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365 Days of Working Out…Turns a Normal Looking Guy Into a Giant Douche September 15, 2009

Posted by FCM in entertainment, gender roles, health, rape, thats mean, WTF?.
Tags: , , , , , ,

this is a time-lapse video of a normal-looking guy who decided he needed to improve his “physique.” he ends up also being less hairy, tanner, and basically looking like a giant douche.

why do people do this to themselves? i have been reading some fatpositive blogs lately and the thing thats stuck with me is that fat does not equal unhealthy, and actually tends to protect you from some things.  and being thin, if you are eating crap and sedentary, is even worse that being fat. 

but we automatically inquire about — and congratulate — people when they appear to have lost weight, dont we?  for fucks sake!  what if they just got over being ill?  what if they are suffering from wasting from chemo?  thinness isnt always an intentional (or a celebratory) state, and some people are just so naturally thin that they feel like freaks, too.  people tell them to “eat something” and its supposed to be a “compliment” or a joke.  but to anyone thats ever been “too thin,”  any body- or weight-related attention is as offensive as telling someone who is fat to “back away from the doughnut.”  mind your own fucking business.  whether i can or cannot fill out the ass in a pair of jeans is entirely not.  your.  concern.

but getting to the heart of the matter:  there are serious problems with a man getting “fit” in the way detailed in this video.  firstly, it takes leisure time to be able to work out consistently, and to get results like this.  working all day as a roofer might get you fit (and tan), but its not going to chisel you into a bronze god.  chasing 3 kids around the house might get you fit, but you are also going to be left pasty, and undefined.  sorry.

no, plenty of leisure time is required for this kind of “fitness”, and the people who have leisure time are privileged.  its also going to cost you some coinage to have access to the equipment, and the safe environment in which to work out.  if you have money to spend this way, you are privileged. if you are willing to acknowledge your privilege thats one thing. but too often, people who acheive results from working out like to act like it was due to just good old fashioned hard work and “moxy.” in those cases, its used as a weapon against other people who are less hard-working privileged.  the bronze god uses his “acheivement” to build up his own ego.  do we really need any more of that?  (no, we dont).

men who want to sculpt their bodies in this way are also unabashedly promoting the gender binary, in which men are seen as larger, and stronger than women.  when in fact, there is not that much of a difference, on average, between the size and strength of women and men, and certainly much less of an average difference that is observed between women as a group, or between men as a group.  indeed, the average height for an american is 5’4 for women and 5’9 for men.  thats only a difference of 5 inches.  then think about the shortest and tallest men in the world, and the shortest and tallest women.  the differences within–rather than between– those groups will be closer to 5 feet, if the tallest is close to 8 feet tall, and the shortest close to 3.

finally, distorting the relative physical strength between women and men is beyond problematic.  we live in a rape-culture, where men display aggressive and entitled sexual styles that are perceived as “normal,” even when they cross over into rape-behaviors, instead of sexual ones.  distorting men’s physical size and strength, and exaggerating the differences between women and men in both areas, only make it more likely that women will continue to be victimized by men in this way, as long as men have the desire to rape.  in fact, his greater size and strength will make it more likely, not less, that he will be successful in most physical endeavors, including rape and other violent crimes, as we see with the dreaded “super criminal” coming out of prison after having done nothing but work out (and hone his anger) for months or years.  but this is only seen as problematic, in most cases, in the prison context.  why?  why is anyone OK with men gratuitously building up their size and strength, when men are far and away the perpertators of sexual assualt, domestic violence, and murder? 

at the same time, we have the sexist, racist “beauty myth” as the physical standard for women.  not coincidentally for sure, within this rape-culture favoring monterously huge male bodies, we have women dieting and starving themselves to make them smaller, in relation to men.

in sum, the guy in the video looked fine, before.  if he wanted to get healthy, he could have stopped 3 months in, which is where he has lost the more noticeable flab.  he certainly didnt need to shave his chest, or visit the tanning bed.  i mean seriously.  what was the point of that?  this is not a rhetorical question.  here is the website linked to by the creator of the video.  its called “john stone fitness, LLC.”


