Friday, 15 November 2013

Shannon Courtney: She's Not the Messiah, She's a Very Beautiful Female Bodybuilder

It's easy to get carried away when talking about Shannon Courtney. I myself have been getting carried away all week. We all have our favourites, but once in a while a female bodybuilder comes along and sends just about everyone completely gaga whether you're the IFBB's official historian, a veteran female muscle blogger, or simply someone who cares about the sport...

She was prodigious. If the crowd was looking for a WOW factor in women's bodybuilding at this event – here she was, at the tender age of just 21.
Steve Wennerstrom at the 2013 NPC USAs

I saw one single picture of her, a stage picture, and was so impressed I had to get her to do an interview. She is a name I expect you to hear more and more of.
Jason DBK on Promoting Real Women

This woman is absolutely BEAUTIFUL! Shannon Courtney, I believe, will completely change how people view the female bodybuilder.
'BigFrankB', VPX Sports forum

We've all gone gaga before, heralding women who were going to 'save' female bodybuilding, and look what happened. 'BigFrankB' of the above quotation had previously confidently predicted that it would be Fabiola Boulanger who was going to 'completely change how people view the female bodybuilder', and look what happened to her. She was no more the 'saviour' of the sport than Gina Davis, Cindy Phillips, Kris Murrell etc. etc.

Many of the women themselves claim their mission is to 'alter perceptions' of what a female bodybuilder is. To give just one example, back in 2011 FMS reported Kashma Maharaj's goal was to be the future Ms Olympia and revolutionise this sport with a new look and attitude, encourage more women to compete and adopt the BB lifestyle and be a role model for a healthy lifestyle to all people. Shannon, though not quite as ambitious as Kashma, has said she wants to keep my look as feminine as possible [in order] to make a point [about female bodybuilders].

But mainly the source of this 'She's the one!' hysteria is us, the fans. It is, without doubt, a very appealing idea that there will come a female bodybuilder who will transcend the sport. Like those awaiting the Messiah, or us English holding out for the true King to return and wield Excalibur again, we female muscle heads like to think a woman is going to come along and take female bodybuilding back towards the mainstream, back to where it was in the days of Cory Everson.

The truth, it seems to me, is that no matter how much the collective we would like it to happen, neither Shannon nor any other woman is going to achieve that. But that doesn't mean there isn't something special about her and that Steve Wennerstrom is wrong about her 'WOW factor'. Shannon has, after all, not only got the body, but she's also got the looks.

One fan reported their reaction to actually seeing her in person. I saw her in the Sacramento International Airport this morning. Totally caught me off guard. I was walking along and she was sitting facing me at some table/bar thing and it took me a few seconds and I was like, WHOA! when I realized it was Shannon. She really is gorgeous. The pics aren't lying. I am still sitting here totally stoked on it. It was so cool seeing THE GEM of the sport right now. I don't know how I am going to top this muscle-girl sighting.
'Phaedreaux' on a fan forum (the first rule of which is you do not talk about it)

She may not be about to lead female bodybuilding out of the wilderness (though I hope I'm wrong about that), and she has put on an incredible amount of muscle in a very short time at a very young age (which is not something that usually means longevity in the sport, though again, I hope I'm wrong about that). But she is, without doubt, an absolutely stunning, radiant beauty, and while she is around, this 'GEM' deserves to be treasured. The likes of Shannon don't come around very often.


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