Sunday, 30 June 2013

Dena: A Retrospective (Day 2)

Screening 2: Self-worship

Mixed Armwrestling (1.37)
Muscle Angels: Black String (2.42)

Although Dena never went nude in a performance for a female muscle photography and video site, more often than not she appeared in outfits that left very little to the imagination. Tonight’s clip, one of a series from Muscle Angels, has been chosen partly because the outfit Dena wears in it is a great example of that.

But it’s also been chosen because it exemplifies another of the key features of Dena’s performances that we saw briefly in yesterday’s screening: self-worship (or ‘autoadmiration’ as some female muscle brethren would prefer to call it). Certainly this includes the kissing, licking, squeezing or caressing of her muscles, and there is plenty of that in this clip. It also certainly includes longing, loving gazes at her muscles, particularly her biceps, as she flexes them.

But, I would argue, Dena (and very very few other female bodybuilders) had a way in front of the camera that conveyed to the viewer a sensual and sexual excitement arising from being a sexy, muscular woman. Every movement and every gesture seems to communicate that there could be no bigger turn on for Dena than being herself, at inhabiting such a desirable muscular body.

Personally, I like to believe that Dena really was turned on by her own body, that it wasn’t just a very very skilful act for the camera. To know what the truth of that is, we’d need to ask Dena herself, but I think we can all agree that whether it was how she really felt or whether it was all a show, you, me and hundreds and thousands of female muscle fans were and still are turned on by Dena’s performances and Dena’s body.

And today’s accompanying short, ‘Mixed Armwrestling’ further showcases Dena’s penchant for showing some love to her own muscles for the camera. It’s common to see a bit of bicep kissing by muscle women after armwrestling victories over men (or each other), and there’s plenty of that from Dena here. But, as usual, Dena brings a little something extra to the party, and there’s also (at about the thirty-second mark) Dena giving her bicep a good lick - mid-wrestle!

Dena’s retrospective continues tomorrow.

And if you haven’t experienced today’s clip (or any of the other clips this week) in its entirety, FMS would be delighted to point you in the direction of a place where it can be found for download. Just get in touch.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Dena: A Retrospective (Day 1)

Perhaps one day there will be a Female Muscle Film Festival.

I dreamed about it. It took place someplace warm as I recall. There were screenings of the Nemesis films and Pumping Iron II going on 24 hours a day, and an illustrated lecture by an academic about the portrayal of female bodybuilders in cinema. And websites like HerBiceps and Muscle Angels had screening rooms where forthcoming work was being premiered, introduced by the women themselves, and the queues of female muscle lovers for these stretched round the block. A group of older female muscle heads had taken over a cinema and were showing old WPW and Ray Martin videos in full on a thirty-foot screen, the long- retired stars in attendance for Q&A sessions, still adored by the fans. And just as a film festival might pay tribute to a great director or an actor, programmers had put together retrospectives of clips by long-gone websites like World of Muscle and much-loved female bodybuilders.

I spent much of the following day unable to forget my dream. I couldn’t help wondering which of my favourite female bodybuilders I’d like to curate a retrospective of. It would have to be a woman with a large body of work to choose from, and a woman whose performances were consistently good enough to merit reviewing and analysing.

One name kept coming to mind again and again: Dena Westerfield.

And so this week, on FMS, inspired by my dream, a week of posts amounting to an imagined programme booklet for an imagined Dena Westerfield retrospective at my imagined Female Muscle Film Festival.

I know that’s a lot of imagining, but if you are still with me, I’ll begin…

Dr Sexy: A Retrospective of the Work of Dr Dena Westerfield on Video


Neither the biggest nor the most successful female bodybuilder of her generation, Dena Westerfield nevertheless holds a special place in the hearts of many female muscle heads for her uniquely captivating performance style in the hundreds of video clips she appeared in during her career.

This retrospective will consist of what I consider to be some of her very best work, and will include clips she made for Awefilms, Tom Nine (available from The Valkyrie), and Muscle Angels  The notes accompanying each screening will attempt to explain why I have selected it, and what exactly made Dena such a noteworthy performer.

