Once upon a time this female muscle fan was forced to survive on a monthly ration of female muscle that consisted of the handful of pictures mainstream muscle magazines would have. Invariably, it was only the very top female bodybuilders that were featured. What a contrast with today. More images of female muscle appear every day than I could possibly view, more than I ever saw in all those early magazines put together. And it's not just women who compete that are showing off their muscles. Women from all walks of life are snapping themselves and their biceps. Women like Jean (above left, bicep #023), a Clinical Nutrition student who posts her progress pics on her Eat Clean & Train Mean blog. Women like Marika Lejon (above right, #024), a Norwegian pop singer with a bit of a muscle fetish (I kid you not!).
With the glorious exception of Michelle Davis (her world's first double bicep selfie was featured in Pic of the Week earlier in the year), bicep selfies are of the single variety, whoever the woman holding the phone is. The gorgeous Paige Hathaway (#025) creates a nice impression of having an identically muscle hot twin sister, but despite sending me into an (all too) brief daydream about what a night with the Hathaway sisters might be like, it's still just the one bicep there, lovely as it is.
I'm not complaining. Far from it. One of the great things about the bicep selfie (and blogs like Eat Clean & Train Mean) is watching these (not too) young women's biceps GROW. And, even better I think, watching the women themselves blossom as that growth occurs. Our unknown #026 above looks a little sceptical about her own progress, but by the time she reaches (below, #027) Graciella Carvalho's size, she will no doubt have a lot more of Graciella's sexy confidence about her.
And by the time you get to bikini competitor size biceps like those of Nissan Nohea (#028), well, she probably NEVER stops flexing in the mirror, probably NEVER stops smiling, she's probably CONSTANTLY aroused by her own sexy biceps.
And the next thing you know you are snapping your own bicep not just at home, but everywhere you go. You're (#029) Diana Lanpher sneaking off to the toilets just to make sure your followers know how hot you look tonight in your new dress, and you suddenly find yourself compelled to show off that sexy mound of muscle on your arm, muscle that makes you feel sexier and sexier the bigger it grows...
Unless I've got it all wrong. Unless it's not all about arrogance, nor all about pride, nor all about feeling more and more empowered by your ever-growing strength, about feeling sexier and sexier in your ever harder, more muscular body...
But I look at the unknown goddess in the making (bicep #30, above), or at Debra Terpstra (#31, below), and I really can't imagine what the alternative explanation for all his selfie taking could possibly be. If these two women, and the thousands of others like them, are not showing off themselves off because they are proud of their biceps to the point of arousal, then what, exactly, are they doing?
So what if selfies are sometimes a bit rough and ready? So what if the camera on the phone isn't of the best quality or the lighting is a bit rubbish? I think they are pretty much all winners - it's the motivation of whichever woman is holding the phone with one hand and flexing her other arm that makes them so very very delightful.
But when the selfie is taken by a muscular woman who is herself an accomplished photographer, and when that woman has got the kind of peak on her big bicep that can make female muscle heads swoon with desire, it can become a little work of photographic art. All bicep selfies by muscular women are, in my opinion, good selfies, but not all selfies are as wonderful as those of or by the likes of Tanya Hyde (#32).
Not all selfies are equal.