that day on I knew that this is the type of woman I admire.

I went to my grandpa with the magazine and told him that I wanted it. He was the kindest grandpa one can imagine and without questioning my choice he bought it; and from that day on this issue became my personal Playboy magazine and you can imagine what I used it for. Since that very transformative moment, I fantasized about female muscle whenever and wherever I could.

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

That’s a very good question. If you want to know what exactly triggered this attraction, I have my theories, but no definitive answer. I am attracted to female bodybuilders because the thought of a beautiful woman with muscles who can be stronger than I am is a very attractive fantasy. The bodily perfection they achieve, the thought that you can massage these muscular bodies or put chocolate sauce on them and lick it – hahaha… – yeah, that is very attractive to me! What I saw in the Ms. Olympia coverage was so aesthetic, beautiful, strong but at the same time feminine. I am a big fan of the female bodybuilders from the ‘80s to the ‘90s. In my opinion that was the golden age.

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

I haven’t met a female bodybuilder yet (never had the opportunity), but when I switched to high school there was a muscular girl in my class and I couldn’t believe my eyes. How small are the chances that in a small town in German a muscular girl would be in your class? I always called her the “woman of my dreams.” She was all natural and gifted with incredible genetics. She is a personal trainer now. Unfortunately she never wanted to become a bodybuilder. She would have been a beast! But regarding meeting a female bodybuilder, that will happen!

German female bodybuilder Anja Langer.

Have you ever engaged in a muscle worship or BDSM session with an FBB? If so, how did it go?

No, but I would have loved to have been Kim Chizevsky’s husband during her most massive years! 😀

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.?

It is not about how “would” I, but how “did” I. I kept it a secret for very long, just my best friend knew about my fetish. Slowly I opened up because I thought it to be ridiculous why I should perceive myself as a deranged person only because I love female muscles. How many of us have been labeled as “secretly gay” and that we hide behind our female bodybuilding fetish? Such a stupid theory. I love women with muscles; not guys, transsexuals, etc.

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

With time and age I did, but I’m still careful. My family and friends know it but they can’t understand why.

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

De gustibus non est disputandum.

Laura Creavalle in her prime.

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

Maybe I have to be the person who will make that happen and be the Russ Meyer of female muscle!

The fact is that more women are working out and aren’t afraid to do so, but society is still modeled by this mainstream stereotype: a woman with muscles is not a woman.

Yeah, there are some female bodybuilders who look like dudes and I would puke if I see them, but you can’t say that, for example, Laura Creavalle at her best was not feminine.

I am up to the point that I can find a normal woman attractive, that I would feel the urge to kiss her, but when it comes to her body I would not want to touch her if she doesn’t have at least muscular legs. Whenever I am walking around I look at women’s calves and legs and sometimes I see a woman with something I coined “bodybuilding potential.” I’m like the Terminator scanning the environment for potential future female bodybuilders.

My goal is to put a female bodybuilder in every short film or movie I make. I wish that female muscles could be the new norm or at least promoted more in the media.

Take, for example, “Wonder Woman.” Why isn’t she muscular? She is fit like most women want to look like, but that is not true muscle beauty. She could have been well-trained like Jessica Biel in “Blade: Trinity.” I really hoped that she would make the difference and bring about change, but still we have the same old mainstream type of picture how a woman should be built like.

I hope that women with muscles will become accepted, not because of gender identity issues or because some of them are gay and feel discriminated against, but because of their hard work and aesthetics.

In My Own Words: 28-year-old Male from Los Angeles

Today’s guest writer says Denise Hoshor is one of his favorites. The man has great taste!

Ask, and you shall receive! My last post featuring Zach from San Diego sure inspired a few of you to submit your thoughts to me! Today, I’d like to introduce you all to a 28-year-old guy from the Los Angeles area. He prefers to remain completely anonymous, so not even his first name will be mentioned. I’m fine with that.

Once again, you may contact me at ryantakahashi87 (at) yahoo (dot) com to join in on the party. You can contact this author at mufi (at) live (dot) com. He’d love to start a conversation with you!

***

When did you first discover your love for female muscle?

I was exposed to muscular women at a really young age (11 or 12). Back then, the sports channels were still airing bodybuilding contests on TV. I happened to be flipping through the channels one night when I stumbled upon this contest (I think it may have been the Arnold Classic because it was around March). Initially they were showing the male competitors, but since there was nothing else on TV at the time I figured I would keep it on that channel for a bit. About 20 minutes later, the announcer said “Let’s take a look at the women’s contest.” The women they were showing were hitting these amazing poses and just looked so strong, proud, majestic, and confident. I was completely mesmerized. I had never seen women look like that before and I thought they were the most beautiful women I had ever seen in my life.

Shortly after watching the contest on TV, I received my first laptop (after talking my way out of getting caught looking at sexy photos of muscular women on the family computer!) and began going online and reading voraciously and learning everything I could about women’s bodybuilding. Pretty soon, I knew a lot about the competitors (by photos), the competitions, and the grueling regimen it takes to compete.

Why are you attracted to female bodybuilders?

I am attracted to female bodybuilders for a multitude of reasons. I always valued people or things that are unique – different from the herd. When I first saw those female competitors on TV, not only did I think about how sexy they were, I also thought about how intense they had to train and how many sacrifices they had to make (family, relationships, time, energy) to be on that stage. Not many women would possess the drive, perseverance, and the genetics to look like a female bodybuilder or physique competitor. That inner strength and the ability to just focus on yourself without worrying about what others say is incredibly sexy to me. And from a physical standpoint, I always preferred women with some curves – be it muscles or otherwise. I’ll take a woman with shapely muscles over a typical skinny (skin-on-bones) type of girl any day. She does not have to be a huge girl (I do have my limits), but a little shape is always appreciated.