1. Joce Claire - September 16, 2009

Interesting, I never thought of men working out as being problematic in terms of male supremacy, as you pointed out here. I guess it’s similar to how a white woman straightening her hair and/or dyeing it blonde perpetuates and exaggerates white supremacy? Of course the issue is a little different since the white woman is not going to use her hair to rape, beat and murder black women.

factcheckme - September 16, 2009

issues of race and gender often intersect. to address the issue you raise, i suppose anyone trying to exaggerate and emphasize “white” features, while deemphasizing non-white ones is buying into something arent they? theres a lot involved in the “beauty myth” and its both racist and sexist. but the primary force there i think is misogyny, not racism, since women really dont have much of a choice in what is considered acceptable beauty-wise and what isnt. the rules are made by men. the pro-aryan beauty standard is also applied to women of color, but not by white women. again, the rules for all women are made by men, not by women. we dont get to decide “whether” we are going to follow them. we just decide “how far” we are willing to go. to think about it as exercising white privilege (and therefore oppressing those without white privilege) might be a good way to think about it, when making that decision.

my first thought about women straightening their hair and dyeing it blonde is the obvious: women with straight, blonde hair arent the ones doing that. so what does it mean when “other” women do that? are they exercising white privilege? co-opting it? i guess it depends on the woman. they are certainly buying into the misogynist beauty myth. and they are also exaggerating the prevelance of a certain demographic, making it seem as if there are more people around with the “acceptable” features, and less people around with the “unacceptable” ones. in a very corporeal way, i think it does perpetuate white supremecy: it makes it seem as if whiteness is the norm. even where we all know its the social norm, it also becomes the physical norm.

but i think your final point is pretty important: white women arent using their hair to rape, beat and murder black women. its misogynist hate thats causing black women to be vicitmized in those ways, not racist hate, perhaps particularly when they are vicitmized by domestic violence. this relational abuse is almost always perpetrated by a man against his same-race female partner. one study i read does blame racism for black men’s perpetrating domestic violence though, and i found that really sickening:

“In terms of racial position in society, black women are the least valued socially and economically, said Zierler. “Something about racial positioning also puts black women at worse danger in their homes than white women. There is a loss of dignity for black men as a result of racial discrimination. The more disintegrating one’s own context, the fewer places there are to express anger.” http://www.scienceblog.com/community/older/2003/D/20031508.html

but domestic violence is not about anger! if it were about men (or black men) being angry, they would just explode on anyone that happened to be there. they wouldnt wait until they got home to very deliberately and calculatedly take it out on their female partner. domestic violence is about victimizing women specifically. thats misogynist hate being expressed, regardless of where the “anger” came from, and regardless even of whether the man feels angry. many times, he just feels like hitting his female partner for no reason at all.

so, in the end, the intersections between race and gender are complicated. but you correctly note that the beauty myth is both racist and sexist. is it “similar” to the problem of male body building? i guess it is. but there are differences too.

2. redmegaera - September 17, 2009

Great post. You can also think about this in relation to the ’70s phenomenon of the “clone”- the traditionally masculine, muscle-bound, leather-clad, drug-taking gay man epitomized in popular culture by the Village People, the Marlboro Man, Tom of Finland and Jon Voight’s character in Midnight Cowboy. While the early gay liberation movement understood the oppression of homosexual men as a corrolary of and secondary to the oppression of women, the figure of the “clone” represented a turn towards a kind of traditional, exaggerated masculinity that many men in gay liberation found personally repugnant, sexist and deeply reactionary. I was looking through the local gay and lesbian street press today and it was full of men with uniformally tanned,white, muscular bodies and it just really depressed me…
I think you’re spot-on identifying leisure time with economic privilege. So many people interpellate their anxieties about class through a fear of fat and the discipling of transgressive bodies. As Elana Dykewomon says in an essay I wrote about on my blog:

