Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Images of 2014

Not only proving that, as they say, fit women look good naked but also that fit women look good when covered in nothing but little pieces of black tape, the very beautiful Meghan Comeau welcomes you to our final post of the year.

Part female muscle lovin' memoir, part FMS 2014's Greatest Hits, these women and these images have, for one reason or another, stayed in the memory.

So many female muscle selfies, so little time! Of course, it's only possible to actually view a fraction of the Facebook/Twitter/Instagram images available, but not all selfies are equal, and at least one that we brought you this year was truly historic - Michelle Davis' unprecedented, phone-in-hairband double bicep selfie.

Aside from the genius and ingenuity of mshelllll (on Instagram), FMS 2014 has thoroughly enjoyed following Anastasia Papoutsaki,  Angelica Enberg, Ariel Gail, Valerie Garcia Giovanoli, Twana Barnett Ferguson, Hanah Jamroz and Georgina McConnell just a little bit more than most, but there are two women who, all year long, have had us glued to our phones and getting all excited in inappropriate places (like work, or when out with the in-laws, etc.)

The first is Tina Nguyen (aka tinang13), particularly when she has got her sinful-thought-inducing bod all packed into a ridiculously tight and revealing outfit.

And at a very different place on my sthenolagniac spectrum, the sheer size of Canadian champ Robin Hillis (robintripledee) has regularly had my jaw to the floor and my pants tightening up with her self-portraits. Look at how you can see every one of her bulging muscles even though she's completely covered! *SWOON*


Back: Ayanna Carroll

Not the biggest by any means, but I haven't seen a more flawless back shot than Ayanna's this year. Wouldn't you like to find out if those muscles feel as good as they look? I most definitely would. And I bet they do. I bet they really really do.

Glootz I: Federica Ortu (left), Glootz II: Lea Wiehl (right)

Two very different offerings from C.Moore Glootz for our Rear of the Year. On the left, former NABBA, now IFBB athlete Federica Ortu proved this year the change of federation hasn't made her rippling behind any less arresting. On the right, an image that could be captioned 'This Is What Happens When You Do Squats'. What happens is you fall in love with how your bottom looks in a dress. Lea knows.

Legs: Geisi Silvia (left), Abs: who else? (right)

Two familiar sights to regular readers here. Of all the many many mouth-watering pins in Brazil, Geisi's remain, for us at least, the ones against which all others should be judged. He agrees, I reckon. What a sight! Similarly, Oana's Abs Queen crown seems safe on this year's evidence. The beauty doesn't hurt, nor the anatomy leggings either. Perhaps they were modelled on Geisi's exact inner structure!

Pecs: Brittni Kent

There's nothing to feel guilty about - it's OK to really examine her pectacular chesticles. She might look as though she's still at school but actually Brittni's 22, so go ahead, look at how proud she is of those pecs. She so obviously wants you to.

And here we are backstage. Specifically with Brazil's Vascular Physique Queen Loana Muttoni, in the best example we've found this year of what I believe is becoming known as 'The First Person Quad Appreciation Selfie'. Absolutely no thigh gap here, just beautifully-tanned, lusciously thick and lickable muscles. *SWOON*

And we continue our pre-show segment with the Laurel & Hardy of female bodybuilding, Moore & Rudison, goofing around, as they say, before they both competed (Rudison is in the curlers by the way) at the Omaha Pro show.


Our beloved abs and thigh pose is always going to make our end of year selection one way or another, and we don't remember a more committed or more obviously satisfying version than Roxanne Edwards' in Chicago. It's also the smiliest.

Not Iris Kyle punching the air as next to her Alina wilts with disappointment, nor an image of the acrobatics of the fitness girls. Not Yaxeni's suit-threatening side chest pose, nor the striation fest of Anne Freitas' squatting back double biceps. Instead, we've picked Alicia Coates' unexpected (and quite possibly illegal) flexing for the Olympia Figure judges. Trademark lip-curling snarl included. Terrific.


I: The 'come as your favourite superhero - and then have a flex off' party I imagine these two enthusiastic (and well-equipped) gunshowers are attending.