In addition, at each screening there will also be a shorter clip of Dena, which, with the exception of this evening’s clip, will be something more candid, something to remind us that Dena was often at her most charismatic when she was at her most natural.

Screening 1: Being Dr Sexy

Ms Olympia 2006 routine (3.12)
Awefilms: 'Red Dress' (5.52)

We begin our retrospective with a clip of Dena’s performance at the 2006 Ms Olympia evening show. Unlike the other short clips selected for our screenings this week, here we see Dena professionally shot and doing exactly what competitive female bodybuilders train for – the show. Indeed, this is the show of shows, the pinnacle of any professional female bodybuilders career.

An excellent routine, I think you will agree. But, and this is my point tonight, I think you will also agree that despite giving us some glimpses (the glute shaking, for example) of the Dena we know and love from her video work, the performer on stage that night was still very much Dena Westerfield.

Contrast Dena on stage with Dena in tonight’s extended clip from Awefilms  made around the same time as the Olympia performance we have just seen. Granted, the kind of posing Dena exhibits in the clip would not have won her many points with the Olympia judges, though it most certainly would have been popular with the fans. Nevertheless, in the Awefilms clip I would argue that we are not so much watching Dena Westerfield as watching her alter ego, the alter ego she herself dubbed ‘Dr Sexy’.

And furthermore, I would say that a large part of what made Dena such a special and unique performer in clips like the one we shall see tonight and the others that will follow in this retrospective, was her ability to ‘become’ this other person, this Dr Sexy, in front of the camera.

[Obviously, this is where you really have to use your imagination. Picture yourself in the screening room, seated among your fellow female muscle heads. The anticipation is palpable. The lights go down, and the clip begins…]

In today’s clip, we can see many of the features of Dena’s performances that will come up again and again during the week. Firstly, the slow start, very little movement, which gradually builds to a joyous crescendo of muscle display.

Secondly, note the way she pulls her dress around, manipulating it first to run a suggestive finger over her belly button, and then showing off her magnificent external obliques.

And following that, she lifts the whole dress up to reveal her abs in their glory, and at this point she seems to enter a trance-like state, half-dancing, half-writhing, giving us a feast of muscle movement across her midsection.

Finally, she aggressively flexes her arms, sneering, pouting. Her eyes move between the muscle and the viewer as she stretches her arm out further and further to highlight her triceps before snapping back faster and faster, her bicep peak ever rising, her delts growing ever bigger. One, two, three and… snap!

Finally, she gazes at the muscle on her arm as if for the first time, and does exactly what every viewer has been thinking about, she longingly, lovingly, runs her finger along her big, beautiful fully-pumped bicep.

[…lights up. We all show our appreciation as best we can, perhaps a little applause from those who have both hands unoccupied, perhaps just one big roar of approval after another (!). Once we’ve straightened ourselves out, it’s time to file out of the screening room. And as the evening wears on, female muscle heads gather in bars and restaurants to talk about how the festival has been for them on this, its very first day…]

Our Dena retrospective continues tomorrow.

And if you haven’t experienced today’s clip (or any of the other clips this week) in its entirety, FMS would be delighted to point you in the direction of a place where it can be found for download. Just get in touch.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Domestic (Muscle) Goddess of the Day

MMMARTHE SUNDBY: A Passion for Life

You've probably had enough of muscle women doing nothing but standing in their kitchen this week, so as a reward for all your patience, a bit more variety today as FMS features one of its current female muscle favourites, former speedskater and national bodybuilding champion of Norway, the mouth-watering Marthe Sundby.

But first, the food. Pre-contest diet for Marthe consists, pretty much, of chicken and rice: Chicken and rice all the time. Oatmeal with protein for breakfast. Chicken and rice rest of the day. Seven meals of chicken and rice, and maybe some vegetables! When I get sick of chicken and rice, sometimes I vary with a little roast cod.

Not that she's complaining though. This is my 'passion in life'. I love to exercise, love to be in motion. I am very fond of muscles, she says. And I am very very fond of Marthe's muscles. Probably a bit too fond.