Have you ever met a female bodybuilder?

Outside of a session, no. That being said, there are plenty of fit women out here in Southern California. It is not an uncommon sight to see a woman with some degree of muscle.

Have you ever engaged in a muscle worship session with an FBB?

Yes – once – and so far that is the only session I have ever done. I did this session during my grad school years (when I was 22). It was always a dream of mine to be able to meet and experience the presence of a muscular woman. Prior to even thinking about doing a session, I did a lot of due diligence. I knew I wanted to do it with a pretty well-known competitor, someone with session experience, and, preferably, someone who was preparing for an upcoming contest. I lucked out – she was visiting the city I was in at the time about a month before her competition.

She was a very beautiful and accommodating woman to me. Although I chose not to take things too far (out of respect for her and given it was my first time), I still had a memorable evening and I got a chance to learn a little bit about her as well.

He’s also a fan of Yaz Boyum. The guy knows his stuff.

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

I would just tell them that everyone has their preferences. People do have the freedom to choose who or what they like.

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

Yes. I’ve mentioned I like fit, muscular women to some of my friends. They don’t really mind. I feel like with the advent of many new gyms (especially CrossFit which features a plethora of muscular women), it’s less of a stigma nowadays to say you like physically strong women compared to say twenty or even ten years ago.

Matter of fact, one of the nicest compliments you can give a woman is to tell her she’s strong. I remember I was at physiotherapy and my physical therapist was a fairly young woman who, although she was short, was in really good shape. We were doing this tug-of-war exercise with an exercise ball to test my balance and she eventually got it out of my hands (I’m 6’1, 220 lbs. mind you). I told her as I was catching my breath “Wow you’re strong.” She smiled, and kind of did this little half double bicep flex which totally made my day. You’ve just got to make sure you don’t sound condescending or say it in a way like “oh, you’re strong for a girl.” – No bueno.

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

Everyone has got their own preferences. You may not see why I like it, but it’s my decision anyway and I’m not hurting anyone else by being attracted to a physically strong woman.

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

As I mentioned before, I think it is already the case. There is a lot more emphasis nowadays on physical fitness and keeping healthy. I think more people are accepting of a woman with some degree of muscularity. There still may be less of an acceptance of larger muscular women (FBBs), but I think the overall number of people who appreciate a muscular frame on a woman has certainly grown.

Kathy Connors: A Devilishly Sexy Muscle Siren

Kathy Connors showing off her gorgeous legs.

Kathy Connors showing off her gorgeous legs.

As far as female bodybuilders go, Kathy Connors isn’t for everyone. She isn’t traditionally beautiful, nor is she especially “feminine” in the mainstream sense of the word.

But for those who “get” Kathy’s appeal, one cannot help but be captivated by her unrepentant sexiness. Miss Connors may not carry the crossover appeal of ladies like Larissa Reis or Minna Pajulahti, but she doesn’t have to. Kathy is remarkable for many reasons; but one reason in particular that stands out is the way she’s forged her own path toward becoming a superstar within a very specific subculture.

Definitive biographical information is difficult to find, so here it goes: Kathy Connors was born on April 3, 1960 in Buffalo, New York. She began working out in 1980 at the tender age of 20 and competed in her first show a year later in 1981. She describes herself as being interested in gourmet cooking, biking riding, skiing, scuba diving, travelling, learning foreign languages, and exploring other cultures. She currently resides in New York City.

Her contest history includes the following, though this is probably not a comprehensive list:

1989 NE Florida – 1st Light & Overall

1990 East Coast – 1st Light & Overall & Mixed Pairs

1990 Southern USA – 1st Light & Overall

1990 Jr. Nationals – 2nd Light

1991 Team USA vs. USSR Exhibition

1992 Florida State – 1st Middle

1992 USA – 3rd Middle

1992 Jr. Nationals – 3rd Middle

1993 Nationals – 10th Middle

1996 NE USA – 2nd Middle

1997 Jr. USA – 1st Middle & Overall

1998 Nationals – 10th Middle

1999 Nationals – 6th Middle

2001 Florida State Championships – 1st Middleweight

2001 Nationals – 7th Middleweight

2002 USA Championships – 13th Middleweight

2003 USA Championships – 12th Middleweight

2003 Southern States – 2nd Heavyweight

2004 North American Championships – 8th Lightheavy

2006 North American Championships – 7th Lightheavy

2007 Florida State – Heavyweight and Overall Champion

2008 North American Championships – 9th Heavyweight

2008 Masters Nationals Heavyweight – Over 45 1st place

2008 Masters Nationals Heavyweight – Over 35 2nd place

2008 USA Championships Heavyweight – 7th place

2012 Teen, Collegiate, and Masters Nationals – 5th

Kathy is a rare breed who has enjoyed success in three different professional ventures: bodybuilding, powerlifting, and adult entertainment. Obviously, the latter is where the most amount of stigma exists. Doing porn, regardless of who you are or what kind you participate in, will cause people to look at you differently. Fairly or unfairly, pornography is still a taboo subject in our society, and those who produce pornographic materials are also by extension considered taboo.

Bodybuilding and powerlifting are also somewhat unusual professions, but they’re obviously not offensive to large swaths of society. Porn is.

I’ve heard that the porn stigma exists even within the bodybuilding industry, an assertion that may or may not be accurate. I’m sure it does to an extent, but I’m also sure there are plenty of people and decision-makers within the industry who either look the other way when a prominent athlete participates in adult films or doesn’t care one iota. Or maybe I’m completely wrong about this. Who knows?

