I’m big into working out, so naturally I read a few bodybuilding/fitness magazines to find new exercises, information about nutrition etc, and during the past two years or so, I’ve noticed that the fitness competitors and female bobybuilders have started getting breast implants en masse: suddenly there’s only a small minority of active competitors who do not have implants. I wondered what was going on, and after a bit of digging, I found out there’s actually a reason for all those boob jobs, and let me tell you, the truth is ugly:
The judges in bodybuilding/fitness competitions enforce specific criteria intended only for female competitors according to which they are not only judged by their physiques and abilities but also by their “femininity.” What does that mean in practice? There are a few elements that apparently make the competitor more feminine in the eyes of the (usually male) judges: she shouldn’t be very muscular, she shouldn’t be very toned (i.e. have low body fat), and she should have Big Boobs.
The first time those rules/guidelines were implemented was in 1994 when the IFBB set limits for how muscular female competitors were allowed to be, all in the name of forcing them to retain their “femininity” since we all know women aren’t supposed to have big, strong muscles, not even female bodybuilders. Yeah, that’s confusing to me as well: what’s the idea of bodybuilding if not to build bodies, i.e. big, strong muscles?
Anyway, they implemented even stricter limitations again in 2000, further downsizing the female competitors, again in the name of the hallowed ideal of femininity.
For years the judges have given or docked points depending on how feminine a competitor is but recently it’s become such a heavy focus that every woman without breast implants will be fighting an uphill battle. Likewise, female competitors are penalized if they have good muscle definition or big muscles. Because that’s not feminine.
This all made me wonder what the hell is this “femininity” that the IFBB is so hard trying to protect? For the life of me, I haven’t figured out any other definition than the old-fashioned ideal of the big-breasted, plump, fragile wife/mother/household slave. Women aren’t supposed to have muscles as big as those of men, otherwise they’ll lose their femininity in the eyes of the judges. That means they want their women weaker than men. What else could it mean? Large, strong muscles = masculine. Smaller, weaker muscles = feminine.
And then there are the breasts: muscle definition is usually considered a good thing, but apparently because losing body fat means the women also burn away their breasts (or make them smaller), it’s a bad thing nowadays to be “ripped.” That is, if you’re female. Men can and should be as toned as possible.
Let’s consider the human physiology for a moment: what can you tell about a human body just by looking? Well, the amount and proportions of muscle mass and body fat are pretty good indicators of the person’s level of fitness and strength. So, what do small muscles and a soft, round figure denote? Just that: softness, weakness… femininity. Now, what do large muscles and a fat-free, sculpted figure imply? Strength, discipline… masculinity.
Well, you know what? I call bullshit. Those ideals stem from the days when we still lived in hunter/gatherer societies where it was a matter of survival and practical to divide the sexes: men hunted, women took care of the children. Men did the heavy, dangerous tasks, women handled the lighter, safer tasks. It made sense back then when considering the fact that one man can impregnate several women, while one woman can only bear one child every nine months or so (barring the rare exceptions of twins, triplets etc.), so it was logical to try to keep the number of women as high as possible while the number of men wasn’t nearly as important as long as it was more than one to avoid inbreeding. It’s just that we don’t live in hunter/gatherer societies anymore. In fact, we haven’t in a long time.
Ever since those days, the dominant patriarchy has enforced this dichotomy between the sexes, thus ensuring that women remain weak and easily controlled. I’m not touting a huge secret conspiracy, but let’s face it: men have had the upper hand throughout our history at least partly because we have the physical capacity to take power from women while the ladies, generally being weaker than men, have had to conform to what men decide simply because men, being stronger, can force their wills upon women. At least nowadays we have firearms, the great equalizers but, then again, we also have laws in most countries that ensure people don’t have access to them. The more things change…
Anyway, what do you think, would women’s physiques start to develop into stronger, larger bodies over the following centuries and millennia if girls and women were actually encouraged to strengthen themselves physically? It won’t happen overnight, no, but I’m pretty sure that evolution would step in eventually and women would start to catch up to men when it came to physical strength. Now wouldn’t that help in our constant pursuit of equality? How can there ever be true equality when one sex is so often physically stronger than the other, i.e. able to enforce the survival of the fittest? Until men lose that strength advantage, the sexes will never be truly equal.
So why don’t more women jump on the fitness bandwagon and start lifting iron? Because most people, men and women alike, still look at muscular women and go “eww, gross! They look like men!” Because, after all, big, strong muscles are masculine, i.e. women should be small, soft, dainty. So, ladies, put away those kettlebells, grab a proper kettle, and get the fuck back in the kitchen. Is that truly the mindset we want to teach to our daughters?
Note that I am not saying that a small, weak, soft woman is somehow inferior to muscular women, no. Granted, it is a fact that a smaller woman is physically weaker than a more muscular woman, but that doesn’t diminish her inherent value as a person and a human being.
What I am saying is that muscular, small-breasted women are no less feminine than weak, large-breasted women. Neither are they uglier or manlier except in the eyes of those still perpetuating the age-old patriarchal views on the sexes, views that should become obsolete as of right fucking now. So repeat after me:
Strength is not masculine. Strength is not feminine. Strength is desirable. Weakness is not masculine. Weakness is not feminine. Weakness is not desirable.
Now, to return to those wonderful things that likely drew your attention to this post in the first place: tits.