“Part of this is the result of consumerism. We are led to believe that if we do not like some part of our bodies/physical identities, it is possible to change that part. So if you don’t change something generally percieved to be within your power to change, you’re a failed consumer. It’s worth considering how intense the disinformation campaign is that convinces most people that body sixe can be changed: even scientists and doctors now reluctantly will agree, when pressed, that “dieting” has a 95 to 98% failure rate. If you suffer because of something people believe can be changed, the suffering is your fault. Fat people, mostly women, are scapegoated for a myriad of cultural sins- fat means taking more than your share, a lack of intelligence, the moral failure to embrace “discipline” and “will power”, laziness, indolence, sloth, greed. Fat women carry these sins on our skins so that thin and average-size people can feel good about themselves, feel as if they are in control of their lives.”

The thing I hate about “consumer” activism and an individualized, “consumer” approach to public health is that it makes disadvantaged individuals feel personally culpable for the position they occupy within the existing power structure and morally exonerates the people in power who are enabled to make “good” choices by exploiting people below. So poor people are given a dressing-down over their unhealthy eating habits without anyone thinking about housing, crime or the cost of living and while rich people are congragulated for jumping on the treadmill and buying organic raspberries and biodynamic pork…
Bit of a ramble but I think you get my point. BTW, I really love your blog.

factcheckme - September 17, 2009

i didnt know that about the 70s “clone”. thanks for sharing that. the consumerism part bothers me a lot too. its only relatively wealthy people that can afford to “change” these things, but all of us are “failed consumers” if we dont successfully change our bodies, to the tune of several billion dollars spent on the diet industry for example, when everyone knows that diets dont work. its takes more than “9.99 a month plus to cost of food” to lose weight, or gain muscle. you need a personal trainer, and yes, the leisure time to work out several times a week.

i added something to the article that i have been thinking about in relation to the gender binary:

“at the same time, we have the sexist, racist “beauty myth” as the physical standard for women. not coincidentally for sure, within this rape-culture favoring monterously huge male bodies, we have women dieting and starving themselves to make them smaller, in relation to men.”

how does the beauty myth and women’s trying to always, always make themselves physically smaller fit into the rape-culture, the same culture that favors these overly large and strong male bodies? it makes me cringe just thinking about it. i know that DIETS DONT WORK but look at all the girls and women that are so fat-phobic they never get any bigger than a size 0? perhaps more importantly, they WANT to be smaller, drastically smaller, in relation to men. desire is created, within a consumer culture, it doesnt exist independently of it.

Joce Claire - September 17, 2009

I’ve noticed a lot of misogyny/homophobia within gay male culture, where the more masculinized gay men hate the more feminized ones.

But on the “consumer activism” thing, I agree with you. It puts all the responsibility on the most powerless people. For example, I live in a shitty Southern town, and I shop at Walmart, because it and Kroger (which is owned by Mormons) are my only options. There is some sort of hippie grocery store about 2 hours away, but I can’t drive 4 hours every time I need groceries. I’ve been to poor, black neighborhoods in surrounding areas, and the grocery stores there literally have no produce but lettuce and tomato (and the meat they sell is incredibly fatty, the parts of the animals that white, middle-class people would never eat). Yet I’m supposed to be boycotting Walmart, and poor, black, rural people are supposed to be eating healthier? It all comes down to our personal choices?

The other problem I have with the “healthy lifestyle” propaganda is all the talk of how the problem is we don’t cook enough anymore, choosing fast food instead. And by “we,” they always mean women. So the solution is to return to the days when women spent all day slaving in the kitchen for no money and no respect? I know fast food workers don’t make very much money and are treated poorly, but I can’t help but prefer that to the slave labor of half the population.