Kathy can definitely sport a sexy black cocktail dress.

Kathy can definitely sport a sexy black cocktail dress.

Regardless, balancing all of these endeavors is a challenge that not too many of us are equipped to handle. And not just attempt to do, but to do well. Kathy Connors may not be a superstar at any of these occupations, but she’s without question respectably accomplished with no reason to hang her head in shame.

Kathy is, as I alluded to before, not for everyone. I mean absolutely no disrespect when I say this, but she doesn’t have a pretty face. I wouldn’t say she’s ugly, but on a scale of 1 to 10 – 1 being Danny DeVito and 10 being Monica Bellucci – Kathy is probably somewhere in the 2-3 range. Yikes. Not impressive at all, if you ask me. But nothing to be ashamed about either.

However, part of that is what makes her so damn charming. Kathy isn’t blessed with a naturally beautiful face, but she’s still sexier than most women half her age. She’s reinvented herself to become an irresistible sex kitten through sheer willpower, strategic thinking, and business savvy.

In her adult-themed videos, Kathy usually takes on the persona of a pseudo-dominatrix who is tough, naughty, and takes no prisoners. She physically dominates her co-stars (male and female) but doesn’t abuse them in any unreasonable manner. Her shtick is to showcase her sexiness through power dynamics. She’s in charge…but doesn’t forget to please the people she’s lording over. She’ll show off her muscles in proud fashion…and will use it to get her co-stars off.

Whether she’s squeezing a man’s penis between her flexed biceps or allowing her male co-star to ejaculate all over her chiseled torso, Wild Kat (her online alias, for what it’s worth) will allow others to experience pleasure in exchange for the opportunity to show off her power and authority. She dominates not in a self-absorbed sort of way but rather in an altruistic fetishistic way. For Kathy, power is the ultimate aphrodisiac…when it’s used properly, that is.

So she’s not authoritative in the scary sense. She means no harm. At the end of the day, she wants everyone to be happy and go home with a big fat smile on their face. There’s a lot to be said for that.

Speaking of which, when watching her in action, one cannot help but notice her deep sultry voice.

Indeed, her voice is what makes her a sexy siren. In Greek mythology, Sirens were creatures who took human female form (sometimes bird form, depending on which version of the myth you buy into) and lured male sailors to their death through enchanting music and singing. A sexy body is one thing, but a sexy voice is quite another. The Sirens that Odysseus encountered in Homer’s The Odyssey were merciless beings who would not hesitate to devour whichever helpless victims were to pass them by. I don’t think Kathy is quite that devious, but her sexy hot voice is enough to lead me into certain death.

Yet another leg shot.

Yet another leg shot.

Her irresistible velvety voice is one of her best features. I could listen to her recite the phonebook for several hours and never get tired of it. Seriously, though. Miss Connors’ voice is unique for being unbelievably deep without sounding masculine at all. A remarkable feat, considering the negative stereotype pertaining to the idea that the sport of bodybuilding magically turns women into men. There’s not a single shred of evidence that this is even remotely true, but that’s a whole other story for another day.

Kathy should know that her voice is one of her biggest selling points. In addition to her muscles, Kathy’s speaking voice is enough to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up straight. If it doesn’t do that, then you must be either hard of hearing or totally immune to her unique vocal charms. As rich as butter and as refined as fine wine, Kathy’s voice resonates deeply throughout her environment. She can make the ground shake with her rumbling vocal chords. Her dulcet tones are both surprisingly soothing and undeniably erotic. That’s a winning combination that’s hard to replicate.

Obviously, taking hormones will do that to her voice. That’s shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Her “natural” voice sounds much different. But as things stand now, Kathy Connors can verbally seduce a man – or more specifically, me – in a way that makes Kathleen Turner seem like an amateur.

When looked at from afar, Kathy Connors possesses three distinct features:

  1. A homely face
  2. A deep, traditionally unfeminine voice
  3. Big muscles

How on Earth can a woman with these characteristics be considered tantalizingly sexy? It doesn’t make any sense. It defies all social norms. It goes against our conventional definitions of “beauty” and rules of sexual attraction. Even many female muscle fans prefer an unambiguously feminine woman with a traditionally pretty face. So what kind of person is attracted to a woman that even the most sympathetic female muscle fan finds hard to appreciate?

The answer to that question is simple: She’s confident in who she is and won’t apologize for being who she is.

Compared to Deidre Pagnanelli, Kathy has almost zero crossover appeal. Deidre has the gorgeous good looks of a supermodel and just enough bulk to put her in the “muscle chick” category. For hardcore female muscle lovers, Deidre might not be big enough, but at the very least they can appreciate her divine beauty and unique ability to capture the attention of “female muscle skeptics” across the globe. Kathy isn’t necessarily the epitome of every single negative stereotype associated with female bodybuilders (Nicole Bass and Maryse Manios come closer to that categorization), but she’s certainly not someone who can convert a non-believer into a believer overnight.

Yet, Kathy Connors has found a niche and is willing to exploit that niche to the best of her abilities. There’s a lot to admire about that. Kathy knows she doesn’t appeal to hundreds of millions of people. But she knows she doesn’t have to in order to be successful at what she does. She only needs a few thousand fans who are endlessly devoted to her and “get” her appeal. I am obviously one of those folks. I find her alluring, even though I completely understand why others might not feel the same way. Nor do I expect everyone else to feel the same way.

Kathy understands that if you’re willing to watch videos of her in action or to look at photos of her, then you must be already on her side. Therefore, she doesn’t feel the need to “earn” your interest. She already has it! And she’ll do whatever she can to keep your interest indefinitely.