To be honest, I could look at pictures of Marthe watching paint dry and I'd be happy, but I couldn't find any of those while researching this post. What I did find though, was the rather surprising news that Marthe is single (well, she was according to an article on a Norweigian website in October 2012 anyway).

I also discovered less happy news. Having been Norweigian champ in 2006, Marthe was diagnosed with cancer the following year. I had one foot in the grave, she says, but I fought back. Her win at the National Championships of Norway in 2012 was her first contest back after the battle. And she won.

She's living proof of the benefits of exercise (and proper EATING). Now 38, Marthe shows no signs of giving up her 'passion for life' anytime soon. And that, I think, is VERY good news.

I couldn't find a clip of Marthe cooking, so here's an understandably shaky clip (I'd be bloody shaking if I was watching her on stage) of pre-cancer Marthe winning the Norweigian championships in 2006...

And a clip of Marthe training from last year...

What a woman! And a single woman...


Thursday, 27 June 2013

Domestic (Muscle) Goddess of the Day

After a hard day at work, I like to treat my man to something sweet and delicious when he comes home, says domestic muscle goddess Angie Salvagno.

And I like to have an apple pie ready for him too!

You're probably wondering how this photo set turns out in the end. Well, you won't be surprised to learn those eclairs get used up...

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Domestic (Muscle) Goddess of the Day


Listen up! Kitchen fools end up in the ER. Or dead. Pay attention to your Mistress now.

Lacerations and cuts to the hand caused by knife accidents in the kitchen is the fifth most common reason why kitchen fools end up in the ER. Many of these fools have severed tendons and nerves, crippling themselves for life. Fool on the left is about to sever her tongue from her mouth. And worse, she's actually doing it on the cooker. 5,000+ injuries and 400+ deaths in kitchen fires last year in the US and she's climbing where the fire happens. She's about to be bald at best. Fool squared.
My dominant sister Rene Campbell ain't about to run the risk of injury to keep her off training. Sharp scissors in the hand are 3000% safer than a blunt knife in the mouth of a fool. And let me tell you, Rene really likes her chicken, but do you see Rene climbing into the pot with the chicken? No! No fool. She's cool.

Hot oil is HOT. Clue is in the name. We're talking blisters, burns and lifelong scars. So why are you frying up some hot oil in a bikini? FOOL! She must have as little brains as she has muscles. Skinny and dumb. She's going to get even fewer men when she's all burned and scarred and still skinny.
Now, this lady is all kitchen cool. Like the fool, she's not wearing much, but she's got some gains to show off. And mixing up a tasty treat from the fridge, with no frying necessary, there's no hot oil around to injure her. She's got the muscles and the smarts. Going to keep all kinds of men happy. Kitchen cool.

Me? I have someone to fix my meals, so you don't find me there except when I need to dish out some punishment. Thinking of hiring a new Chef Slave to replace the current one. But if you want the job, you have just got to be cool in the kitchen...

...and you've got to pass the rolling pin test.

'Mistress Treasure's Kitchen Fools' premieres in the UK tonight at 8pm on DMAX.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Domestic (Muscle) Goddess of the Day

I don't know about you, but I'm bored of TV chefs, including female TV chefs. Neither they nor their food can hold Swell's attention. However, there is one woman I could watch cook all day. And fortunately, she's got a whole bunch of youtube clips on her channel that show her doing just that. The beauty of it is that even if you're not interested in the food, well, you can just look at her SHOULDERS!

Gentlemen, today we are Cooking with Colette.

First up, Secret Sauce

And to follow, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Protein


More of Colette heating up her kitchen here

Monday, 24 June 2013

Domestic (Muscle) Goddess of the Day

I made it for you...

Whether you fancy a little sweet treat, something more sultry, er... I mean savoury, or you just want a beautiful muscular woman to make your packed lunches for the week, we're here to help stimulate your imagination and get you licking your lips today.

Bet that made your mouth water.


Sunday, 23 June 2013

Domestic (Muscle) Goddess of the Day

Sunday is Muscle Barbie Day

[That's 'barbie' as in Australian English for 'barbecue', not as in 'Barbie and Ken'.]