II: Wherever the immaculate Karina Nascimento was going on the evening this was taken. If we did a PICTURE OF THE YEAR poll on FMS, I'd definitey nominate this gem for 2014. Then I'd fiddle the results of the voting to make sure it won. *SWOON*

I've been a bit negative about the content of the established female muscle photo sites in the last couple of years, but in 2014 I've found myself appreciating the pro photographers again. Perhaps the novelty is wearing off from the glut of amateur snaps. Perhaps, for the first time in a while, I've had the opportunity to explore the big sites again. Whatever the reason, I thought Mike Eckstut on HerBiceps did some especially fine work with Aleesha Young, among others, but I think it was his 2014 photosets of the incredible Asha Hadley were the finest of them all.

Sun, water, a stunning beauty and all those gorgeous muscles - yes, I know we'd all like to think that, given the same location and subject to work with, we could have done as good a job as Mr Eckstut. Point is, he actually did it. No other photographer has yet done such justice to the amazing Asha, even when she's been in a similarly mouth-watering condition. Bravo, sir! (Not angling for freebies, I mean it!)

And on the subject of things that make your mouth water, the muscle-curvy magnificence of Margie Martin has been at the very centre of our female muscle lovin' life all year. So much so, in fact, that we found it impossible to include just one picture of Lady MVM, and could only narrow it down to four. They include a little of her work with Annie Riveccio for Muscle Angels (clearly an exciting shoot), the Fantasy You Me & Her Picture of the Year backstage with the divine Dani, Margie bulging all over the place with her competitor number, and, best for last, probably the most swoon-worthy image we have seen all year.


Isn't she just lovely? Shannon Courtney, as I'm sure you are well aware, has just kept growing and growing in 2014. And despite the assertions of some that such extreme gains can only lead to disaster, she remains an intense, radiant beauty.

It's a theme that has run through FMS since its very beginning, and this year has been no exception - see, most recently for example, FMS On Beauty. And, while we are well aware that we are largely preaching to the converted on the blog, as long as there are those who would deny a muscular woman can also be a beautiful woman, it's a theme we'll keep coming back to again and again and again.

And why wouldn't we keep returning to this theme when there are women as beautiful (well, perhaps not quite as beautiful) as Rebecca Sanders to collectively swoon all over? Heart-stopping beauty... and pecs to die for!!!


Sweet and sexy at the same time, Kim Ji-Hyun and her special friend prove that it's not just we guys who like our women to have (much) broader shoulders than us.

We've been enjoying images of female bodybuilders with, let's say, more "conventionally-shaped" women since back in January when this gem starring Sexy Sophie Arvebrink was our very first Pic of the Week. "Three women, at least two different species" was our caption at the time. She's so cocky, so self-absorbed that as well as the obvious aesthetic contrast, the huge contrast in self-confidence between the species is there for all to see and get excited about.

In fact we got so excited about it that we've been actively seeking out such images ever since. And, yes, we have found a couple of absolute crackers.

Exhibit A

Superior woman Claudia Bonavoglia goes to the beach. Looking all smug and flexing her abs just because she can, Claudia doubtless caused a fair bit of excitement on that day. But look at the face of the woman on the towel. No excitement there.

Exhibit B

Superior woman Ekaterina Kuznetsova goes to the gym, pumps up her mighty muscles to fabric-threatening levels and gets admired even as she admires herself.

The hyper-muscular woman. So other-worldly, so fascinating, so alluring.

Freak no. 1 Anne Freitas sits (rather regally, don't you think?) during a photoshoot before towards th end of her preparations for her first pro show of the year.

And we dissected this image of Canadian Karen Smith to bits in April (see Karen's XTC), and though from 1995 rather than 2014, we couldn't hope for a better illustration of one of our other major themes of the year, The Agony & the Ecstasy of the competitive female bodybuilder. Well, the Ecstasy bit, anyway - the divine moment when her own inner vision of her body at its most perfect is realised.

2015 will mark the tenth year of PumpiItUp's legendary blog, and, if my dates are correct, my own personal 30th(!) anniversary of female muscle lovin'.

Neither shows any sign of waning.

I'll thank you all for your continuing support for Female Muscle Slave (over 2 million page views!), wish you a very very Happy and Female Muscle Packed New Year and leave you with just one more memorable image from 2014... MWA!

FMS will return in January.

Monday, 29 December 2014

Women of the Year

Our first six back in 2011 were Kashma Maharaj, Fabiola Boulanger, Ginger Martin, Cindy Landolt, Penpraghai Tiangngok and Katka Kyptova.

In 2012, our choices were Sarah Hayes, Holland Canter, Helle Nielsen,
Andrea Brazier, Gillian Kovack and Tarna Alderman.