[My dad used to cook dinner occasionally, but he would use overly expensive ingredients and all the pots and pans and leave a huge mess for my mom to clean up (and his cooking was inedible), so she basically had to ban him from cooking dinner, because it ended up being more work for her than it was for her to just cook dinner herself.]

But yes, the consumer approach puts the most responsibility on the people with the least amount of power!

3. Joce Claire - September 17, 2009

Oh, and I definitely think we need to look into the abundance of high-fructose corn syrup and the corn subsidies the government provides to farmers. One criticism I have of the Fat Acceptance movement is that in insisting that obesity is genetic, they ignore that everyone is fatter than they used to be, and that we should be looking for systematic solutions to the increased rates of diabetes, etc., while still fighting for the acceptance and human treatment of fat people.

Joce Claire - September 19, 2009

It took me a day before I realized how completely America-centric this comment is (and in response to an Australian!). But I don’t know that rising obesity rates/fat acceptance is a global issue, nor do I have any idea about how to talk about the issue from a global perspective. I am still working on all this intersectionality stuff!

But I do want to elaborate on obesity/fatness as an American issue. A lot of health problems aren’t actually caused by obesity, like diabetes, but the diet that is also correlated with rising obesity rates. And there’s some fucked up shit going on, especially with children — all the sugary cereals and junk food being marketed to kids, schools getting payoffs to install vending machines. And I want to support fat women, and fat acceptance, but I don’t want to turn a blind eye to these things and how they’re affecting the nation’s health (and I honestly mean health here, not the way people claim they don’t like fat people “because it’s unhealthy” when they really mean “because I don’t like looking at them”).

I also just am sick of the genetic argument in general. I don’t know if it was the gay rights movement that kicked it off, with trying to combat the Religious Right saying they could change and thus didn’t deserve rights. But rights shouldn’t be dependent on whether something is genetic or not! We have all sorts of freedom of religion laws, and that’s certainly not biologically based. And it seems to me that plenty of women make a choice to be straight or lesbians. Should we give rights to a disabled person who has born with Cerebral Palsy, but not to someone who is disabled as a result of a car accident?

Plus, something can be completely ungenetic without being easily changeable. For example, internalized misogyny/sexism/feminine conditioning are huge huge huge hurdles I may never completely get over, not because they’re biological or natural, but because I have spent 26 years in a misogynistic society and will likely spend the rest of my life in a misogynistic society. I see too many women excusing so much of their behavior as “I was just born that way” — being “femme” or “butch” (standards of femininity vary so much from culture to culture, what would a genetic predisposition to femininity even mean? That you are predestined to go along with whatever your culture ascribes to women?), kinks (how could babies be born liking sadomasochism or having a foot fetish?), a certain body type they’re attracted to (even though they would probably be attracted to a different body type if they were born in a different decade or different culture, and anyway people’s preferences change a lot throughout the lifespan). It’s the same thing, to me, as evolutionary psych — declaring something “natural” solely on the basis that it exists (and that you can come up with some half-assed explanation for why it might exist).

To bring my rant back to the topic at hand, I do think scientists have sufficiently proven that body size has some genetic basis. But I don’t think that’s the whole story — people overeat for emotional reasons, crash dieting fucks up your metabolism, various cultural, capitalistic and socioeconomic reasons I’ve mentioned, and some people just really like to eat. I don’t think, in the end, it matters if someone is fat because of a genetic issue or because she just eats too much junk food. We should treat them both like human beings.

Like I mentioned before, we don’t only give handicapped parking spots to disabled people who can prove it’s totally not their fault — actually last summer I got a disabled sticker because I broke my foot stepping funny in platform wedge sandals (we know how you love high-heeled shoes, redmeagera!).

