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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

not found in...

What do all these women have in common?

If you answered "they're what popped up when you google-image-searched 'fitness models', Andrea," you'd be correct.  If you answered, "they're all brunettes," you'd also be correct.  If you said, "apparently they all like red/grey/black/white workout clothes," I wouldn't argue with you.

But none of that speaks to my point. I'd say what they have in common is that they're all very lean, quite muscular, and yet have enormous boobs. Boobs which are almost certainly not the, um, originals.  Y'all know I hang out online in female weightlifting circles. In those circles one of the most common newbie questions is whether when the questioner loses fat will she lose her breasts too. The answer to that is uniformly "yes!"  Often blithely followed by something like "...but that's what surgery is for!" or "don't worry, you can buy yourself some new ones."

Now as the cranky, brought-up-in-the-late 70s, pro-choice feminist that I am, I firmly support (see what I did there? it wasn't intentional) the right of any woman to do what she wants with her own body, including plastic surgery.  But as a cranky, brought-up-in-the-late 70s feminist, I have to admit I am appalled that the beauty standard is increasingly shifting not just to something impossible for a woman without the right genetics (i.e. the 5'11, 120lb fashion model ideal) but one that is impossible for all women, barring surgical intervention (i.e. the 14-16-18% bodyfat but with DD/E cup breasts fitness model ideal).  That look is not found in nature.

Oh, some women are genetically blessed with boobs that contain a higher percentage of glandular tissue and thus do not lose them completely when they're at a lower bodyfat level. (Truth in advertising, I myself would never be an A cup even if I were emaciated.) And some very lucky women hold onto a good portion of their breast fat even when they're losing fat elsewhere.  But very lean women with very huge natural breasts just do NOT exist. How is holding this look up as a pinnacle of female beauty any better than saying that bound feet or artificially stretched necks are required for a woman to be truly pretty?

Sigh. Okay, okay, I'm not that stupid. I do know the difference: no one is forcing infants or little girls to have breast augmentation and no one is shunning or refusing to marry women who haven't had the procedure. It's still all-of-a-piece to me.  You're a woman. Not only do you have to watch every morsel that goes in your mouth, put in hour after hour of hard work in the gym, do your hair, use makeup, tan, and remove all your body hair, to be the pinnacle of hawtness, to be the ideal, you *also* have to have invasive surgery. There's something wrong with that picture.

I have a picture up on my refrigerator, a ad torn out of a magazine. I'm klassy like that, shut up.

Her name is Kelly Conrad. She's not a professional fitness model; she's a "employee of the month." She's also 5'3, 115 pounds, so about my size. I love her body: her stomach, her quads, and especially her arms and shoulders. I think she's beautiful, and beautiful in a way that's at least somewhat attainable to me. And what she has or doesn't have in her sports bra is realistic. I dunno. I wish that all the women in the fitness magazines and supplement ads looked more like her and less like the very lovely but very artificial sex-kitten-ish fitness models above.  Also?  Bonus redhead!  Alternately, I'd also love to see some female powerlifters with higher bodyfat (and thus maybe naturally bigger boobs) and lots of muscle in the ads, because that's a very beautiful look too.  Honestly, I don't even understand how putting a woman in an ad that your readers--if they have half a brain--know they could never look like through natural means even helps sell supplements. But obviously I'm not in advertising.



  1. I also want to know why in the ads the muscular man gets big weights to pose with and the muscular woman usually gets none but worse if she gets weights they are tiny pink ones. That isn't how she got the muscles.

  2. Oh, yes, that's a whole nother rant altogether :-)

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