Ms. Olympia: State of the Art


> From: Larue Green <>
> Date: Thu, 16 Jun 2005 18:54:41 -0400
> Subject: RE: Women's Bodybuilding
> I agree 100% that the powers that be are abandoning Women's bodybuilding.
>> Although I do not agree with steroid use in men's or women's competition,
> I
>> do feel that women should be able to take their bodies as far as they
>> naturally can if they choose to. I feel the same about the men. I do
> like
>> to see the "ultra" and extreme physiques but not at the cost of the
>> competitor's health and well-being.
>> On another note, I do not like to see the bloated stomachs of either male
> or
>> female. I do think that the men as well as women need to stop the drug
> use
>> because I am afraid for their health in the future. We as spectators need
>> to respect and protect their health as well as our own. Our desire to see
>> huge, massive muscles tend to be at the expense of those with the genetics
>> to produce them
>> I love the beautiful female physique, with and without huge muscles. I
>> actually prefer a well-muscled woman, i.e. Juliette Bergman, Lenda Murray,
>> Iris Kyle, Kim Chizevsky, and etc.
>> I think women should have the opportunity to pursue a sport they love for
>> the fans that love them. Ultimately, I think it is the narrow-minded and
>> jealous males that are stifling women's competition because they can't
> deal
>> with a "well-armed" woman.
>> Thanks for the opportunity to provide feedback and I hope you appreciate
>> some of what I have said.

Hello Bill: just read your article on the new rules ; this is one kick in the bollocks so to speak for all female bodybuilders ; if this is the way it is going to go ;anyone that doesn’t look like monica brant or susie curry face wise for example may as well stay at home because it will not matter what your body looks like if you don’t rate in the face department the judges will not even notice your figure; we will end up with a stage full of barbie dolls; what is the point; some girls are born beautiful without stepping foot in a gym; while others virtually have to live there to achieve the body; looking back at old rachel mclish pictures she looks pretty smooth [note: Rachel wasn’t big but was in fact the most ripped woman on stage in most of her contests] and, well uninteresting ; yet at the time she was great; same with cory everson who seemed to end up with a permanent plastic smile ; totally unreal; if we want made up models why pay good money to watch them prance about ; i suppose you already have boatloads of these girls on your everyday main streets doing t heir weekly shopping without having to step on stage to bore the pants off us; god knows what would happen if one of them broke a nail before the show would it have to be cancelled in case the pay per view camera zoomed in ; god forbid; well Bill please don’t stop taking your excellent female BODYBUILDING SHOTS and you may because you are the best send to me any shots that could grace my gym walls before all we have left are fond memories of female muscle . thanking you best regards JOHN KENNEDY scotland .

