Sunday, 30 September 2012

Two's Up of the Day

"Sorry I'm late."

"Car trouble?"

"Yeah, there were these two muscle babes stuck to the bumper..."
Isabelle Turrell and Joanna Thomas

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Female Muscle, Vanity and Fantasy

The sprinter has the time to race against. The weightlifter has the weights. The bodybuilder only has the mirror.

narcissism (noun)
excessive or erotic interest in oneself and one's physical appearance

Are female bodybuilders all narcissists? It wouldn’t be too surprising to find that many of them (and their male counterparts) are. After all, if bodybuilding isn’t all about taking interest in oneself and one’s physical appearance, what is it?

They may have changed, transformed, from a body they are not happy with to a body they are ecstatic about. They want to show the world. Have you ever seen a woman who recently had plastic surgery not exhibit cleavage, or a new hairdo wear a hat?

A little while back, I referred to a clip of Denise Masino and Tatianna Butler on a US TV show in which at one point Tatiana says one person per household walking around half-naked, unable to walk past a mirror without flexing, was her limit, that there was only room in her life for one narcissist: herself.

Right from the beginning of my interest in female muscle, I found images of muscular women gazing at their own muscles while they flexed especially stimulating. The idea, confirmed by Tatiana, that the women enjoyed looking at themselves as much as I enjoyed looking at them was, and still is, a turn-on. And I don’t want that fantasy to be eroded by evidence suggesting otherwise.

Nevertheless, I fearlessly researched the subject for this post, but came across very little evidence either way – as usual there has been so much more written about the subject regarding male bodybuilders. When I did find something that suggested vanity on the part of a muscular woman, it aroused me. Evidence suggesting insecurity was easy to ignore.

In general, what I found was that competitive muscle women love themselves most at the point where they achieve their contest look. Every bit of their hard work is on show. They are literally all muscle.

I was getting ready for a show and I was about two weeks out. I was having sex; specifically I was giving this persona a blow-job. I was in front of the mirror when I noticed the arm I was propped on was tensed and all the muscles running down my arm were flexed. I couldn't take my eyes off myself. I was in my GLORY. I temporarily forgot what I was doing and I was so caught up in how good I looked. I must have been gazing at my image for a long time when my companion interrupted my moment by clearing his throat and in a slightly annoyed/half amused tone was like ‘Hi, hello...remember me? Are you through checking yourself out, or am I in your way?'

On the other hand, competition time is also judgement time. Standing on a stage having your body scrutinised by the judges, the audience and your peers probably isn’t the best way to keep your insecurities under control, I imagine. But if it’s true that being in contest shape brings out more insecurity than confidence, I frankly don’t want to know about it. Let’s talk about something else…

Better even than an image of a muscular woman gazing at herself is self-worship; stroking, squeezing, kissing or licking her muscles. This takes it to a whole new level. It’s no longer enough for her to just look at herself, she is compelled to touch. It’s irresistible – both for her and for me.

self-worship (noun)
idiolatry, the worship of yourself

My self-worship Queen is Dena Westerfield, who seemed to go through a period a few years back when she couldn’t pose for a camera for more than a couple of seconds without touching herself up and planting a big smacker on a bicep. In a classic Awefilms clip, she spends quality time in a hotel room with just a mirror for company, and you get the impression that’s how she spends all her evenings when she’s on the road, and most of her evenings at home for good measure. All an act? If it is, it’s a very convincing one, and one that I’m all too ready to believe!

The moral of the story? Well, when she’s looking in the mirror at the gym there’s a good chance she’s checking herself out, but if it helps you to believe that she’s actually checking you out, then believe, but if, like me, you find the idea that she can’t wait to get home, disrobe and spend the rest of the evening gazing at herself in the mirror, believe that instead. When all is said and done, a fantasy is just that, and it’s better it remains so.

Check out the Tatiana and Denise interview here.
The quote I paraphrase is at about 3.30.

Two's Up of the Day

Q: What's better than a picture of a female bodybuilder?
A: A picture of two female bodybuilders!

This week on Female Muscle Slave  it's buy one, get one free. You don't have to settle for one pair of bulging biceps. This week it's Two's Up, you get two pair. A week of the kind of images that send my imagination into overdrive with visions of myself as the filling in a fantasy femuscle sandwich. Yeah!
Karen Garrett and Aleesha Young

Friday, 21 September 2012

Kike Elomaa

It’s that time of year again when the primest female muscle meat on the planet gathers in Las Vegas. The countdown to next weekend begins here on Female Muscle Slave with a look back at the women who have held the title, because although Iris Kyle always wins now, once upon a time there were others.

