The problem with female bodybuilding


Annnnd tense…

How many female bodybuilders can you name? Not as many as you can men in all probability.

In 2013 UKBFF withdrew female bodybuilding from their competition list. So if you are looking to get massive, and you’re a female, the stage where you can show off your muscles is diminishing. In 2015 there will be no Ms Olympia Bodybuilding.

We take a look at the issues.

Why is this seen as a problem?

When women’s bodybuilding was dropped from the calendar, all that remained were beauty pageant, physique style competitions. 4 for men and 4 for women.

The most obvious problem with this is that it is arguably a sexist attitude. The glass ceiling is now only the mirror in the gym if you’re a female bodybuilder. You can’t strut your stuff on stage and you can’t win a competition. If you’re a fan of the retired Iris Kyle this is bad news.

It could also be argued that we are enforcing sexual stereotypes. In that men should be huge and women should be more petite and toned. The “strong is the new skinny” movement has really taken off the in the last few years, will this undo that?

Bear in mind at this point that Miss World, often criticised for being misogynistic and sexist, allows entries at the age of 16.

Women bodybuilders work incredibly hard, have amazing levels of dedication and produce astounding physiques. It’s a shame that they no longer have a stage to showcase all of that but it seems that this is the direction that the sport is heading in.

Kevan Wilson, former UK champ and gym owner.

But is it actually an issue?

What do bodybuilding fans want to see? Massive muscles. Ok there is the definition and the posing side to it, but the core draw to modern bodybuilding is size. Is female bodybuilding therefore just a smaller version? Why would you watch that?

Apply that logic to football, rugby or cricket though and the argument becomes murkier.

But murky logic or not, the commercial world is driven by one thing; supply and demand. If there is no demand for female bodybuilding, then why bother driving the supply. In other words, if you can sell out a show with male bodybuilders and beauty pageants, then why run the cost of another category that people might not want to watch?

What can be done for female bodybuilders?

If you see yourself or a loved one as the next BIG thing in women’s bodybuilding, then you can sign here. It’s a petition to IFBB.

“This petition is truly to give voice to the women who desire to push their bodies to the max and desire to compete at the highest level along with the other elite athletes at the prestigious Olympia contest.”

What’s your opinion? Are the current options available ok or do you feel that female should be able to push their body to the max?

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