My kind of Sunday. Amanda Folstad cooks up some good-looking meat as a reward for me mowing the lawn, but it's not nearly as appetising as her beefy arm. I, for one, would love to give that a squeeze before sinking my teeth into it.

You'd think Kortney Olson would know a thing or two about a good 'barbie' as she's now based down in Oz. But judging by this pic, she doesn't seem to have realised you're supposed to actually cook something on it. Hard to be critical though when she's dressed like that. Thighs and heels specially for you, Aiden. Enjoy!

More sizzling (literally) female muscle tomorrow.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Domestic (Muscle) Goddess of the Day

Consider this…

… because if it’s true (and everyone seems to say it is) then I’ve been getting it all wrong by posting pictures of pumped-up, sweaty muscle babes doing their thing in the gym but completely ignoring their work in their own kitchens pushing chicken breasts around with their spatulas.

So, this week on FMS, a light-hearted antidote to last week’s relentless soap box, and an attempt by the editor to redress the balance of gym/kitchen images on the blog.

And we begin with the very lovely Ana Delia De Iturrondo. And her fridge.

Ana won a fitness model search last year and is now working towards her pro card in the bikini division. And before you start scoffing (I mean with contempt at the fact we’re featuring a bikini competitor, not scoffing as in eating), consider what we’ve already learned about the gym v. kitchen ratio and then consider what Ana eats on a daily basis.

Normally I drink a gallon of water and eat 6 decently portioned meals a day (no starving crazy diets). I eat lots of lean protein (fish, flank steak, chicken, turkey), complex carbs (brown rice, old-fashioned oats, sweet potatoes, wholegrain wheat bread/pasta), lots of veggies (Romaine lettuce, carrots, green beans, asparagus, zucchini), fresh fruit (limited for its sugar content) and healthy fats (flax seed, olive oil).

Could you come up with six meals a day from that list, making sure of course that your menu is varied and interesting enough to stop you going insane with cravings? That's what these domestic muscle goddesses do. In any division.

And Ana eats that with no cheat foods at all. Nada.

I just don't buy them. ‘You won't eat what you don't have’! I prepare my meals in advance and carry them with me at all times, that way there’s no excuse for reaching out for the ‘bad stuff’. I drink lots of water during the day which helps calm the ‘cookie monster’ in my stomach, plus it doesn't add any extra calories. I do have one cheat meal (NOT a cheat day) on weekends and then it's right back on to my meal plan. A healthy treat I like and it calms my cravings for sweets is a bit of mashed sweet potato with cinnamon, olive oil and whey protein powder. I blend it all together and put in the fridge and it’s like a pudding to me... yummy!

Now, dear reader, I want you to know that there are literally no lengths we at FMS are prepared to go to for you. So we tried Ana’s treat. Now, I like sweet potatoes, cinnamon, olive oil AND whey protein shakes, but was, quite frankly, suspicious of what they would all taste like together from the fridge.

Well, pleasingly, I can report it's not bad at all. I think the cinnamon is the real star. Everything tastes better with cinnamon in it. But it's Ana's recipe, Ana's trick. There you are. Domestic goddess!

Ana reminds us, Nutrition is key... You HAVE to EAT and eat LEAN; you can’t run a Lamborghini on an empty tank!

The point is, the discipline it takes to follow the kind of diet necessary in any type of bodybuilding or fitness endeavour is just as difficult, if not more difficult, than the work it takes in the gym. In order to run their own personal Lamborghinis, muscle women have arguably created their own cuisine. And looked sexy as hell in their pinnies while doing so.

Welcome to their week!

Friday, 21 June 2013

Ms International: A Silver Lining?

Yesterday, FMS brought you some of the comments made by fans and female bodybuilders who have signed the petition organised by Real Female Bodybuilding against the scrapping of the Ms International from the IFBB calendar. Many of them were heart-breaking pleas from female bodybuilders themselves, devastated that IFBB seems to be turning its back on them after they have given so many years of hard work to their sport. There are rumours that there are even plans afoot to end the Ms Olympia contest, effectively killing off professional female bodybuilding as we know it.