Dear Mr Dobbins, greetings from Australia.
Firstly, thank you for the opportunity to respond to this announcement, and I humbly offer my opinion. Personally, I love the athletic female form, whatever its manifestation, from muscular through fitness to figure, each has its own integrity.
It seems to me that a split between male and female bodybuilding has always been inevitable, and it may be regarded as a mixed blessing. Is it time for the Ms Olympia to get status in its own right? It may benefit women's bodybuilding in the future to have its own venue and schedule? One of the problems with all bodybuilding is that it has a marginalised aesthetic (even the male bodybuilding physique is not universally accepted as "ideal"; we have perhaps ignored that in the latest developments in women's bodybuilding). The general acceptance of the muscular aesthetic is not really relevant to its development. The question is, whether the support base for women's bodybuilding is strong enough to make an independent event successful. Without an attempt at such a venture, no-one will ever know; however, the European fitness and figure championships have huge support, among other independent ventures (it is not without precedent). Because of this, I am surprised at the hesitancy to separate the Ms and Mr Olympia, as female and male events. Hopefully the Ms Olympia title will be usable in this regard?
Of course, the nature of such an event is very important. Will it include fitness and figure? I think fitness and figure should be included. It seems to me that there is as much confusion within female physique ranks generally as there is between male and female development. Clearly, male bodybuilding appears to reject extreme muscularity in women, and seems to be pushing for the development of a unique female aesthetic. Whether this is because there is some resentment at women stealing the spotlight to some extent, or is a true disapproval is another matter. Certainly, a celebration of the female athletic form could be sold to all the competitors, from bodybuilding to figure, and I am sure there would be no problem in marketing a very glamourous concept to the public either. I personally feel that an independent Ms Olympia will evolve its own standards for the female physique, and that the basis for the event should be inclusive of all physiques.
The link between the two sports has often meant a similar emphasis for both. Some media coverage, for example, has pretty much transferred the male aesthetic directly over to the female form (extreme muscularity and a pre-occupation with upper body as opposed to overall development). Perhaps women might welcome a review of their sport and the development of a unique aesthetic, rather than having a male aesthetic forced on them? Certainly there is an established core of female bodybuilders who have a vested interest in promoting extreme development, and I have great sympathy with their devotion; it is their whole life in many cases. Their commitment is the main reason for establishing a separate event, which would focus attention on them, rather than marginalise them. Also the separation of male and female bodybuilding would allow them to have more say in the way the sport is perceived, and in how it develops.
In a sense, a separation of men's and women's bodybuilding would be a watershed, and allow women to proceed in a new direction, to develop their own standards. They have so much experience now that they can improve the sport dramatically. One of the primary benefits could be a complete overhaul of judging: personally I would like to see the expert judging system amended, to allow peer judging by competitors. The results of competitions are crucial to the progress of many of these women, who seem to exist in a twilight semi-professional world. Many have other careers, yet spend so much time on physique development, it is almost like a second career! It must be heart-breaking going home empty-handed when judging standards appear so whimsical. I can only assume many are becoming disillusioned with the sport after such experiences. The most important development would be to give women control of their sport, rather than being dependent on the will of others.
Best regards,
Adelaide, South Australia.

Mr. Dobbins –
Thank you for writing such an accurate, well-reasoned and researched piece on the woes facing female bodybuilders.  For that matter, this article can be applied to all of the women involved in the IFBB.  When I first heard of the 20% muscle reduction rule, I was floored.  I truly thought that I had misread an article written by Monica Bryant.  The ignorance of the IFBB can only lead to its own problems.  If the IFBB truly believes that it can grow the fan base for women’s bodybuilding, fitness and figure by initiating some arbitrary rule like 20% muscle reduction, then the IFBB is more naïve thenone would think possible.   The issue of increasing the audience for bodybuilding, whether male or female, and for fitness and figure is not going to be resolved by implementing some ridiculous rule regarding muscle mass for women.  If the IFBB truly wanted to change, and grow its audience, it would take a hard and unyielding look at the real problems surrounding the industry.  Problems such as steroid use, the objectification of women in fitness and figure, the typical “bodybuilders” image of being somehow freaky and stupid, the control of the supplement industry, and other such issues are the true culprits behind the lack of an audience for IFBB events. 
Thank you again for writing an article that actually has merit, and may at least cause a few people to stop and think about supporting an organization that can be so blind. 
Audrey A. Pike
Associate General Counsel
Halifax Community Health System

To All Concerned,
It is unbelieveable to me that there is this controversy about womens bodybuilding. There is no doubt that the womens psyiques of today are too muscular for many people. However the name of the game is bodybuilding (ie. taking the body to the farthest muscular extreme possible) Any thing less that this, must be called something else. I have followed womens bodybuilding for over 28 years. I have followed stars such as Pillow, Clair Furr, Debbie McKnight, up through Annir Reviccio, Joanna Thomas and Gina Davis, to only name a few. All of these women have been among the most muscular of their time. I have gone to the Arnold Fitness Expo for years now. There is no doubt the women bouybuilders and even the women powerlifters get many times the response as the fitness, or figure ladies. The proper solution is probably to have the different catagories of muscular women for all tasts. I, and many people leave the stage area, and go about the expo when the non-bobybuilder women come to the stage. Most of these are too skinny, and should try out for playboy or modeling, not bobybuilding. I hope to see womens bodybuilding continue and grow. There are many other avenues for someone to compete in or watch women dance and tumble around a stage. Let's leave bodybuilding to and for bodybuilders.
Rick Hayes