Friday, 29 May 2015

Hot and Hard and LIKED and FOLLOWED: One FMS Reader's Special Report into the Most Popular Muscle Women in the World

The idea for today's post, which is almost entirely put together by our new FMS Head of Research, "JT", originated just about midway through the Hot and Hard 100 countdown when his curiosity was aroused by a very, VERY big number...

Just spotted something I thought worth sharing, connected to your top 100.

On Facebook, this year's #42 Dana Linn Bailey has 1,407,319 likes. And rising!
I find this incredible. I may have to do some more research... Could she be the current 'most popular' member of the top 100? I wonder how the others compare...


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And off to do his research he went.

Now before we find out what he found out, I think we should take a moment to consider what a Herculean task JT set himself and that however imperfect you might think his methods have been (and in his introduction you will see that he freely admits this survey is by no means comprehensive), the fruits of it are nothing less than a unique snapshot of the most universally popular muscle women in the world right now. I've never seen anything like this before, and I truly doubt you have either (unless, of course you've done your own research and have been keeping the results to yourself). So, hats off to JT, and without further ado, here is his report...


1. THE METHOD

I've complied my list of the top 100 via Facebook likes or followers. However, it gets a bit more difficult than I had thought. Many of these ladies have more than one Facebook page, some are just normal accounts, some don't show the followers or likes and some are fan pages. I've gone for whichever has the most followers or likes. Biggest number wins, and only Facebook here. A similar study on Twitter etc. or combined Facebook, Twitter etc. will have to be done in the future I guess!

2. THE RESULTS

A. The 12 MOST POPULAR WOMEN from the HOT AND HARD 100

Qualification = greater than 100,000

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1 Eva Andressa Vieira 7,060,477

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2 Gracyeanne Barbosa 2,978,044

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3 Dana Linn Bailey 1,442,069

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4 Larissa Reis 784,099

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5 Bella Falconi 510,799

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6 Andreia Brazier 499,293

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7 Julie Bonnett 374,237

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8 Toni West 351,221

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9 Sophie Arvebrink 215,088

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10 Zoa Linsey 168,435

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11 Kashma Maharaj 150,634

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12 Cindy Landolt 141,994

ANALYSIS

Those top 2 are incredibly popular! TV stars in Brazil, they must be part of the celebrity culture there I would think. Dana Linn Bailey wins for the most popular "truly muscular" name. Mostly, the more popular ladies are those with the 'Fitness' vibe but one surprise for me in this list is Kashma Maharaj: 150k likes for a genuinely BIG female bodybuilder, wow! [Also Zoa Linsey, no? I believe she's big in Japan - ed.] I'm also going to note Iris Kyle,[not in the Hot and Hard 100] who, with 158,594 has just slightly less than Kashma, a surprisingly large following.

For comparison, Serena Williams is surely one of the world's most recognisable female athletes. And what is her total for this? 2,757,946.

And at this point JT took the idea and just ran with it...

B. THE MOST POPULAR "MUSCULAR" WOMEN in the WORLD

This isn't comprehensive at all, but looking more widely than the Hot and Hard 100, taking the guidelines as a woolly "muscular/defined" (either the photo shows muscle enough to get my attention, or they say IFBB, Fitness, Physique, whatever in their tagline), so far the 14 members of the "Millionaires Club" are...

Qualification = greater than 1,000,000

1 EVA ANDRESSA VIEIRA 7,060,477

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2 Michelle Lewin Fitness Model 5,253,872

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3 Ronda Rousey Mixed Martial Artist/Actress 3,379,482

4 GRACEYANNE BARBOSA 2,978,044

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5 Paige Hathaway Fitness Model 2,817,257

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6 Serena Williams 2,757,946

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7 Christina Vargas IFBB Pro Bikini 2,191,638

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8 Narmin Assria IFBB Pro Bikini 1,814,504