She can even sport a bikini!

She can even sport a bikini!

One other aspect that cannot be ignored is the “forbidden” nature of Kathy’s aura. As I mentioned earlier, Kathy isn’t a woman tons of guys (and gals) would normally be enchanted by. She’s not very pretty, nor is she conventionally feminine. We’re not “supposed” to like her. But we do! That sort of goes for most muscular women in this world, but Kathy is a rare exception in that even amongst already-converted female muscle fans, she isn’t considered the most popular FBB in existence. Thus, there’s the Forbidden Fruit element attached to Kathy’s identity.

We’re not supposed to admit that we’re attracted to Kathy Connors. But we are. We’re perhaps a bit ashamed to feel this way. We know it’s strange. We know we’re not supposed to be mesmerized by her. But we are regardless of what out gut tells us. Indeed, Kathy is a Forbidden Fruit. In the deepest recesses of our hearts, we know that we’d rather make love to her than Chrissy Teigen or Margot Robbie. We know the vast majority of society would tell us that we’re nuts. Our friends and family would look at us funny and probably would never look at us the same way. But that doesn’t stop us from feeling that way. Not at all.

Do I personally find Kathy Connors more desirable than Miss Teigen or Miss Robbie, two women whom no one would bat an eyelash if I said I’d love to ravish them all night if I could?

To be honest, yes.

Yup, you read that right.

Although, I’d choose Kathy 8 times out of 10 and choose the other two ladies the remaining two times. But that’s just silliness. Kathy is the Forbidden Fruit sitting next to a cornucopia of hundreds of other pieces of delicious fruit. I can easily choose the others with no judgement from my peers. Yet, I choose the one piece that will cause the largest number of people to raise their eyebrows at me. My head tells me to go with the supermodel or the Hollywood starlet. But my heart tells me to go with the plain-looking middle aged female bodybuilder with a masculine sounding voice.

Wow. How devious is Kathy? Think about it. It’s as though she puts herself out there and says to the world: I dare you to look at me with lustful eyes! I dare you to jerk off to me when you’re all alone and no one else is watching. I dare you to fantasize about me instead of any of the hussies half my age prancing around in their underwear on Instagram!

It’s almost like she’s playing a mind game on us. It’s psychological warfare conducted by an adversary whom you cannot stop thinking about. Kathy is so bold she considers it an act of defiance to strut around naked and show off her gigantic clit for the camera. She loves to talk to her audience and reveal her deep masculine voice to the public at large. She refuses to stay silent. She refuses to put on a hyper-feminine character that would help her reach a more massive viewership. She wants to be the anti-Margot Robbie who defies our traditional notions of beauty, youthfulness, and sex appeal.

Damn girl.

Damn girl.

When we daydream about banging a hot chick in a back alley somewhere, Kathy wants us to fantasize about her being that hot chick instead of anyone else. She wants us to question our sense of “normalcy.” It’s not normal for a guy or gal to dream about having sex with a buff 56-year-old woman with an unattractive face and a man-like voice. Yet for many of us, that’s exactly what we do in the privacy of our own minds. Kathy has us in the palm of her hand and refuses to let us go.

Her defiance is what we love about her. She isn’t the type of woman who “should” do porn. Most women her age would be scared to death to expose their aging bodies like that in such a vulnerable manner. But she does. Most women who are insecure with their looks wouldn’t dream of allowing a camera to zoom in closely on their wrinkle-covered face while they masturbate, which is an act of extreme intimacy. But Kathy does. Not only does she dare to do such a thing, she challenges you to look away, knowing full well that you won’t.

Kathy doesn’t give a fuck that the crow’s feet around her eyes accentuates when she smiles for the camera. She also doesn’t give a rat’s ass when her booming voice causes your computer speakers to rumble like an earthquake. She doesn’t care about these things because she knows that if you’re willing to make it this far, then you’re willing to accept whatever she’s going to present to you.

This is why Kathy Connors is a devilishly sexy muscle siren. She’s someone we’re not supposed to like, but we do anyway. She has incredible assets, even though those assets aren’t appreciated by the vast majority of our culture. She won’t ever have mainstream appeal, but she doesn’t need it in order to thrive. She’s a muscle woman who understands why guys like me love her to death. She doesn’t care if out of one hundred people only three truly dig her. She’s going to stare deeply into the eyes of those three saps and jerk them off until they ejaculate all over her hard biceps, while the 97 others struggle to look away in utter disgust.

Kathy Connors is a rebel. She’s fiercely defiant and proudly unapologetic about who she is. To reiterate the opening line of this article, she isn’t for everyone. But she doesn’t need to be. She’s a grotesque muscle bitch who will dominate you both physically and psychologically. She refuses to hide anything about herself. She, in a metaphorical sense, stands in front of the entire Universe and gives everyone the middle finger while sticking her other middle finger inside her vagina and masturbates until she comes all over herself.

Kathy doing what she does best: looking irresistible.

Kathy doing what she does best: looking irresistible.

She rebelliously shoves a camera right in front of her ugly face, deep wrinkles, big muscles, enlarged clit, and masculine voice and says “fuck you” to anyone who dares to look the other way. If you do look away, she won’t hesitate to grab you by the balls and squeeze until you cry for mercy. Even then, she might not actually give you mercy. Or she’ll torture you until you squirt hot semen all over her maligned face while she dares you to call her “pretty.”

If you do tell her that she’s “pretty,” she might relieve you from your pain. Or she might continue to torment you because you failed the test: You aren’t supposed to call her pretty. You’re supposed to acknowledge that she’s hideous. You failed because you aren’t turned on by her. But once you are, then you’re good to go. You finally “get it” now.