In the light of all that I’ve said above, I have to wonder what it is about breasts that have such a huge influence on a woman’s perceived femininity? And what does that mentality entail for those girls and women who have naturally small breasts? Simple: they aren’t as feminine as their bustier counterparts. In essence, they are lesser women.
What does that mentality tell growing girls? If my male brain is anything to go by, it tells them that if they want to be appreciated as women, if they want to be seen as beautiful, feminine girls, they need big breasts, they need curves, they shouldn’t be athletic, they shouldn’t be strong, they should focus on looking pretty instead of focusing on their capacity for action.
It means they aren’t valued for what they do, but for what they are.
Have you ever noticed that in the case of men, it’s the exact opposite? Men are valued by their actions, their accomplishments, not by what they are. A man can be the ugliest ogre on the planet, but if he excels at something, he’s revered worldover. I know that’s a generalization, but most of the time, that’s how people see men and women.
Somebody please explain to me, what the hell kind of message are we sending to our young female athletes? That implants and girly looks are more important than their skills and abilities. That they shouldn’t be sporty, but fashionable. That instead of training for more skill and strength, they should practice walking on high heels so that they look good doing whatever it is that they do. So that they can look good in the eyes of men. So that they can please men.
Do we place such demands on men and, to return to the original context, male bodybuilders? What, are you crazy? Of course not; they are athletes, after all, not models. Men are supposed to be muscular, strong, and ripped. Because that’s masculine. What a load of shit…
Note that I’m not against big breasts; big, small, perky, droopy, to me, they are all beautiful. I’m not even against breast implants as such. I’m against pressuring small-breasted women to get cosmetic surgery, to put their bodies under the knife only to please the aesthetic tastes of judges who love big jugs. Judges who are usually men, sometimes women who help to perpetuate the oppression of their sisters.
I understand that maintaining a low body fat (under 14%) can be detrimental to the health of many women in the long run, but that’s the reason why bodybuilders and fitness competitors as well as weight class athletes (such as boxers, wrestlers etc.) usually drop their body fat into the single digits only for the duration of the competition. However, it is a fact that some women have naturally small breasts which only get smaller come crunch time, when they drop their body fat below 12% for the competitions, often resulting in what essentially are just pectoral muscles with no fatty tissue (what breasts essentially are) left.
These regulations I’m ranting about discriminate against those women in particular as well as all girls who haven’t reached puberty yet, since by valuing big knockers so highly and associating them with femininity and superiority (over their flat-chested counterparts), we influence the attitudes of our children, male and female alike.
We teach boys to prefer big boobs and we teach girls to want big boobs and hate their own if they happen to still be or stay small. How in the name of holy fuckness is that supposed to be a good thing?
Also, why is it socially acceptable to look at muscular people and go “eww, gross!” but it’s not acceptable to say the same of, say, overweight people? Hell, I’ve seen overweight men and women cry out their disgust at bodybuilders. Guess whether these examples of social finesse would’ve appreciated being called repulsive, fat sacks of lard? Yeah, exactly: hypocritical much? This double standard is confusing especially since generally muscular people are healthier than overweight people. For the sake of clarity, let me specify that I am not talking about athletes who use steroids, growth hormones etc. to gain bigger muscles. I don’t condone the use of such substances for the simple reason that it’s unhealthy. Just like being obese.
Anyway, riddle me this: what kind of sense do plastic boobs on a female athlete make in the first place? Not only can breast implants cause some health problems, the procedure itself has its own risks which, while not astronomical, are risks that shouldn’t be required in the first place, especially since the implants need to be renewed every few years, and you can do the math about repeated surgeries with anesthesia (which does no favors to anyone’s health) and the risks inherent in every surgical operation.
Add to that just how impractical large breasts are in the world of sports (and most physical activities) as well as the health problems large, heavy breasts can cause to women, especially athletes, and you can see how much sense this idealization of massive busts makes. And for what? Just so that some judges will have their desires to ogle at big breasts fulfilled, because when we ditch all the bullshit about preserving the “femininity” of female competitors, that’s all these pro-implant guidelines are for.
Luckily, some of the less oppressed female athletes are fighting back, be it consciously or by accident: quite a few professional athletes have actually gotten breast reduction surgeries. Why? To look less feminine? To look less attractive? No. To improve their performance. Because they are athletes, i.e. people who are judged according to what they do, not what they are. Or that’s how it should be. To me, that makes much more sense when we’re talking about athletes since sports are are all about doing.
So, my dear ladies, gentlemen, the next time you see a muscular female, try to resist your God-given right to go “eww, gross!” even if that’s how you feel because, trust me, such comments benefit no one. Furthermore, try to understand the radical notion that the size of muscles or breasts has absolutely nothing to do with femininity or a female’s inherent value as a person. Likewise, if you find muscular females gross, ask yourself why? Do you find weak men gross, unnatural, and feminine? Someone like, say, Johnny Depp? Gross, right?
And just to be clear: everyone has their own tastes and they should have the right to their opinion, but saying “that’s not really my cup of tea; I prefer this” is a very different thing from “dear God, that’s hideous! What a fucking freak!” Remember, chances are, plenty of people think you are a fugly, creepy, pathetic piece of shit, but do you want to hear that a dozen times every day and thrice that every time you step into a bar? Sure, they might be ignorant little cunts who just don’t understand you or your passion or they might have a point, I don’t know, but I say live and let die, to each their own, different strokes, and all that crap.
That’s all for now. Until next time, peace out.