I'm always rather sceptical when I see a story about [insert name of female celebrity here] showing off her "muscular" body. And with good reason. As we saw as recently as this Tuesday here on FMS, what passes for "a muscular woman" in the mainstream media definitely ain't what you or I imagine when we read that same phrase.
So I was pleasantly surprised that when I investigated a story promising one of Britain's most lusted after soap actresses (not by me, I hasten to add, but by ladmagdom in general) getting "her guns out", I was greeted with the pic above right.
The lady with the guns is Gemma Atkinson, famous, in a manner of speaking, for her "acting" roles on a few of the biggest soap operas and series on British TV. Her breakthrough, and the source of the mainstream media's fixation with her "gym-honed" body, though, dates back about seven or eight years to when she appeared on a celebrity reality TV show that involved her spending time (with other celebrities) in a "jungle" setting while dressed in little more than a bikini for weeks on end.
In those days she was a lot less muscular than she is now, despite the media hysteria. But over the last few years, with a celebrity personal trainer for a boyfriend, Gemma has, it seems, taken both her training and her muscular development, to another level. OK, she is certainly no Marja Lehtonen, I grant you, but compared to the majority of disappointing celebrity "toned, muscular body" stories, you have to admit that this celebrity muscle story is definitely among the less disappointing ones.
Gemma is rightly very proud of the muscles she has built, and is very vocal about how good they make her feel, and the wider benefits women in general can gain from weight training. In fact she's quite a "don't be afraid of muscle" ambassador.
And she is certainly not afraid of taking on the purveyors of the inevitable abuse she gets from being so happy with her body and out there with her new-found muscularity. When the misguided "Jenny" from Dublin was bold enough to comment recently on our heroine's Instagram that Gemma's muscles made her "look like a man", Ms Atkinson wasn't about to let her get away with it, and responded with both barrels.
A female YET AGAIN slagging off another female. You should be embarrassed. I'm not a man, I just look stronger than you because I train and you clearly don't and that makes you feel shitty because you're insecure sat at a computer slagging off someone to make yourself feel better. Maybe you wish you had the dedication to see what your body is capable of doing at the gym? Jealousy is a terrible disease...
Needless to say, it was Gemma, and not the "probably 20 stone and too lazy to get off her fat ass" Jenny from Dublin, who, in the aftermath of the exchange, was bombarded with messages of support and encouragement from both male and female admirers.
And not long afterwards, Gemma was back in the news again, but this time not so much for her muscles as for the identity and intentions of one particular admirer.
ARAB SHEIKH TRIED TO 'BUY' STAR AS HIS LOVER read the headline on the front page of The Daily Star the Sunday before last. "He wanted me as his wife" the story continued. Gemma Atkinson has told how a rich Arab sheikh made her an indecent proposal for "a vast sum of money" – to be his lover for cash.
Now unless the "in thing" in sheikhdom these days is to add a UK TV actress to your harem and this is a case of keeping up with the al-Maktoum's, then it would seem to suggest that the female muscle lovin' brethren may well include an actual ruler! I mean, of all the UK soap actresses he could have propositioned, why choose the one who is known for her fit, muscular body? And FMS gets plenty of hits from the UAE...
As The Daily Star isn't known for its attention to factual accuracy, I couldn't possibly comment on whether there was any truth to the story, but at least two other major media sources in the UK published the same story the following day, so you never know, maybe there really is a female muscle lovin' British soap addict sheikh. He'll have to look elsewhere for satisfaction, though. Gemma, unsurprisingly, wasn't tempted by the offer of (albeit well-paid) sexual servitude within a palace of (tasteful, I'm sure) bling, and instead chose to remain a strong and sexy independent career woman.
Thankfully so. It's about time the every day British females who lift had such a high profile champion, and her message to those that aren't already is simple - just do it! It took consistency, patience, will power and hard graft both on the gym floor and at home to control what I ate and what I avoided. I’m not an athlete, I am a normal girl and I love my food, she says. If I can do it so can you. Don’t give up on yourself!
Gemma's on Instagram (a cool 41.500 followers all ready to hear the message), and you can read the full "Sheikh tried to buy me" story on The Daily Star website. Gemma's muscles - "Emmerdale's fittest actress Gemma Atkinson shows off her muscular figure..." - most recently made the news in the female muscle lovin' Daily Mail.