Kathy Connors might be an ugly muscle bitch, but she’s the Biggest and Baddest Muscle Bitch of All Time Who Deserves Our Undying Respect. If you mess with her, she’ll fuck your shit up and laugh as she watches you crawl away in defeat.

Yowza! The Biggest and Baddest Muscle Bitch of All Time Who Deserves Our Undying Respect?

You know what? I get the feeling that’s exactly how she wants us to describe her.

The Year That Was 2016: Muscular Women Will Bring Us Together

Debbie Leung would like to wish you a happy new year!

Debbie Leung would like to wish you a happy new year!

If you were to ask a random person on the street whether 2016 was a good year or a bad year, I’d wager a guess that the vast majority of respondents would say it was an atrocious year.

What would prompt someone to say such a thing, you might ask? Let’s count the ways why 2016 could be considered a disappointing year for all of us:

  • Beloved celebrities passing away
  • Political and social unrest
  • Undesirable election outcomes
  • Mass shootings, riots, bombings, terror attacks, and random acts of violence that threaten our sense of safety and stability
  • International conflicts like war, famine, genocide, territorial disputes, religious conflict, etc.
  • Terrorism, despotism, and rising civil conflicts
  • Technological advancements that threaten the job prospects of working class people
  • Uneasiness about environmental issues
  • Eroding distrust in governments, media, and academic institutions
  • Economic insecurity
  • Rumors of war, belligerence, and frightening socio-political trends
  • Dissipating freedoms of speech, choice, religion, and association
  • Disintegrating sense of “national unity” and “common culture”
  • General feelings of anger, anxiety, and cynicism on a global scale

Yikes. You may not necessarily feel all of these things, but certainly if you’ve been paying attention to the news – regardless of where on planet Earth you live – you must recognize at least a few of the tribulations listed above. Some historians (and quasi-historians) compare the times we’re currently living in to the 1930s when we were on the cusp of World War II, which caused devastation on a scale never before seen in human history. I tend to not buy into a lot of that hype and fearmongering, but I sympathize with people who do. That’s not me being snarky or dismissive.

I’m not an expert in international relations, social psychology or foreseeing the future. However, I am someone who is keen on attempting to clarify the unexplainable. Perhaps this is why I started my blog in the first place. Yeah, I wanted an avenue for publishing my fiction writing, but as it turns out my essays are what drive traffic to my humble website. My audience spans the globe, a reality that still has not set in yet. Can you believe that? Wow!

Wow, indeed. So in a futile attempt to wrap a somewhat positive bow on the year 2016 Anno Domini, which hasn’t been so positive for far too many of us, I’ll try to talk about how muscular women can bring us together. Maybe not all of us, but certainly some of us.

Muscular women are, in many respects, the ultimate symbol of postmodernism. In case you need a quick refresher, “postmodernism” was essentially a social, artistic, and cultural movement in the 20th Century that rejected and challenged previously held assumptions about the world. It’s unfair to think about postmodernism as being over, because it definitely is not. Even in the 21st Century, we’re still questioning how we traditionally think about things like gender constructs, science, political movements, sexual identities, philosophy, religion, aesthetics, and social cooperation. So postmodernism isn’t dead and buried by any stretch of the imagination.

I hope Annie Rivieccio becomes famous one day.

I hope Annie Rivieccio becomes famous one day.

If you want to point to one facet of modern life that encompasses so much of the conversation surrounding postmodern thought, it would be the world of female bodybuilding. The existence of muscular women challenge so many of our previously held assumptions about gender, biology, sex roles, femininity, masculinity, identity, and lust. A woman with big muscles would have been unthinkable 200 years ago. Or 100 years ago. Even today many of us have a hard time believing a woman can get that muscular without freakish genetics or a comical amount of steroids.

Let’s spin this another way: Consider the way our culture celebrates the concept of the “strong independent woman.” It’s a motif that we see everywhere: novels, movies, comic books, television shows, music, political campaigns, social media, and everyday casual conversations with friends. We saw Britain appoint its second ever female prime minister. The United States saw a woman run for president for the first time. Tsai Ing-wen was elected Taiwan’s first female president, a country that exists in the shadows of an increasingly confrontational China.

Yet, the concept of the “strong independent woman” has more or less been watered down by pop culture to mean a woman who uses the right hashtags and properly criticizes Donald Trump. It’s more of a rallying cry than an actual archetype that’s justifiably acknowledged. Most of the women in the world who are creating significant social change are scientists, teachers, engineers, data analysts, and investors whom most of us have never heard of before. The visible “strong independent women” celebrated by pop culture are usually pampered celebrities who don’t actually deserve such accolades.

How funny it is that real “strong independent women” like female bodybuilders are largely ignored by our society while a pop singer like Beyoncé is heralded as the lady version of Alexander the Great or William the Conqueror. I have nothing against the Queen Bey (her music is okay), but being a major celebrity isn’t that much of an accomplishment considering there are countless anonymous female scientists out there who are working to find cures to cancer.

Isabelle Turell is a genuine strong independent woman.

Isabelle Turell is a genuine strong independent woman.

Likewise, female bodybuilders are, for the most part, anonymous. Not to readers of this blog, of course, but to the general public. It’s too bad that women like Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande will always be more famous than Shawn Tan and Annie Rivieccio, but that’s the way it is. There’s no use complaining about something that’ll never change.