9 DANA LINN BAILEY 1,442,069

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10 Nicole Wilkins Ms Figure Olympia 1,278,620

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11 Justine Moore Fitness Model 1,277,004

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12 Miesha Tate Mixed Martial Artist 1,222,962

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13 Vanessa Tib Fitness Model 1,189,060

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14 Pamela Jane Noble Fitness Model 1,029,595

ANALYSIS

JT says, Nicole Wilkins is the one standing out for me as someone that I was expecting to appear in the Hot and Hard 100. It's hardly the most muscular collection of women, I think you will agree. Once again, it's Dana Linn Bailey flying the flag (nor fail) for the really muscular woman. Obviously what we FMS readers think of as Hot and Hard is largely not what the world admires or aspires to!

A full list of the numbers relating to the Hot and Hard 100 is available here.

Comments and suggestions to: 6ft1swell@gmail.com

And incidentally, tomorrow just happens to be Dana Linn Bailey's birthday.

She'll be 32. And rising.

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Happy Birthday to the World's Most Popular Muscle Woman!

Enjoy! And many many thanks to JT.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

FBBUK: Media Watch

As always seems to be the case (and perhaps for reasons that have been discussed on FMS passim) if you've been wanting news of British muscle women, the best place to look recently has been the regional rather than the national media.

May has been a particularly bumper month, and in case you missed them, today we bring you news of three of the women who've got some recent regional love.

JANE CARTER

Glastonbury bodybuilder Jane Carter makes stunning return to competition, reads the headline in the Central Somerset Gazette from May 9th, and I'm already wondering to myself if I've heard the name before, though I'm pretty sure I haven't.

Turns out Jane was returning to competition after a four-year break. And how. First up, she booked her place at the UKBFF British championships by finishing 2nd in her category at the Portsmouth Qualifier. Then she won a NABBA Britain qualifier in Exeter, at the very same venue where she had won her first competition - 19 years ago!

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To go back and win again was a dream come true at the age of 44 and after having a family, she told the Central Somerset Gazette reporter. It was a sell-out, an amazing atmosphere, and the judges were very pleased to see me return to the stage as some of them had judged me all those years ago when I first started in my 20s.

Turns out that competitive debut was back in 1996 and kick-started a long and distinguished career that (as far as I've been able to ascertain) includes two British and one World title. Now I'm thinking I really should have heard of Jane Carter before.

If you're in the Yeovil area though, you probably have heard of Jane Carter, or at least you know where the gym she runs with her husband is. Slim Gym Personal Training advertises sessions with "British Professional and World Physique Champion" Jane Carter, and her profile on the gym's website lists over 25(!) contests from that debut in 1996 up until she took her break in 2010.

Well, at least we've heard of her now!

SAMANTHA EGAN

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At least there's no reason to feel guilty about never having come across Bolton's Samantha Egan before. The 24-year-old had won her (Bikini) class at the UKBFF North West in her very first competition, as was reported by both The Bolton News and (with exactly the same story and picture) This Is Lancashire on May 7th.

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The following day, this regional story went national, picked up by the seemingly ever female muscle hungry Mail Online with more pictures of Samantha, more details of her "gruelling regime" and the headline: Female bodybuilder who eats SIX meals a day to bulk up and maintain her rippling abs wins first ever muscle contest.

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What both articles fail to mention is Samantha's crush on FMS fave Sexy Sophie Arvebrink, who provides both inspiration - I'll be channelling my inner Sophie doing my chest and arms workout today - and a means of reminding herself how far she has yet to go - When you feeling cocky noticing a new vein at the gym, come crashing back down to earth when you see a picture of this girl [Sophie]. However, the Mail was certainly correct to point out that Samantha's abs do, indeed, ripple.

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You can follow Samantha on Instagram.

SUZANNE STIRLAND

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And finally today, courtesy of the Derby Telegraph on May 18th, Suzanne Stirland, a UK champ and pro bodybuilder who competes on the drug-free side of the sport.