Also, wow, I just realized how little this whole thing relates to the topic at hand. I just had all these thoughts swirling in my head, keeping me from being able to get to sleep (it’s 4am here!), so there you go.

factcheckme - September 19, 2009

sorry you were tossing and turning lastnight. LOL that happens to me sometimes too. regarding the obesity issue, theres a lot of information on the fat-positive blogs if you are interested in learning more about the issue, from that perspective. “shapely prose” is a good one, and theres a link to them on my front page if you want to take a look.

your post reminded me of the idea of “desire” and how its socially constructed. we like to think that our personalities are unique, and that our thoughts and desires are our own. thats why we hear women self-reporting their reasons for getting plastic surgery as “i did it for me” and “i wanted to look and feel better for myself.” sometimes we hear husbands and partners saying “i didnt think she needed any work done, but she really wanted to do it.” as if she REALLY did just want to do it, for herself! as if there werent a whole history of racism and misogyny at work there, from the time she was born. as if its even possible for any of us to have a thought, feeling, or inkling thats entirely and demonstrably our own. this includes men who “just arent attracted” to fat women. they are projecting a cultural value, rather than having an authentic thought.

we like to place blame on people. thats what we do, because it reinforces our own privilege. if you are lucky enough to have the time and money to eat well and exercise, you want to blame other people for being “fat.” it makes your privileged status seem less like luck, and more like you “earned it.” but privilege is by definition UN-EARNED. in the end, thats really what i think it comes down to. privileged people reinforcing their “moral” superiority. as if morality had anythig to do with it, instead of plain dumb luck.

4. cacophonies - September 21, 2009

Saying that this guy “looks like a douche” is problematic on so many levels. You’re making vast assumptions about this individual male by nothing more than the shape of his body. We are very obviously trying to make that stop for women. Let’s not pretend that it’s ok to treat men that way when we know it’s not ok for women to be treated that way. It’s bad behavior either way, regardless of who bears the brunt of it more frequently and negatively. Individual men do actually have feelings that can be hurt when you criticize their bodies, just like women do. Just because they are, by no fault of their own, members of the gender that is the more privileged of the recognized two does not mean that they deserve to be treated badly as a punishment for something over which they have no control.

Second, calling someone a douche is just poor form. I cringe every time I see a genital-related insult being thrown at anyone, regardless of whether it’s “cunt,” ”douche,” or “dick,” “cock,” etc. Let’s stop using our genitals as euphemisms for “bad,” shall we? It’s only perpetuating negativity.

factcheckme - September 21, 2009

but i am critizing what he deliberately turned himself into, and what that represents. not “his body type over which he has no control.” our desires are not our own, because they are created within a context. he obviousy desired to become hairless, tan, and overly pumped up. why?

as for the “douche” comment i agree with you that “using genitals as euphemisms for bad” is poor form. i have also noticed that some feminists dont have a problem with the word “douche”, and at the same time would never call anyone a “cunt.” one feminist explained that its a matter of perception: if you think calling someone a “douche” is offensive because an item used for washing out a vagina is the lowest thing you can think of, then you shouldnt use the word; if on the other hand you realize that a “douche” is something thats dangerous to women and should never be allowed anywhere near a vagina…then thats different. in that context, its also the perfect use of the word to describe a misogynist, or some guy who works out, shaves his chest and tans.

Joce Claire - September 21, 2009

I don’t think calling a man a dick is anywhere near as bad as calling a woman a cunt. I don’t think you can even compare the two. It’s like cracker vs. nigger. Besides, I think of behavior that one would consider “dickish” to be the exact same behavior indicative of (usually white) male privilege and entitlement, which is the prize you get in life for being born with a dick.

I’m neutral on douche; I see both sides of the argument there.

factcheckme - September 21, 2009

i agree that they cannot be compared. trying to equate the words used to denigrate men versus the ones used to denigrate women is like saying that “misandry” and “misogyny” are equally problematic. they arent. not to mention the fact that men made up those words, and decided that they were derogatory, and deliberately used them that way. men and those in positions of power are always the ones that choose our language, and how certain things are expressed and how issues are framed. so saying that men are being mean to other men by inventing mean names for THEMSELVES isnt exactly going to make my eyes well up in solidarity, ya know?

cacophonies - September 21, 2009

but i am critizing what he deliberately turned himself into, and what that represents. not “his body type over which he has no control.” our desires are not our own, because they are created within a context. he obviousy desired to become hairless, tan, and overly pumped up. why?

