Monday, 12 February 2018

The Pantheon

Who's Your Favourite Female Bodybuilder?

Your Top 10?

List Your Top 5 All-time FBBs

It didn't take me long to find three threads on the forum whose first rule is...

We love asking each other these kinds of questions. In the last few weeks alone I have personally been asked by email or in a chat room to list my "all-time top 5", say which FBB I would most like to have live next door to me/have a date with/marry, and even who is my all-time favourite "ugly FBB" (seriously, you want to talk about that?!).

I generally avoid answering the question.

But once upon a time, not that long before I started FMS, I did, in a notebook make a kind of list of my personal favourites, and in the years since I have kept that page and added or (much less often) taken names off. However, I've never changed the title:


And I chose it because back in Ancient Greece and Rome, a pantheon was the name given to a temple that was not dedicated to one god, but all of them, collectively.

On this page of my notebook I would write only the names of the greatest muscle goddesses. The "untouchable", those for whom my attraction/affection/admiration or whatever had never waned and, as far as I could tell anyway, would never wane.

And just as the gods of the Greeks and the Romans had a hierarchy, so did mine.

At the top, the two names I type when asked for my "all-time favourite". The most untouchable deities of all, as thrilling for me to revisit now as at first swoon.


They are hardly uncommon choices as fans' #1 and I would guess one or the other would feature in most heads' thinking if pressed to compile an all-time 5/10/20 list, even if they didn't ultimately make it on there. The popularity of Denise's WPW and Ray Martin work is well-documented (I believe one of her WPW videos is their all-time best seller, or at least was a few years ago). Part of Gina's appeal - it seems to me - lies in the fact that she wasn't actually around and competing for very long and so left us wanting more, and the other significant part of it is staring you in the face above and below.

Why these two?

Something about their combination of beauty plus massive muscle is what I've always said to others (and to myself), but I am less convinced about that now because I could list 60 or more women who combine or combined exactly that off the top of my head right now. I think it's more to do with the moment I discovered them. Kind of "religious" experiences they were, I can recall the when and the where even today (and I first saw Denise around 20 years ago now) and, crucially, the ecstatic rush.

I have never even been close to adding another name to The Pantheon's top level.

And neither, though I have been tempted, have I altered the names on the next - not nearly so "untouchable" but like D&G still pretty damn effing untouchable - level.


Anja was my first really big female muscle love - the Muscle & Fitness covergirl of my first ever magazine purchase. Zuzana I also saw for the first time on a page and though I can't remember the magazine I remember the Zuzana pictorial very well. I guess the Anja of that late 1980s Muscle & Fitness will always be my favourite Anja, but it was the beefier, bulging Zuzana that I discovered on the webpages of WPW years after I'd first seen her in print that has kept her name in the highest reaches of The Pantheon.


The Pantheon has four levels in all, but after the exclusive, rarefied atmosphere of these uppermost two, it suddenly starts to get a lot more crowded. Seven goddesses reside on the third level, and this group has often seen revisions such as the most recent, the casting out of Denise Rutkowski (I'm sorry but every time I see her now I see that mugshot in my mind and it's a huge turn off) and, less recently I would think, the addition of Dena Westerfield, Colette Nelson, and Heather Policky.

And there are those who were there from the beginning: Natalia Murnikoviene, Melissa Coates (before it all went a bit Pete Tong, obviously), Dorothy Herndon - my next big muscle love after Anja, again the result of seeing her on the cover of a magazine - and Sharon Bruneau (another very common "all-time" choice).


Five women, at least two of them probably overdue a promotion!

The beautiful Sophie Duquette - her Awefilms work in particular still makes the Earth move under my feet... and Michelle Andrea, who I think was the first FBB I ever saw photographed au naturel - quite a moment in my female muscle lovin' life.


And finally, Michelle Neil (who, like Gina, left us - or at least me - wishing she had stayed a little longer), and the vast expanses of Paula Suzuki's epic physique - enjoyed best from the rear unless she's doing an abs and thigh pose (in my opinion).

Door closed. That's all of them.

There's no Alina, no Oana, no Yaxeni, no Helle, no Margie for good reason - they're still at it, more or less. My Pantheon, my rules, and the most important is that you don't get in until you finish. Yes, I know, Dena hasn't exactly finished, but I thought she had so she got in then got promoted and I am not going to show her the door because she's given me the added bonus of being able to enjoy her cam shows again. In general the rule is that only applications from the "inactive" (by my definition) will be considered.

Nor are there the kind of Hall of Fame names like Cory or Lenda, nor (perhaps Paula Suzuki is the exception) are there any of the really big beasts (Collette with two Ls and that other thing between her legs, Renee Toney etc.). All great, don't get me wrong, but I can come and go on these women. The 16 above all once came into that special place in my female muscle lovin' heart, and, years and years later, are still there.

Don't you dare start making your own Pantheon now - get busy with that other list.


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