And last year the FMS team selected Shannon Courtney, Sophie Arvebrink, Shawna Pierce, Suzy Kellner, Georgina McConnell and Alina Popa.

We originally plumped for six in 2011 because it's (traditionally) the number of women who get to posedown at the end of a contest, and we've stuck with that number ever since. They are in no particular order, and are selected utterly subjectively by us. We make no claims that they are "the biggest", "the best" or anything like that - these remarkable women are simply our favourites of the last 12 months.

Welcome to Female Muscle Slave's Women of the Year 2014.

Aleesha Young: Better Than Fantasy

Last month, the genius that is Area Orion brought us Bodybuilding Barbie. [She] is your dream girl come to life, the copy tells us. And funnily enough, one of the very first comments I read about Bodybuilding Barbie was this: She looks like Aleesha Young.

Aleesha (no surname necessary), a female muscle fantasy made flesh. A huge, muscle-curvy physique and huge you-know-whats. Ridiculously huge, some would say dismissively. Cartoonish even. But while it's true she may not be every female muscle fan's idea of a dream girl, there are plenty who would argue that those enhancements compliment her voluptuous muscularity to perfection. Aleesha is nothing short of amazing... the hottest, the strongest, the goddess of female bodybuilding, say the forum posters. [She is} sexier than anyone that's ever won Ms Olympia... a perfect combination of size, strength and sexuality. Yes, there are plenty to whom Aleesha really is the living embodiment of their ultimate female muscle fantasy.

And it's not just what Aleesha looks like, but also what she does with all that incredible muscle that brings her so much love, her skills making her probably the most "giffed" female bodybuilder ever - her jaw-dropping pec bounce in particular. FMS can exclusively report that studies undertaken by Femuscle Stat International (an organisation set up and funded by our old friend Professor Philpott Pennypacker) reveal that Aleesha has the pec bounce with the greatest vertical lift of all.

More seriously, and though we are by no means immune to Aleesha's obvious charms, if we only thought of her as the pec-bouncing fantasy, we could have put her on any of our previous Women of the Year lists. This year, however, we couldn't possibly have compiled one without Aleesha. In 2014, she returned to competition after a three-year break, looking to improve on her poor record at national-level contests. She had always had, in the words of Steve Wennerstrom, a gifted genetic structure and muscle shapes that even a casual observer could see was carrying scary potential. What was missing was the conditioning. But that changed at the NPC USAs in Las Vegas in July. The Heavyweight and Overall titles and the pro card were hers from the moment she walked on. She didn't win. She owned the show. Completely.

What caused this massive improvement in her conditioning? Well, given that so much about Aleesha is unnatural - whether genetically or cosmetically so - it's perhaps good to hear that what did it was cardio, that most traditional means of stripping the bodyfat and revealing the muscle. Then again, doing two and a half hours of it seven days a week throughout her contest prep perhaps isn't so much traditional as super-human. But now she's nailed it once, why shouldn't she nail it again and again and again? She's now a pro, and at 29 a relatively young pro, who has so many genetic gifts and the will to do two and a half hours of cardio a day to bring those gifts to the fore... Truly the mind boggles at the female muscle fantasy Aleesha might yet become.

Juliana Malacarne: CampeĆ£

She was the star (male or female) of the Olympia this year. Commentators marvelled at her "flawless symmetry and balance", and her "pleasing muscle shapes in every bodypart". She was "full, balanced, and perfectly conditioned" and her showdown with 2013 champ Dana Linn Bailey was much-anticipated. With the result in doubt to the very end, it was also genuinely exciting. Close, but the right woman won. As one report put it, "Even the most diehard DLB fans had to admit that Malacarne was the right choice for first place." Seven years ago I came to the USA with $3,000, a pro card, and a dream. Today, that dream came true, said an emotional post-win Juliana.

Images of Juliana's triumph are among the most memorable not just of the Olympia, but of the whole year, a selection of which we have here, above and below.

She was deemed too muscular to be a Figure competitor, her low-point probably came at the 2006 Sacramento Pro when she finished tied in 20th. As recently as 2010 (her last in Figure) she was placing 16th at the New York Pro. The years she spent in the Figure division after turning pro tested her resilience and perseverance beyond the tolerance of the average competitor, says Steve Wennerstrom. Then again, he adds, Juliana Malacarne is not your average athlete. A lesser competitor would have drifted away from the competitive stage. Not Malacarne. How times (and fortune) have changed for Juliana! Since Physique was introduced in 2012, she has only failed to win one contest she has entered. And this year, as well as the Olympia title, she won the Europa Pro show in Dallas and - for the 3rd consecutive year - the New York Pro.

