It seems that many people that love female bodybuilders keep it hush hush in their public lives. These private admirers sift through female muscle related websites and forums, afraid to let the outside world know. Why is that?
The internet has created a new culture where anyone can anonymously find and access information on any interest or fetish. A sort of digital Peeping Tom arose or … the Lurker. Lurkers are common in internet culture and research indicates that they “make up over 90% of online groups” (Nonnecke & Preece 2000). I would guess the number amongst female muscle fans is even higher. Here may be a few reasons why.
MSNBC recently did a story on how Cultural images influence our perception of attractiveness. It cites an article in Psychological Science that says what we think is attractive, or beautiful, is whatever requires the least amount of effort. Basically whatever is easiest and familiar. “What you like is a function of what your mind has been trained on,” says Piotr Winkielman of the University of California at San Diego.
I’ve seen many blogs cite female bodybuilders as “horrifying” or “freaks” yet they show photo after photo. One writer called them “vomit-inducing” which “inspired me to create this collection of horribly unattractive muscular women.” The photo shown was beautiful Lenda Murray with the tag ‘ugly women’. Another writes, “Female bodybuilders are like futuristic cyborg soldiers sent to Earth to scare the complete sh*t out of grown men, children and small animals.” We get the point. The general media doesn’t think women with muscle are attractive… or secretly do they? Why go to all the trouble of lambasting these women.
An article from Asylum.com rates Female Bodybuilders as the #1 type of woman that men secretly lust over. They say “Sexual attraction is a mystical voodoo, and we often secretly want to be with those whose body types and personalities that are not considered ideal — and sometimes those that are considered taboo.” So are women with muscles taboo?
A taboo is a social prohibition created by society. Even if female bodybuilder physiques are privately admired by men and women, many still judge them publicly. Female bodybuilders receive comments ranging from ‘she looks like a man’ to ‘she could bench press me’. Bodybuilder Kristi Bruce says, “I don’t want to look like a man. I want to look like a powerful version of myself.” Well said, and I’m sure the thought of most female bodybuilders.
Someone insulted Suzanne Germano with the comment “sleeping with me would be like sleeping with a man.” Another ignorant comment from which I’ve seen many articles in rebut. A certain homophobic fear from society does set in for the admirer, asking the question “does being attracted to female bodybuilders make you gay?”
In the forums of Unreal Muscle, Isabelle Turrell simply asked for user’s Facebook links. It quickly turned into a discussion on how many admirers weren’t comfortable with adding bodybuilders as Facebook friends. One wrote, “Being a female muscle admirer is like being gay 50 years ago, it’s considered in best case comical, in worst case a deeply perverted sickness.” Fear of what society says is a powerful force.
These are intriguing reasons why some people hide their passion for female muscle from the outside world. Female Bodybuilders may always be considered taboo and a sick, perverted fetish by society. Is there anything than can be done to change perception or does it even matter in the grand scheme of things.
I don’t really know the answer, I’m just an anonymous fan.
Contributing Writer Area Orion