Monday, June 27, 2011

How to Look Hot and Fight Patriarchy

I have fallen in love again. I am afraid Vic may have to shuffle over to make some room in my heart for a sardonic, blonde muscle head who also happens to write academic theses.

She's an avid Big Sister, (with the Big Brothers, Big Sister foundation in Edmonton) and a self-proclaimed feminist, aiming to motivate girls and show them that they really can do anything - no seriously ANYthing. Cover yourself in mud and be a dude? Rock on. Cover yourself in sparkles and be a bodybuilder? Natch. If you want to put yourself through the pressure, strain, and struggle of a competition just to be judged, why the heck not? Even my own history has taught me that people are not as willing to accept a female that is serious about bodybuilding. In the world of feminism, accepting muscular women is still a tough sell. The dean at the University of Alberta plagiarizes a speech and achieves front page status; a professor undergoes a complete transformation into a sparkling, bikini-wearing, bodybuilder (admittedly not complete since she was already a 'gym rat') all in the name of science, and she merits one story in one paper.

The professor blogs about the experience at with wit, insight, and more dirty language than George Carlin with Tourettes. She will continue to write, she's even writing a novel about the challenge of bodybuilding and the figure industry, but says she will never compete again. After reading about her experience hollering "Oh God, I need to use your washroom!" at an unsuspecting drugstore attendant, while clutching a tube of hemorrhoid ointment (not just for hemorrhoids anymore!), I can't really blame her.

One of the most important lessons I learned from her story is that societies (feminism, veganism, activism, etc.) have to learn to grow and accept other people's connection with the society. When groups proselytize, it just drives otherwise interested people away. There should be more focus on the spirit, the intent, of a person's actions, rather than a blind adherence to preconceived notions of 'right' and 'wrong'.

1 comment:

Michael said...

Not even bodybuilders can pull off wearing sparkles. They're just muscular enough that people are too afraid to tell them they look silly.

Bodybuilding is something I admit I will never understand, but as long as the bodybuilder wears something with significantly more coverage than their competition wear in public, than I'm likely too oblivious to notice. That being said, the really big bodybuilders of either gender still trip my "Deeply Freaky" alarm equally.