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At 47, and the mother of an 11-year-old daughter, Suzanne is a walking, talking, lifting and flexing advertisement for the benefits of the sport, though her daughter didn't always appreciate her mother's achievements - or "otherness". At first she didn't like it because I looked so different to the other mums at school, says Suzanne. Now she's proud of what I'm doing. I bet she looked different, and no doubt she still does!

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Suzanne has been going to the gym for the best part of 20 years, but it was only in 2009, the article tells us, that she started bodybuilding to compete. Success came quickly, and last year she won the British title and followed that up with a third-place finish at the World Championships in Boston on her pro debut.

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Suzanne now plans to get that world title later this year. All the hard work is worth it when you are on stage, she says. It's an amazing feeling to know that you have achieved perfection, you have sculpted it. The ultimate achievement would be to win the World Championships. And you can follow Suzanne in her bid on her Facebook.

Well done to the regional media once again!

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Brains, Biceps, Beauty.. BRITTNI!

She was probably already doing some celebrating when she made our Hot and Hard 100 list for the first time at #94, but in recent weeks "Bodybuilder, Super Saiyan, Fitness Fanatic and Atheist" Brittni Kent has had other reasons to celebrate too.

1. BRAINS

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Guess who's graduating! says Brittni, who, as of 9th May, is a proud Associate in Science, Health and Human Performance. But she's not finished with the books. Not just yet anyway. Now [it's] time to tackle the nutrition degree, she says.

2. BICEPS

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And if you were wondering why Brittni was looking so tanned in her gown and mortarboard, then the answer was the graduation pic was taken only hours before her Physique debut at the 2015 NPC Battle of the Bodies in her native Oklahoma.

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Brittni may have been top of the class at college, but she came in second in her class at the show. Still wishing I'd tried a little harder on the comp[etition] prep, she admitted beforehand. But ultimately she had no regrets. Trading the striated glutes in for straight As this semester was worth it. Judging by the photos, she certainly seems to have enjoyed herself on the stage. There will be other shows, I'm sure.

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So, the competition turned out a lot more fun than I thought it would be. I met some awesome people, had a great time, and even took home a sword. I've decided, if I can manage to hold on to the 10lbs of muscle I gained, then I'm going to compete in the Oklahoma next year if I'm not in school. Next year I'm bringing the HEAT.

3. BEAUTY

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Brittni has also done a handful of photo shoots in the last few months as well. Glorious as she looks, this is very new to her, and one of the most endearing qualities is her honesty when she's outside her comfort zone, and photoshoots are definitely in that category. By her own admission, being all glamorous and pouty and sultry is not something that comes naturally to her. [I] Really wish I had thought of better poses prior to showing up, she said of her October shoot (top left and bottom right)!

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But she is at her most beautiful - in my opinion anyway - in a shoot she did with local (to her) photographer Lee Baxley before her graduation and when she was nearing her contest ready peak. And I'm not saying this just because these are nudes, either (although if ever there was proof of the maxim that fit women look good naked, this is it). They really are beautifully-lit photographs of a beautifully sculpted body.

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And, here she is all endearingly unsure of herself again, she almost didn't make the photos public. Was conflicted on posting these, she told her Instagram followers. Happily, she decided to do so, and for all the right reasons. I'm proud of these pictures, so I won't let the opinions of others dictate my life. Lee Baxley is an amazing photographer and captured the softer side of me I had never seen before. It's like seeing myself through new eyes, and I'm glad to have had the experience.

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And now the cramming and the exams and the graduation and the training and the dieting and the contest debut are over and done with, Brittni's been having herself some well-deserved R&R - a holiday with her fiancé. In Vegas. Where else?!

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You can follow Brittni's Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Tumblr. Lee Baxley, as far as I can tell from his Tumblr, hasn't done anything remotely as good as the shoot he did with Brittni, but you might like to keep an eye on his work too.

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Enjoy!