However, that’s not something worth fretting over. Seriously. Muscular women may not be able to change the entire world, but they can definitely change our world. As we transition from 2016 to 2017, this is a fantastic opportunity to remind ourselves that at the end of the day, we are in control over our own destinies. It may not always seem that way, but it’s true for the most part. Consider the lessons female bodybuilders can offer us:

FBBs live in a hostile world. They are women who break convention, defy our traditional definitions of femininity, and forge their own paths despite what others say. They face obstacles that are both seen and unseen, spoken and unspoken, obvious and not-so-obvious. They are at a biological disadvantage, as well as a social disadvantage. How many times have FBBs heard the pestering question “do you really want to look that way?

Well, yes they do. They do in fact want to look that way, thank you very much. But despite the peer pressure to resist building up muscle mass, there are plenty of women in this world who ignore the noise and pursue their dreams regardless of what others say. We should applaud them, as many of us often do. Let this be a crucial lesson to all of us that you can do whatever you dream of doing – no matter how many people tell you it’s unacceptable, irresponsible or improper. I completely understand that there’s a fine line between doing foolishly stupid things (like dreaming of becoming a world famous stunt motorcycle driver) and things that are merely “frowned upon” in polite company. I get that. But there’s nothing terribly risky about being a bodybuilder, unless you recklessly put God-knows-what kind of chemicals into your body to get “gains.” That’s a whole other matter.

Female bodybuilders don’t aspire to attain the impossible. They strive to attain the possible, though far too many of us think it’s impossible. There’s the difference. It is possible for a woman to be both irresistibly sexy and ridiculously muscular concurrently. Most of us don’t think it’s possible, therefore we look down upon those who pursue this path. That being said, no matter how rocky the road will be and how choppy the waters will seem, FBBs prevail at the end.

Kim Perez is like she's from my dreams.

Kim Perez is like she’s from my dreams.

They exist. Female bodybuilders exist. And that’s all they need to do to defy an unsympathetic society that treats them with unfair skepticism. In this regard, FBBs personify a thought-provoking paradigm: Muscular women aren’t supposed to be real. But they are. Period.

This is the essence of the postmodern worldview. Whatever assumptions we previously held about the nature of femininity, biology, and human sexual attraction must be questioned and subsequently tossed out the window. Not only do muscular women exist, but they should exist. They need to exist. It’s critical that the world be able to bear witness to a group of human beings who’ve chosen to ignore thousands of years of conventional wisdom and cultivate a new reality. There isn’t a logical reason why a woman (or man) should choose to build superhuman-sized muscles, but there doesn’t have to be. People do things because we can. We create goals and try to reach them even though it doesn’t provide any apparent utility.

We climb Mount Everest because we can. We sent a rocket ship to the moon because we can. We landed a spacecraft on Mars because we can. We don’t need to, but we want to. Want. That’s all this is about. The desire to accomplish something awesome and the will to go for it.

I’m not naïve. Female bodybuilders won’t become more popular in 2017. I don’t know if they’ll become less popular (as if such a standard can be adequately measured), but certainly I don’t foresee muscular women popping up everywhere in the media. But that’s irrelevant to this discussion. FBBs will never – although it may be imprudent to use the word “never” – achieve a high degree of popularity in our mass culture. However, they’ve been able to carve out a fine little niche with folks like you and I. It’s better to have a thousand passionate supporters than one million casual onlookers.

This is how female bodybuilders continue to exist. The support from their tiny army of rabid fans will sustain their lifestyles more than being featured as a token extra on Game of Thrones or the next Avengers flick. This business arrangement won’t be radically different in 2017 than it was in 2016 (or 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, and so on), but that’s just fine. It doesn’t have to be. Economic prospects for female bodybuilders could always be better, naturally. The same could be said for any industry. But until we reach a point of financial unsustainability, I wouldn’t sweat it too much.

Will Jennifer Thomas be a breakout star in 2017? One could only hope...

Will Jennifer Thomas be a breakout star in 2017? One could only hope…

The truth is, the changing of years don’t really matter all that much. The universe won’t look profoundly different on January 1 than it did on December 31. A year is just an artificial benchmark we use to signify when the Earth makes a full rotation around the Sun. So for as bad as we think 2016 was, it makes no difference whatsoever. Events (both good and bad) happen to us regardless of what day, month, or year it is. That’s just the way it is. The concept of New Year’s Day is just a fun excuse to party too much, drink too much, and watch a crystal ball drop in Times Square. For what it’s worth, that’s okay with me.

Contrary to the title of this blog post, muscular women won’t actually bring us together. At least, they won’t bring billions of people across all cultures, languages, religious convictions, and skin colors together. Realistically, they can bring hope and joy to certain individuals who are feeling down on their luck. Sadly, there are way too many folks in this world who are feeling that way. Perhaps when it seems like optimism is lost and everything is spiraling out of control, we’ll suddenly remember ladies like Denise Masino and Brandi Mae Akers who are unapologetically sexy and don’t seem to be ready to quit anytime soon.

Remember what they have to go through every single day to achieve their dreams. Keep in mind how emotionally and physically strenuous it is to maintain a muscular body – especially for a woman. When the going gets tough, FBBs worldwide don’t just get going…they look damn good while doing it.

Oh yeah, they sure do. So here’s to another year of female muscle fandom. May 2017 bring you peace, love, joy, and unbridled sexiness.

Karen Zaremba: My Sentimental Favorite

Hand bras are the worst!

Hand bras are the worst!

Every female muscle fan has “the one” who truly made them see the light. It’s not necessarily the first muscular woman they ever saw or the one they would consider to be their favorite. Personally, the first FBB I ever noticed was Lisa Marie Bickels, a former U.S. Marine who caught my attention more than ten years ago during my college years.