Dark days indeed. Or are they? I’ll whisper it, because even to my own ears it sounds like heresy, but in my (ill-informed) opinion, it’s entirely possible that this could be the best thing that has ever happened to female bodybuilding.

By the 1970s the pay differential had increased. Promoters were making more money. Male players were making more money. Everybody was making more money except the women. In 1969, ratios of 5:1 in terms of pay between men and women were common at smaller tournaments. By 1970 these figures ballooned to 8:1 and even 12:1.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? If you throw in the fact that the organisers of the tournaments were deliberately paying the women much much less in an attempt to deter them from turning up at all and you have a fair description of how professional female bodybuilding has been going in recent years. But in fact the above paragraph isn’t about bodybuilding at all, but tennis. Specifically it relates the motivation for the creation of the WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) in 1973.

In many sports, the world governing body actively promotes the female game. FIFA is now beginning to reap the benefits of its investment in women’s football over a period of decades, and similar results are being seen in cricket and rugby, to name but two. Whether these governing bodies are doing it in the name of gender equality or purely to increase revenues is neither here nor there. The important thing is that in some sports it hasn’t been necessary for the women to take over the governance of their own sport.

But that was not the case in tennis, and the success of the WTA in transforming the fortunes of its members has made it not only the inspiration, but also the blueprint for other sportswomen wishing to take control of their own and their sport’s future.

Easier said than done? I don’t disagree, and particularly so because bodybuilding does not have nearly the same mass appeal as tennis, neither as a spectator sport nor in terms of participation. But that does not mean that female bodybuilders should not aim to follow the same path.

And amid the howls of protest against the IFBB, there have been statements made by female bodybuilders that prove that some of them are thinking along these lines, and maybe have been for some time.

Pamela Hannam, for one, is an advocate of female bodybuilders doing it for themselves: Going to the NPC, the IFBB and to Arnold with our hats in our hands and our heads down begging to ‘please keep us’ isn't going to cut any ice with them. THEY HATE US!!! 

Are we so incapable of taking care of our own sport that we as women can't band together and make this the best damn thing that has ever happened to us? I see all these people writing in on this and the passion is clearly there! 

How damn hard would it be to rent a damn hall in Columbus the same damn weekend [as the Arnolds] and have our own show? Raise some REAL prize money and kick these assholes in the balls and say ‘SCREW YOU!’ It is time for the women who have been in this sport, the women who are currently competing, and the people who love how we look to band together and form a league of our own.
Fighting Talk: Pamela Hannam (left) and Iris Swatuk (right)

Iris Swatuk agrees the time for change may have come. Maybe it's just time to start a new federation… And the prizes and rewards would be based on the work put in by the women and not the show's biggest sponsors. Not ‘Hawaiian Tropic shows’. They can have their own venue in the IFBB.

There is already precedent for female muscle business becoming involved. Muscle Girlz Live provided sponsorship for female bodybuilding at the Toronto Pro recently. Last year, Wings of Strength did the same in Chicago last year and will do so again in 2013. I know that in the UK there are plans to use funds raised from an online female muscle magazine to provide prize money for women at shows here. The creation of an all-female bodybuilding federation seems to me to be simply the next logical step.

It’s true, as colt13 pointed out this week (see Did You Know...?), that there needs to be more professional shows for the women. More shows means more new talent coming through, not the same women winning again and again. I also agree with a point that other readers have made – fans can play a major part in providing funding for these shows. But if the renaissance of female bodybuilding that we would all like to see is going to happen, then I believe it must start with the creation of an all-new female-run federation.

Fans could then support the federation or the women themselves directly, or indeed the websites or other sponsors that were funding the shows. The shows would be exclusively female, allowing them the time to have different weight or age classes, amateur and pro contests at the same show, three-minute routines, and even added attractions like strength shows. In short, all the good stuff can follow.

So perhaps there will be a silver lining to the cloud hanging over the sport. Perhaps in the future female bodybuilding historians will look back at the cancellation of the Ms International and see it as the point when the women took control and started doing it for themselves. I sincerely hope so anyway.

What female bodybuilding needs now is it’s own Billie-Jean King to step up…