Tuesday, 2 May 2017
It's Tuesday, and that means that all over social media, women of all muscular shapes and sizes will be cutting and pasting and posting their before and after pics for Transformation Tuesday. They aim to inspire, to motivate, to show what is possible, either by showing off their new, improved selves, or - increasingly common - by bigging up a woman they've helped transform in their role as trainer/coach.
Before they were overweight, perhaps after giving birth (perhaps multiple times), perhaps after living the party life a bit too hard in their 20s. There are also those who have triumphed over eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia. Melissa Wee and Lisa Cross are two better-known women to have done so, and their, and many other such stories are the ones that tend to make it into the mainstream media.
Each woman has her own unique story though.
Alex O'Hanlon (above) was a PA, "bored out of my brain, wondering what my next move should be". She joined a gym and "fell in love". She wanted to be there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. She went on to compete a few times in 2013 and 2014, and then last year, after being made redundant from her PA job, she got herself qualified and now she runs her own training and nutrition business. Fat loss, better skin, more energy, better sleep, more power, increased strength and bags more confidence, are what she promises, her own transformation an advert/reference for her services.
Diana Schnaidt, former Figure now Physique pro, and previously, from the age of 13 into her late 20s a fashion model, doesn't necessarily look back on her former self with totally negative feelings. Exchanging clothes for weight training was "swapping one passion for another", she has said, but she has also exchanged a diet of "some lettuce and a maybe protein bar" for "healthy balanced meals throughout the day", and ultimately this had led her to becoming "happier and stronger, inside and out".
Gabrielle Tongol, a national level Figure competitor from Canada was a teenage binge-eater, who started off by following workouts and diet plans she found on Bodybuilding.com, and by her 18th birthday she was standing on stage as a competitor. That was in 2013, and since then, as well as sculpting what Fit Gems has called "one of the most eye-catching physiques in all of figure", she has graduated college, become a graphic designer, social media consultant, and make-up artist.
As well as the muscles, there are often other "improvements" that take place as well. Cast your eyes over these two comparisons of Tina Nguyen before and after and see if you can spot the difference between the two befores. As one Tumblr wag puts it, the recipe for "hot" is "build muscles and buy tits". I would never be so crude.
More seriously, these transformations are always, it seems to me, accompanied by a more general transformation in appearance. Better hair, make-up, accessories, dress sense, more attention to appearance full stop. This is, I suspect, partly because the girl is becoming a woman, but even among the more mature transformers such details, as it were, complete the transformation, and for some, tattoos, piercings, and breast enhancements - whether you love them or loathe them - are a part of that.
Every fan seems to have their own most beloved transformation, though I think I'm right in saying that probably the most popular - and the most likely to be put together by the fan rather than the woman herself - are the ones where the motivation for the transformation is not immediately obvious. Before we have either the good-looking (in the conventional sense) young woman or the competitor in one of the less muscular divisions, even perhaps already a competitive Bodybuilder. After, she's HUGE.
I’ve always wanted to be there when one of them decides, "I want it that badly, I know there will be no going back, I'm willing to do whatever it takes", confesses one Tumblr blogger, shedding some light on the appeal of these fan-created juxtapositions. I want to look deep into her eyes when she decides she wants to be huge. Every single FBB has had to have had that moment. Just the thought gives me a huge erection.
You know, however, there are actually some guys who would honestly prefer the picture on the left. "At least she looks like a woman," they say - some of them, rather pointlessly, on fan sites. You can admire the musculature all you want, commented one, er, fella re: before and after Brooke Walker (above), but the squaring of her jaw, dried-up skin and loss of feminine curves is not an improvement in any way.
Seems there are two types of people. There are those who prefer the picture on the left, and there are those who prefer the picture on the right, and not only prefer, but also project all kinds of fantasies onto it. I, you can probably guess, am totally, firmly, and deeply committed to the RIGHT on this issue. And it's not often in my life I say that.
Lots more of this sort of thing here.