From tomorrow, you'll be treated to a Miss Olympia or two every day, but we will kick off our countdown with the 1981 champ, Kike Elomaa of Finland. Other Miss Olympia's have gone on to acting careers, but as far as I know, Kike is the only one who can claim to have followed her success in bodybuilding by becoming a pop star, and, furthermore, I can't name any other Miss O winners who are serving MPs in their country's parliament. The 'forgotten Miss Olympia' she may be, but her achievements both in the sport and since her retirement prove her to be a unique and truly remarkable woman, and a great advert for female bodybuilding, as well as for her beloved country, Finland.

Born in July 1955, Kike was a farmgirl, working in the barn and in the field, she tells us. She left school and studied Nursing, by which time sport had become her main, though not her only interest: I was training twice a day, and yet I did some knitting too at the same time(!)

Her bodybuilding annus mirabilis was 1981. To start, she won the Finnish, then the European Championships, then travelled to the World Games, which she also won. On 22nd August in Philadelphia, Kike became the second Miss Olympia, beating the previous champ, Rachel McLish. She was the first non-American to win, and it wasn't until 2000, 19 years later, that another woman from outside the USA matched her.

She competed twice more in the Miss O, finishing third in 1982, and fifth in 1983, when she was also runner-up in the World Championships. As far as researchers here at Female Muscle Slave can tell, she did not compete again, though according to her website, she was still a pro until she retired in 1985, still a clean athlete.

And then Kike reinvented herself as a pop singer and TV presenter, and we can conclude she did so with some success because at some point, (yet again the FMS research team have been found wanting regarding the exact date of this) she was voted Finland's 'Most Popular Woman'.

And at the same time, Kike was touring the country with another purpose, no doubt using the knowledge she had gained through bodybuilding to lecture on the benefits of physical activity and nutritional awareness. I wonder if a young Marja Lehtonen or Paulina Talus was a fan of Kike who sang and was on TV, and who had muscles and was loved by seemingly everyone. Who knows, perhaps they even attended one of Kike's lectures, and perhaps they hung around afterwards for an autograph and a picture with their heroine?

It's possible, but even if it didn't happen, (and even if Marja and Paulina preferred Marjo Selin to Kike) that kind of active promotion of the sport by a high profile woman may explain why Finland punches well above its weight in the world of female muscle. A ten-minute brainstorm and a brief visit to a forum came up with Armi Mahonen, Eva Kovalainen, Henna-Riikka Liimatainen, Inkeri Salminen, Kaisa Toikko, Kirsi Rantanen, Laura Tolonen, Mari Pakkila, Maria Hamalainen, Salla Kauranen, Susanna Mantila, Tiina Kasvi, Vilma Koivumaa, Heidi Vuorela and Minna Pajulahti who are all currently active (or were until very recently) in the sport. Without wishing to get carried away and over-estimate her significance, the population of Finland is about 5.4m. Portugal, Greece and Belgium each have about twice that. How many female bodybuilders or fitness athletes do you know from those countries?
Sauna pic in article about Finnish woman complies with EU directive 2983/45

Anyway, my musings aside, you only have to look at the post-bodybuilding pics and the 'mature' Kike to see the benefits of regular weight training and nutritional awareness for women. I can't be sure exactly how old she is in these pictures (research team, start clearing your desks) but she was 30 when she finished bodybuilding, so these pictures must be from then on, and if they are very recent, she's in her early sixties now.

And so to politics. This is not the celebrity to Parliament story of a Berlusconi babe, though. Kike was politically aware from a young age through her father's involvement in the Finnish Rural Party (or SMP), providing the music at party events with her family as a child. And in true politician-speak, she sees her whole life as preparation for her career in politics, giving her invaluable insight and knowledge of the abilities and sensibilities of the Finnish people.

She was elected to the Finnish Parliament last year for a four-year term as a member of the party that grew out of the Rural Party in the 1980s, the True Finns Party (or PS). Though economically left-wing the party has, not surprisingly for a party that has rural origins, conservative social values. Their manifesto marries euro-scepticism, suspicion of globalisation and a stress on self-sufficiency with strong support for the Finnish welfare state. PS won about a fifth of the votes in 2011, and are the largest opposition party.

So she still seems pretty popular, although she's a long way to go before we talk about the first ex-Miss Olympia Prime Minister! But I did like this recommendation for her election, written by one of her PS female colleagues, that says she is athletic and elegant, cordial and approachable. She would be a good MP, intelligent, quick-witted, knowledgeable, feisty and resolute. It would be really cool for Kike represent Finnish women in the Finnish Parliament. I highly recommend her! Feisty, eh? I bet she is.

But let's come back to bodybuilding before we finish up our look at this amazing woman, shall we? Despite her short moment in the pro bodybuilding sun, upon her induction to the IFBB Hall of Fame in 2001, her significance to the sport was acknowledged. She had, in those few years, not only elevated the sport’s popularity in her Finnish homeland, but helped introduce the fledgling activity to the entire European continent. Far more significant than her contest placements were her radiant elegance and unmistakable European class and charm that ignited such notable interest in women’s bodybuilding.

Thanks, Kike.