My current favorite is Denise Masino, a devilishly sexy siren with an endowment between her legs that can only be described as scrumptious. Miss Bickels isn’t close to being a favorite of mine and Miss Masino is someone I discovered later on. Thus, the subject of the woman who played a crucial role in my “female muscle awakening” is none other than Karen Zaremba.

Karen Zaremba was born on January 27, 1964 in Detroit, Michigan. Back then, Detroit was deserving of its nickname of The Motor City and the breeding ground of some of the most recognizable names in American pop music (Motown, anyone?). Today, Detroit resembles a Third World country, but that’s another story for another day. On that fateful day in the heartland of America, the world was introduced to a gorgeous young lass who would one day grow up to become one of the sexiest female bodybuilders the Universe has ever known.

Today, Karen resides in Clinton Township, which is less than 30 miles north of her birth town. So Karen didn’t scurry too far from the crib, as it were. I suppose there’s no reason why one should move far away from home unless there were extenuating circumstances. If you like where you live, why not stay there? Karen and her family obviously feel this way.

Like many beautiful female bodybuilders, Karen is the mother of two children and is happily married. Evidently, she never had any problem balancing her work/home life with her chosen profession of being a competitive bodybuilder and fitness model. Standing at a modest 5”2” and weighing 124 pounds (give or take), she describes herself as a “stay-at-home Mom” when she isn’t working in the fitness industry. Of course, many of the interviews that I’ve used to curate this information are several years old, so take this with a grain of salt.

Love those abs!

Love those abs!

From what I can gather, Karen no longer competes and probably doesn’t participate in bodybuilding anymore. Like many FBBs, details about their personal lives are scant, making it a challenge to paint a complete picture of what she’s like. I am confident that whatever she’s doing now, she’s probably happy with her life and wouldn’t want things to be any other way.

Her contest history is as follows:

2007 – Europa Super Show: 8th place, Lightweight

2006 – IFBB Motor City Pro Figure: 16th place

2006 – IFBB Pittsburgh Pro Figure: 16th place

2005 – NPC National Figure Championships: 2nd place, Class A (earned her IFBB pro card)

2005 – Junior Nationals: 3rd place, Class A

2005 – Junior USA: 3rd place, Class A

2004 – Central States Figure championships: Short Class, Masters and Overall Winner

2003 – Michigan Novice Bodybuilding championships: Lightweight, Masters and Overall Winner

Of course, this might not reflect her full contest history, but my quick bit of Internet research reveals that this is pretty comprehensive. If you know of any further contests that Karen has participated in, please do not hesitate to let me know in the comments below.

As one can clearly see, her contest history isn’t remarkable or noteworthy. Pretty standard for someone who loves to compete but isn’t too committed to becoming an elite competitor. This is not meant to be a slight against her. This is just to say that when she was a competitive bodybuilder, she wasn’t someone you would have associated as being the best of the best.

Poetry in motion.

Poetry in motion.

She came, she saw, she…participated. Her accomplishments are as modest as her objectives. She didn’t aim to be better than everybody else; she just wanted to see what she could do. Many competitors (both male and female) are not necessarily “in it to win it.” Many are in it for no other reason than to have fun, challenge one’s self, and meet new people while trying new things.

That’s an attitude we need to see more in our world.

But that’s not why she’s a sentimental favorite of mine. I discovered Karen in 2005 or 2006, so in other words a solid decade ago. Back then, I would have been 18 or 19 and Karen would’ve been 41 or 42. Think it’s unusual for a boy in his late teens to completely fall in love with a woman who’s more than twice his age? A woman who is nearly old enough to be his own mother? I certainly thought so at the time, but I didn’t think there was anything wrong or abnormal about it.

Why was there nothing unusual about this? Well, have you taken a good look at her?

Yowza!

Karen is one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen. She has an authentic look to her that’s difficult to explain but easy to see. Her dark hair is beautifully complemented by her olive complexion, a skin tone that perfectly accentuates her muscles. She’s legendary for her six-pack abdomen, which she is not shy about showing off to the camera. I briefly went through a stage of having a six-pack fetish. Can you possibly guess why?

Facially, she doesn’t look like a cookie-cutter Playboy Playmate or a nameless fashion model you see plastered across shopping mall corridors. It’s too clichéd to say she looks like the “girl next door” or the “hot mom next door,” but it’s sort of true!

What initially struck me about Karen, and it still strikes me today, is how effortlessly sexy she is. When she walks, her hips poetically bounce in a way that can make your heart stop. She’s very feminine, so much so you forget that all those negative stereotypes about female bodybuilders even exist. Of course, she’s a mother – which allows her to be called a certain idiotic acronym that I refuse to mention on this blog. Personally, I find muscle moms appealing, but there are certain misogynistic levels I refuse to lower myself to.

Baby got back!

Baby got back!

Perhaps that’s at the root of my attraction to Karen Zaremba. She’s a muscular woman who transcends the “muscle chick” fetish. She isn’t just “beautiful for a female bodybuilder,” she’s “beautiful…period, end of story.” Karen forced me to view muscular women through a different lens. No longer were all FBBs big, oversized masculinized “women” who’ve vehemently rejected traditional femininity and womanhood. I may not have felt exactly that way toward FBBs at the time, but my worldview was limited during those years. Karen encouraged me to expand my horizons.

