Sunday, 12 June 2016
FREAK! Laura Carolan @IFBB Toronto Pro
I could spend time here today talking about how Laura Carolan had been Canadian champ as long ago as 1992. To put that into context by mentioning that in the years that followed that win she'd shared the stage with such legendary names as Christa Bauch, Tonya Knight, Dorothy Herndon, or Denise Rutkowski at the Jan Tana and the Ms International. I could probably find out why she stopped competing in 1995 and didn't reappear until 2012 and share that knowledge with you. And I could compare her 2012 shape with the package she brought to the stage in Tampa last year.
I'm not going to bother with any of that today.
But I am posting a couple of the images of Laura from her work with Awefilms last year. And that's because it now seems to me these images in many ways prepared me for the Laura Carolan who took the stage and the title in Toronto last weekend.
The reason I'm not going to bother too much is that I'm well aware how you might be feeling right now. Faced with Gene X. Hwang's report on the Toronto Pro - by no means a lengthy read - and Gene X. Hwang's images of Laura at the Toronto Pro, I got as far as "Toronto, ON, Canada..." and then spent the next hour opening tab after tab transfixed, agog, totally and utterly consumed by what I was seeing.
This, it seems to me, is female bodybuilding at its most visceral, its most extreme, its most unapologetic, and in all its freakish glory. Imagine trying to explain what exactly it is that appeals to you about Laura's body to - for example - your best non-female muscle lovin' friend. What could you say? Where would you begin?
After my click fest last night I did actually pay a visit to Laura's Facebook page. Of course there are a lot of posts regarding her win, but her feed is much more about Female Bodybuilding than it is about Laura Carolan. In fact instead of just using her name it would be more appropriate if she retitled it "Laura Carolan's Female Bodybuilding Fan Page" because as well as being a Female Bodybuilder she is quite obviously a seriously devoted fan of Female Bodybuilding and Female Bodybuilders as well. Big fan of Lisa Cross. Big fan of Lenda Murray. Big fan of Denise Masino and her Muscle PinUps. It's a bit like one of our Facebook feeds!
Amid all the female muscle, one post in particular caught my eye.
And thinking about it now, I wonder if this isn't where we should begin our hypothetical explanation to our non-female muscle lovin' friend, because isn't this, after all, what lies at the root of our collective desires? Yes, of course there is the aesthetics of female muscle, the beauty of the curves and so on, but isn't this insane attraction we feel also very much about the uniqueness of the look, the "fuck you I won't do what you tell me" attitude, the very fact that FBBs not only don't look like anybody else, but that they also have no desire to look like anybody else?
And there certainly aren't many FBBs - now or ever - who have cultivated such an extreme female muscle freakiness as Laura. Yes, there were other women on the stage whose glutes were striated (and the judges in Toronto, bless them, rewarded them all), but in my many years of female muscle lovin' I can't ever recall seeing glutes quite as thick and yet forensically detailed as Laura's. And while the rest of her freak physique may have a little catching up to do with these two wonders of the female muscle world, you can help but feel she is working night and day to make that happen.
He missed the show in 2015 (I have read the report now), so we should thank the female muscle gods (goddesses?) that Gene X. Hwang took the trip to Toronto and captured Laura - and her fellow female muscle freaks - in glorious high definition. Other sites have pictures of the show, some of them very good pictures, but only the master's gallery has those finely detailed physiques in all their finely detailed glory.
Next stop Rising Phoenix! exclaimed Laura a few days after her triumph. So proud to represent Canada and stand beside the best of the best, such an honour!
Congratulations to a true fan. And a true, unique, FREAK!