That’s valid, for sure. But at the same time, we don’t frown upon women obsessively working out in order to achieve a body type that is socially acceptable or expected. We feel sorry for them or wish that they would accept their bodies the way that they are naturally, but we don’t tell them they’re only perpetuating the absurd expectations given to us by a patriarchal society. Granted, the points you raised in the post were very thought-provoking (about becoming more physically “strong” and therefore overpowering women even more so, etc.).

As far as the other way one could read “douche” as an insult… I thought about that, too. I guess that’s just a personal thing. I’d rather avoid all associations with genitalia when attempting to call someone a name… although, this has drastically cut my creativity when it comes to insulting ass holes to, well, “ass hole,” or “jerk,” which are just so boring. Ha.

cacophonies - September 21, 2009

i agree that they cannot be compared. trying to equate the words used to denigrate men versus the ones used to denigrate women is like saying that “misandry” and “misogyny” are equally problematic. they arent.

I don’t think calling a man a dick is anywhere near as bad as calling a woman a cunt. I don’t think you can even compare the two. It’s like cracker vs. nigger.

When I think about name-calling in this context, I think of it in the individual sense, not the power + prejudice sense. It stemmed from my significant other and a good friend of his complaining about how they feel when they’re insulted by references to their penises. So, because I care for these individual men enough to respect the fact that this hurts their feelings, I try to stop using that kind of language. I also feel that it helps my own credibility when I spout off about how insulting and sexist it is to be called a cunt or skank or whatever other derogatory and clearly misogynist name.

No, it’s not something that I expect everyone to give in to, but it feels better for me personally when I avoid it.

factcheckme - September 21, 2009

but “asshole” and “jerk” are also both sexually-themed are they not? idiot and moron are good insults, but i have to agree with jocelyn that “dickish” exactly represents aggressive and entitled behaviors most often displayed by men…due precisely to the fact that they have dicks. i think its a great word and means exactly what its intended to mean. what are the “parallel” privileged behaviors in women that lead people to call them “cunts?” (note that “privilege” is an important concept here). i imagine only men (a certain type of man to wit, an MRA) would think that women are acting “entitled” when they act like “cunts,” know know, demanding child support and the like? its something to think about.

also, i have to take issue with your assertion that people dont criticise women for molding and shaping their bodies…women are criticised for their bodies and the choices they make no matter what they do. the guy in the video wouldve been fine if he had stopped after about 2 months. is there EVER an acceptable time for women to “stop” trying to control their bodies? (no, theres not). its an ongoing struggle and a goal that literally cannot be achieved, by design.

cacophonies - September 21, 2009

but “asshole” and “jerk” are also both sexually-themed are they not?

I hadn’t considered “jerk” to be sexually-themed, honestly. Oops. Are there no insults left in this world??

I thought about asshole, too, but thought it was ok as far as my own little rules go, because men and women both have them and they’re not specific to male or female anatomy.

also, i have to take issue with your assertion that people dont criticise women for molding and shaping their bodies…women are criticised for their bodies and the choices they make no matter what they do.

Well, you’re right. I was thinking along the lines of women criticizing each other, the negative in-fighting, competitive nonsense that we’re expected to participate in.

I’m just of the opinion that a deliberate sexist (in the individual sense) comment, criticism, or insult by men or women is reminiscent of standing on one side of the playground yelling that boys are better than girls, or vice-versa, and doesn’t get us anywhere. I’d rather lead by example.