So, given her contest record in 2014, we thought we should go beyond the more common adjectives Juliana's admirers use on the general bodybuilding and femuscle fan forums, as well as on Juliana's Instagram/Twitter etc. Of course we agree that she's 'beautiful', 'sexy', 'amazing', 'perfect', 'classy'. All good words, but we'd suggest the best description of Juliana in 2014 would be 'champion', or as she might say, campeĆ£.

And though her dream has come true, Juliana is by no means finished. She is already in preparation for the first ever Women's Physique contest at the Arnold Classic next March, and you wouldn't bet against her. In a division packed with beautiful muscular women, Juliana Malacarne is now the muscle beauty to beat.

FMS Loves Lisa Cross

You really haven't been paying attention if you're a regular reader and you're in any doubt about how FMS feels about the National Treasure that is Lisa Cross. We got so excited last year when Lisa returned to competition that we devoted a whole week to the divine Ms Cross, and consequently we were utterly incredulous when you voted her as only the 35th hottest hard woman on the planet in February. 35th?!

We've waxed lyrical about Lisa in the past, then. So what more can we add? Well, with the vast majority of magnificent women we have written about, no doubt we'd be lost for new words. But not with this endlessly fascinating woman. Not with Lisa.

We've already talked about that lush body of hers. We've told you about her journey from anorexic to muscle goddess, of her contest highs and lows, and of Lisa the purveyor of Hot Muscle Packed Raw Power. We've also, hopefully, given readers an insight into Lisa's mind. It's a mind that is fluent in Russian, French and Japanese as well as in her mother tongue. It's a mind broadened by travel and higher education. It's the mind of an author, a businesswoman, a sexual mind, a creative mind. And, we might humbly add, Lisa revealed this year that it's a mind into whose consciousness our little blog has entered. *SWOON* The mind of a truly liberated woman.

In 2014, Lisa has published her first book, gained her pro card, continued to purvey her Hot Muscle Packed Raw Power, competed in her first pro show, continued to travel the world, and, most recently, finished constructing a new gym cum studio on her property in order to take her fans (and herself) to new levels of interactive delight.

Albert Camus, who, like Lisa, combined both literary and sporting achievements, once said that The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion. I'd like to think Lisa would agree it is an apt description of her approach to life, and it also serves to pretty much summarise what FMS most admires about her. And the fact that Lisa could read Camus in the original French, well, I'm not ashamed to confess to you that that thought turns me on about as much one of her members' clips does, and even more so if she were reading it personally to me, in the original French, all bronzed, naked, oiled, and flexing...

Camille Leblanc-Bazinet: The Queen (and Face) of Crossfit

For the first time, a non-bodybuilder is one of our Women of the Year, so those who think I am breaking some kind of unwritten code by including a Crossfitter should probably just scroll on. She is Canada's Camille Leblanc-Bazinet, and this year she earned the right to call herself "The Fittest Woman on Earth" at the CrossFit Games.

Actually, Camille didn't so much win the CrossFit Games as dominate it from qualifying to finish. She had been the number 1 ranked athlete after the open, and went on to win, again, in number 1 ranked style, the Canada East Regional. At the Games, despite a late rally by Iceland's Annie Thorisdottir, the result was never really in doubt.

As one commentator has noted, There aren't many of either gender who could even survive the CrossFit Games, never mind excel, so for Camille to be its champion would be reason enough to include her on our list. However, more than her triumph, it's the effect of Camille's success on the women of the world that makes her so important.

The seemingly inexorable rise of CrossFit continues, and, for those of us who dream of a world with more female muscle in it, that can only be a good thing. Whether we FBB fans like it or not, CrossFitters really do inspire the women that bodybuilders don't reach, and Camille is inspiring many many more than her peers. In the words of CrossFit magazine The Box, she is the Face of Fitness — an athlete with stunning looks and elite-level status. And even before her victory at the Games this year, The Box were advising CrossFit affiliates that all they needed to do to seal the deal with potential female members was to put up posters of Camille all over their gyms.