Then, the floodgates opened. I discovered Annie Rivieccio. Then Lisa Cross. Then Alina Popa, followed by Yvette Bova and Denise Masino and Deidre Pagnanelli. I found out about Michelle Maroldo and Denise Hoshor. And Brandi Mae Akers. Of course, Victoria Dominguez. And other women like Nikki Fuller, Debi Laszewski, Sondra Faas, Marina Lopez, Catherine Holland, Emery Miller, Gayle Moher, Lauren Powers, Shawn Tan, Julie Germaine, and newcomers like Shannon Courtney, Minna Pajulahti, Dani Reardon, and Sheronica Sade Henton. There are many more to name. We could go on for hours. I’m still discovering new beautiful ladies seemingly every single day.

But I never forgot my roots, as the saying goes. Karen Zaremba remains on the front of my mind and tucked away snuggly in my heart. She isn’t just one of my first discoveries…she remains one of the best and brightest. I have the feeling I’m going to feel the same way regardless of how many additional tens of thousands of muscular women I’m introduced to in the future.

But let’s return to Karen’s effortless sexiness. It cannot be understated. Karen doesn’t walk; she glides. She doesn’t smile; she glows. She doesn’t pose; she radiates. She doesn’t flex; she blossoms. She doesn’t impress; she transcends. She doesn’t compete as a bodybuilder; she elevates the ceiling of human potential. She isn’t just beautiful; she’s ethereal and magnanimous. Karen Zaremba exceeds your expectations yet doesn’t seem to be trying to do anything other than being herself.

That takes more than talent. That takes a flawless combination of natural gifts, determination, hard work, and instincts. No one can teach you how to be as angelic as Karen. Nor could she necessarily teach others the ropes. Some of us are more radiant and charismatic than others for reasons that cannot be rationally explained or easily transferrable.

Karen's skin tone is the best.

Karen’s skin tone is the best.

Perhaps part of her appeal is her laidback Midwestern demeanor. Karen doesn’t boast the flashiness of an entitled California-bred pseudo-celebrity. Nor is she a snooty East Coaster who treats bodybuilding as her ticket to Broadway-style stardom. I am, of course, exaggerating and wildly stereotyping millions of people in the United States (which is trendy in the year 2016), but what cannot be denied is the refreshing authenticity that Karen brings to the table.

She doesn’t post selfies every single day on Instagram. In fact, I don’t think Miss Zaremba even has an Instagram account. When you research her, you don’t actually find a whole lot. This adds to her mystique. Because thousands of photos and hundreds of hours of video footage of Karen don’t exist, we can only witness a small slice of who she is. This allows us to fill in the blanks wherever we see fit.

So I can speculate that she’s modest, down-to-earth, and full of “small town charm” because…well, I feel like it. Is this based on extensive knowledge of her personality, lifestyle, and background? Nope! Our idealized version of people is what fuels our love for celebrities.

Karen Zaremba may not be a traditional celebrity, but in my heart she’s a glamorous superstar.

She comes across as a super chill lady who will just as likely bake you a batch of gingerbread cookies as she is to rapidly do 25 pullups as if it were no big deal. She’s a mom and she loves being a mom. She once was a muscular woman who also doesn’t mind being a loving wife and someone who would enthusiastically serve on her local PTA board. Once again, this is based on nothing but what exists in my imagination. But doesn’t this seem plausible?

For her, bodybuilding isn’t her life’s calling or integral to her business model. Doesn’t it seem like for Karen being a bodybuilder was a “neat” thing to do? She wasn’t in it for the money, the glitz, or the fame. She didn’t “brand” herself as a bad girl or a sexy muscle siren or feminist superhero. She just let herself be herself. She’s a mom, a wife, and a friendly neighbor who thinks having big muscles would be nifty. You rarely see that level of unpretentiousness in today’s narcissistic culture.

In other words, Karen never wanted to be a celebrity – even among the small subculture of female muscle fans. Having big muscles wasn’t her way of feeding her ego. It was her way of experiencing self-empowerment. All she wanted to be was the best version of herself. For me, that’s all I need.

Karen left just enough to the imagination...yet revealed enough to let us know what she got. Such a tease!

Karen left just enough to the imagination…yet revealed enough to let us know what she got. Such a tease!

Just as any baseball or football player must eventually call it a career and “hang up the cleats,” Karen has now decided to forgo her muscles and become “normal-looking” again. I have no doubt that Karen still exercises to keep herself fit and trim, but from what I can gather (and she prefers to keep her personal life private, which is her right) she’s allowed her muscles to shrink. She’s now a former bodybuilder. She’s now a regular lady you see shopping for groceries at the supermarket on a quiet Tuesday afternoon. This isn’t disappointing or regrettable. She can do whatever she wants with her life.

But there is undeniably a small element of sadness at play here. It is a bit melancholy when a gorgeous FBB retires and relinquishes her muscularity. As a sports fan, you never want to see your favorite players withdraw from playing the game they love and ride off into the sunset back to civilian life. But time marches on and not everything lasts forever. There will be plenty of young up-and-coming Karen Zarembas who will take up her mantle. Heck, I’ve references many of them on this very blog.

So this is a celebration of a woman who leaves a legacy of making the world a more beautiful place, whether she has big muscles or not. Because of her, we now have stronger faith in the goodness of people and the potential of human achievement. Karen Zaremba never has to “prove” that she is gorgeous. She just is. She never hogs the spotlight and demands that people look at her. We look at her because we cannot help but look at her. That takes something special.

As an 18-year-old kid Karen made my heart leap out of my chest. She was more than twice my age and rarely ever did any nude modeling. She never did anything pornographic or overly sexual. She kept it classy. She kept things modest. You’ll never find a video of her sucking a porn star’s penis or masturbating with an oversized dildo. She never had to do any of those things to capture my attention, even all these years later.

She just had to be herself. And that was enough. And it still is.