'Toate vor sa fie slabe, doar eu imi doresc sa fiu tot mai mare'. Cum arata acum adolescenta reads the headline from Stirile Pro TV in Romania; from the Brisbane Times in Australia, Meet Georgina McConnell the bodybuilding teen and from New Zealand, stuff.co.nz has video with its article entitled The extreme bodybuilding teen; in the US, website Top News hails Georgina McConnell: The New Face of Bodybuilding; but in Lithuania, the story was reported by balsas.lt as Raumenimis besididžiuojanti jauna kultūristė: dauguma merginų lieknėja, o aš noriu stambėti...
We could go on. Georgina has officially 'gone global'. If they haven't heard about her yet in Peru or Bhutan, Mauritius or the Solomon Islands, they soon will.
Interestingly, while many of the news stories just regurgitate The Daily Mail's story, a handful have focused on Georgina's response on her Facebook page to some of the nastier comments made about her. US web news resource Softpedia reported that Bullied 19-Year-Old Bodybuilder Georgina McConnell Responds to Haters, while from France, Nouvelles du Monde's headline reads Intimidé 19-Year-Old Bodybuilder Georgina McConnell répond aux Haters.
When the mighty Insane Muscle Girls linked FMS' most recent article on Georgina, I would like to say that a chain of events was set in motion that led to this explosion in media interest. I would like to say that, but it's about a million times more likely that the source of all this media coverage is none other than the website of the UK newspaper The Daily Mail, which featured Georgina on 28th August under the headline 'MOST GIRLS WANT TO BE THIN AND DAINTY, BUT I WANT TO GET BIGGER': Teen bodybuilder bulks up lifting heavy weights and eating six meals day.
That this newspaper in particular, with its reputation for and history of conservatism and tradition should have become, it seems, the mainstream media source for news of UK female bodybuilding is, in itself, very surprising. But there will be more about this later in the week on FMS. For now, like the world's media, let's focus on Georgina.
What, if anything, has all this publicity gained the teenage muscle sensation?
Well, she's certainly a lot more famous than she was a couple of weeks ago. If only a tiny proportion of people in the world have read any of the numerous articles about her, that's millions more people who know who she is.
This might be a bit of a mixed blessing. After all, there's potentially millions more 'haters' now with a link to her Facebook page staring them in the face. But most of them will tire of Georgina and move on to hating pastures new before long.
In addition, she will have gained new fans, and fans tend to stick around a lot longer. Despite her feeling the need to 'respond' to the haters, she has thousands of people from all over the world visiting her on Facebook who are there solely to praise her, her body, and her attitude. In fact, a couple of weeks after her message to the haters, she posted another message that began Would just like to say thanks for all the support and lovely messages I've been getting.
And on top of that, Georgina seems to have achieved heroine status for a number of women, among them Joanna Rafael, writing under the headline TEEN BODYBUILDER IS MY NEW BODY IMAGE IDOL on Blisstree.com. She dresses modestly in everyday life, despite the killer self esteem, Joanna writes in admiration. And she seems wildly self possessed and comfortable with other people’s judgments. I want to be just like her, Joanna concludes. McConnell seems like a particularly determined and cool young woman.
So where does the 'Me' in the 'Georgina and Me' fit in?
You probably aren't very curious about that, but just in case you were wondering, firstly, a little of the Georgina's media stardust has inadvertently fallen onto FMS courtesy of the New York Daily News. This is obviously a publication with somewhat higher journalistic standards than the majority of the world's media. Not content with reproducing The Daily Mail's article verbatim, as so many other websites did, Daily News journalist Victoria Taylor actually did a bit of research and found FMS' previous articles on Georgina, then linked them in the article under the (slightly misleading) name 'bodybuilding blogs'. Cue a massive hike in visits to my little blog. Thanks Victoria!
Secondly, Georgina herself has read and commented on the article on her Twitter page
Haha awesome :p haway the lass http://t.co/enBckYB60s
— Georgina mcconnell (@1993_Georgina) August 21, 2013
And although she must have read it on Amazons World rather than direct from source, honestly, I don't care where she read it. The fact that she liked it enough to bother to tweet, the fact that she called it 'awesome', that, dear reader, is like getting a big wet (albeit virtual) kiss from the muscle goddess herself.
Georgina's next show will be the UKBFF British Championships. The championships take place at the Harrogate International Centre, on 19th and 20th October. To see Georgina live, telephone (0044) 151 931 4090 for tickets.
Personally, I can't wait to see Georgina's updates as she prepares over the coming weeks.
As we are always saying around here at FMS these days, Haway the lass!