It's understandable advice. Who wouldn't want to look like Camille? She may only be one of many many factors turning women off the skinny ideal and encouraging them to lift weights and get strong, but it's undeniable that she is a very very important one.

The Talented Ms Ripped: Alana Shipp

I'd like to be able to say that the catchy moniker above is my own invention, but in truth it comes from an article in The Times of Israel that was published just over two years ago. At the time, Jerusalem-resident Alana was being congratulated on her 3rd place finish at the NAC Universe in the Ms Physique (ie. bodybuilding) category. At the time, "The Talented Ms Ripped" had only been training for a year and a half, and her only previous contest experience had been her win in the Ms Fitness category at the NAC Ms Israel earlier in 2012. At the time she said, I am so overwhelmed by the success I've achieved in bodybuilding in such a short amount of time.

Imagine how she feels now. 2013 saw her win Lightweight and Overall titles at the NPC New York Metropolitan, then she went on to win the Middleweight class at the NPC USAs. A new pro for 2014, she finished 2nd in her first contest (the IFBB Toronto Pro), 5th in her second (Omaha, the following week). With two of the four qualifying events still to go, Alana had already qualified for the Ms Olympia, and there, in perhaps what is her most impressive achievement so far, she finished 4th on her Olympia debut.

To put Alana's year in a little context, of this year's Ms Olympia top 6, only Debi Laszewski (3rd in 2009), and Iris Kyle (in 1999) can better or match Shipp's debut placing. Of her fellow pro card winners in 2013 (at the NPC Nationals/USAs etc.), only FMS fave Margie Martin (6th in Toronto, 2nd in Omaha, 10th at the Olympia) has enjoyed a debut season worthy of mention in the same paragraph as Alana's.

And it's even more amazing when you consider that Alana had no sporting background whatsoever. I've never been very athletic, she says. In fact, I've always been awkward when it comes to sports. After having her two children, she entered her 30s overweight and, in her own words, "frustrated" at her own appearance. She decided to do something about it and took up weight training. I developed a love for the gym, she says. It felt like a home away from home. I began developing my body way beyond my expectations: the better I looked, the better I wanted to look.

From being overweight and working out for the first time to the Ms Olympia in three and a half years. From Ms Fitness Israel to the first callout at the Ms Olympia in two. No doubt she hasn't had time to reflect on what she accomplished yet, noted Steve Wennerstrom immediately after the event, but it's pretty heavy stuff in this day and age of long journeys to the Olympia by way of women's bodybuilding.

Danielle Reardon: Monstar, Inc.

At the St. Louis Pro show, Danielle Reardon's first show this year, Tanya Hyde grabbed her for a pre-contest interview at the end of which, Tanya invites the beautiful and beautifully-tanned Dani to show her (and us) what she's shortly going to be bringing to the stage. With very fake and very cute coyness, Dani unzips her tracksuit top. Then she lifts her vest... The perfect, and I mean perfect, abs (abs that Dani understandably is obviously gagging to show off) thrilled female muscle fans all over world, provided me with one of my highlights of 2014, and gave us all (courtesy of the genius of Muscular Girls in Motion) what I reckon is the Gif of the Year.

When she did take the stage she was glorious. She ended up in 2nd place, too ripped to win over the judges perhaps, but plenty ripped enough to win the collective heart of the female muscle lovin' brethren. From St. Louis on, through the shows in Orlando, Omaha, and lastly, Tampa, Danielle was the fans' favourite every time - though only her Best Poser Award (in Tampa), rather than her placings, would reflect that.

So popular has Dani become that in the last couple of days she has even nicked Juliana Malacerne's title of Physique Goddess of the Year, winning by a country mile, on the influential fan forum whose first rule is you do not talk about it.

Speaking of things you don't talk about, we won't revisit Dani's brush with the law in September, except to say that it doesn't seem to have done her any harm at all, especially if you bear the old adage that 'no publicity is bad publicity' in mind. Her star has continued its steady rise since then. The infamous boyfriend incident has, if anything, made her even more in demand for guest posing slots. Her clothing line - launched this year - seems to be doing well. Her new workout videos with Shannon Courtney are the hottest watch around right now, and you can even watch Dani cooking in the first of what is planned to be a series of "Lil Cooking Monstar" episodes.

Watch Dani cooking? I'd watch Dani watch paint dry. I think we all would.

Your Women of the Year? Same? Different?
Please comment below or email