Melina Bell, a professor of philosophy at Washington and Lee University, won both the Lightweight and Overall titles at the recently held 2009 Hercules Bodybuilding Championships Pro-Qualifier, which qualified her for WNBF pro status.
Melina, ever the philosopher, has an interesting outlook on female bodybuilding. She has been quoted as saying:
I was beginning to understand how even female bodybuilders are expected to behave in a feminine way in order to draw the sting away from the threat that they pose—to disempower them, even as they are doing something that is very empowering.
I sometimes discuss my bodybuilding experiences with the students, but mostly we discuss women’s experience in sports such as soccer, field hockey and basketball. We look at the feminine apologetic — the idea that because you are encroaching on a masculine domain, you have to make yourself even more feminine in order to apologize for being there.
Female athletes are expected not only to be great performers like male athletes, but they are also expected to be pretty and feminine. Those who conform to this stereotype definitely have an easier time getting sponsorships. This attitude prevails in all different kinds of sports.
Photo by Norbert Torriente via INBF.net