Joce Claire - September 21, 2009

But idiot and moron are both termed formerly used as clinical classifications for degrees of mental retardation/disability! (It seems they continually change the names for disabilities as each one morphs into an insult.) Almost every insult seemingly has a root in belittling one group or another. Where do you draw the line? If it applies to a privileged vs. oppressed group? If its archaic or has a completely different connotation now? “Spaz” and “lame” are considered offensive to disabled people, even though I don’t think hardly anyone associates them with actually disabilities.

I’m kinda playing devil’s advocate here, but I also do wonder where you draw the line.

factcheckme - September 22, 2009

But idiot and moron are both termed formerly used as clinical classifications for degrees of mental retardation/disability!

well thats a good point joce. it made me think that if we were really going to go all-out and refuse to use language indicative of privilege (words that are directly related to oppression of others)…that we also would be unable to degrade each other using very general terms (you cunt/retard etc). you might even have to call out specific behaviors that the person did that pissed you off. like…an actual conversation, or a constructive criticism rather than an attack.

meh. never gonna happen. LOL

5. Lindsay - October 6, 2009

This is an intriguing post; I’d never thought of strength training by men as inherently problematic, though I’ve long hated the cultural pressures on women to exercise only in ways that make their bodies thinner, rather than developing their strength, power, endurance etc.

I’ve done lots and lots of strength training myself, and gotten very big and muscular because of it. I love this, and use my strong body all the time to do things like help people move, or do big, heavy outdoor tasks for them. I am happier and more energetic when I’m working out, and I guess because of this I think of weightlifting as a Good Thing for everyone who might want to pursue it.

But, of course, you are absolutely right that me changing my body to be larger and stronger doesn’t carry the same implied threat to women that it would if I had been a man. Indeed, I have a male friend who was my workout buddy for a long time, but eventually gave up weightlifting because he didn’t like the way people’s reactions to him were changing. (He went through a transformation akin to the guy in the video’s — from kinda chubby and geeky-looking to conspicuously buff. And this guy is a man of color, so the intimidation factor was even more pronounced at our mostly-white college).

factcheckme - October 6, 2009

hi lindsay

have you ever seen the movie “pumping iron II?” its about a female bodybuilding championship where the obvious “winner” is a woman that looks like a very pumped up man, in every way. shes bigger than the other women, shes clearly got them all beat in strength and definition etc. the thing is, for the female bodybuilders, theres a rule (may have been an unwritten rule which is why it caused the judges such a massive problem) that the winner had to be FEMININE LOOKING, as well. that meant strong and defined, but not too big. and they also had to be “pretty”, with long hair and nails, fake boobs, etc. its a fascinating look into the subject if you are interested. the manly looking woman loses of course, even though if it had been a mans competition with mens rules, she wouldve won, as she was both the biggest and the best.

as for your friend, i suspect that the reactions he was getting were very much tied to the “supercriminal” perception and were due to his race, particularly since few people acknowledge the rape culture we live in, and nobody (except me) seems to find male bodybuilders particularly threatening. and even for me, its not that i cower at the sight of one pumped up man: its the rape culture and the exaggeration of the “naturally” only very slightly larger male body that bothers me. in fact, rather than male bodybuilders being threatening to anyone, the perception of them individually (if there is any perception) is that they are stupid, is it not? i linked to 2 sources about the “supercriminal” perception, and one was representative of the fears (although wasnt race specific, obvy) and the other cited studies that purported to “debunk” the supercriminal perception as a myth by citing studies on recidivism (although the source was a publication by a weightlifting organization haha). but since the perception already is that there are more black men in prison than white (of course this isnt true, blacks are just overrepresented for various reasons), i strongly suspect that there is racism in the fear of the supercriminal, and that your friend was a victim of that. although black men working out has the same implications as far as perpetuating rape culture and exaggerating the gender binary as any man, since thats a gender issue. i wonder if he happened to notice WHO was reacting to his new, buff body with fear? men, women, black, white etc?

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