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What would make women's bodybuilding popular?

Jul 06, 2021 - permalink

Buff girls (or rather mildly muscular women) seem to be growing more and more popular as a result of social media. But I think women's bodybuilding still has a stigma attached to it. What do you think could make women's bodybuilding grow in popularity? Is it even possible? Or do you prefer women's bodybuilding being niche?

Jul 06, 2021 - permalink

More women and less drug injected bodies that resemble a man. Think 80's women's bodybuilding.

Jul 06, 2021 - permalink

I think if all fbbs would try to look more girly it would be more mainstream i think it was like this in 1990 but I was not alive back then so I am not sure

And more fbbs in media could help a lot since fbbs are so rare in real life a lot of people dont Even know what they look like

And maybe if we had a more pro sport culture fbbs could become more common.

Jul 06, 2021 - edited Jul 06, 2021 - permalink

hellohotbeef wondered:

What do you think could make women's bodybuilding grow in popularity? Is it even possible? Or do you prefer women's bodybuilding being niche?

The so-called "solution" to have female athletes represent as "feminine" is arbitrary. FBB have pushed the envelope since the very beginning. To force them into some throwback shape so non-fans can like them too is asinine, regressive and sexist.

Furthermore, when you take something special and push it into the mainstream, the spark is lost and you end up with soulless pap for the masses.

But let's say there's a sincere push to make FBB popular and mainstream.

Currently, there are a lot of loudmouth, reactionary voices convinced they're defending culture.

Muscular women are seen by these "heroic defenders" as being an avant-garde, partisan thing concocted by evil Hollywood elites for the sole purpose to destroy traditional male/female gender roles.

These toxic types would sabotage any attempt trying to make FBB to go mainstream

Jul 06, 2021 - permalink

Bodybuilding in general will be never be mainstream so the idea of female bodybuilders being ever it seems not plausible to me. They had a window in perhaps the early 80's and even the late 90's to go more mainstream but it didn't happened. And if you ask me, a big reason why is due to symmetry and proportion losing importance after the golden age of bodybuilding. The "mass is always better" that has dominated the sport since turn off a lot of people who might have shown interest in it. The Frank Zane/Corey Everson physiques go over much better in the mainstream world then the holy shit mass look. Now granted I do enjoy the massive female bodybuilders of today, I enjoy the fitcross muscle ladies even more and I think most people do as well hence they are having some strong crossover appeal into mainstream media compared to FBB's.

Jul 07, 2021 - permalink

In my opinion we need a female Arnold. Some fbb who moves to Hollywood and keeps her muscles in the films. This will make female muscle mainstream and people will start to accept it as normal

Jul 07, 2021 - edited Jul 07, 2021 - permalink

To force them into some throwback shape so non-fans can like them too is asinine, regressive, and sexist.

Exactly. If they want to look more masculine, let them be, and don't force them to do otherwise to appeal to gender stereotypes. I'd say exactly the opposite: Starting to appreciate women with masculine traits instead of devaluing them would be most beneficial for the reputation of female bodybuilding.

Besides that, I think the real answer to the question is more positive media representation of fbb's, where they do not only side figures but important leading characters.

Jul 07, 2021 - permalink

Sluggo is correct, and more mass cannot always be the determinant of who wins or loses. If bigger is always better than just have the scoring decided by tape measure and body fat computations.

Jul 07, 2021 - permalink

Is feminism a reason?

Jul 07, 2021 - permalink

Muscular women or women getting buff in the gym is becoming more popular and main stream. CrossFit is becoming more popular because the emphasis is on strength and conditioning. IFBB bodybuilding will never become popular in my opinion. In this cultural environment of tension between women and men, can you imagine most buff women voluntarily donning a bejeweled bikini and having their bodies judged while on stage in public by a panel of old dudes? Furthermore, the old dudes create the physical standards that steroids and fake boobs are needed to win. I’m surprised IFBB exists at all.

Jul 07, 2021 - permalink

In my opinion we need a female Arnold. Some fbb who moves to Hollywood and keeps her muscles in the films. This will make female muscle mainstream and people will start to accept it as normal

This. This would be the best marketing possible.

Jul 07, 2021 - permalink

In my opinion we need a female Arnold. Some fbb who moves to Hollywood and keeps her muscles in the films. This will make female muscle mainstream and people will start to accept it as normal

I've been saying this for years.

Jul 07, 2021 - permalink

In my opinion we need a female Arnold.

Well, Rachel McLish tried this and didn't get too far. Plus, she wasn't all that muscular by todays standards. I doubt you'll get any Figure/Physique girls in mainstream film let alone Fbbs.

Heck even Linda Hamilton in T2 was considered "ripped" & "buff" despite having little actual muscle.

Jul 07, 2021 - edited Jul 07, 2021 - permalink

Sluggo is correct, and more mass cannot always be the determinant of who wins or loses. If bigger is always better than just have the scoring decided by tape measure and body fat computations.

Although I do like extreme bodybuilding, it has it's niche... I think less mass for mass sake would be more popular to the mainstream... like he said "think 80's bodybuilding", but we already have that, it's called Women's Physique. And if that's still to much we have the Pro Figure Division.

Jul 07, 2021 - permalink

Less monstrous amounts of steroids. Lets be honest an simple..thats easy

Jul 07, 2021 - permalink

Does anyone remember the IFBB's 20% decree of the early 2000's?

Jul 07, 2021 - permalink

The golden age of bodybuilding (men's and women's) peaked in the 1980's. This was before the criminalization of steroids in 1990, but more than that, the sport had real icons that people looked up to. Of course, Arnold is the most prominent example, whose bigger than life personality and success story put him in the spotlight in about a dozen different ways. Arnold was idolized for his size, attitude, philosophy on winning, and not to mention his charisma. His movie star career only further bolted him forward, where people wanted to see these gods come to life on the screen and play unbelievable characters that could do the impossible.

Nowadays, I'd say Pro Wrestlers have taken that lime light. From Dave Bautista, Jon Cena, and Dwayne Johnson; I'd say those pros are the new "Arnold of the 80's".

So, in today's climate, what would it take? I'd say a female action hero of the same caliber. A woman who has the charisma to stay in the spotlight, the confidence to be proud of herself, and of course, the huge muscles to keep her standing apart from the usual actresses.

Jul 07, 2021 - edited Jul 07, 2021 - permalink

So, in today's climate, what would it take? I'd say a female action hero of the same caliber. A woman who has the charisma to stay in the spotlight, the confidence to be proud of herself, and of course, the huge muscles to keep her standing apart from the usual actresses.

And not be named "Gina Carano" XD

They've been trying this (finding the "female Arnold") for years and years...from Rachel Mc Lish to Cory Everson to Cynthia Rothrock (ok, not much of a muscular woman, but a martial artist)...but it's always the "eeew, muscles!" crowd that wins. So we're always back to 30-pounds actresses lifting pink weights for a couple months and every media reporting her "new buff body for X film". Damn, we already have Gal Gadot here posted in the "Actresses" section, so we're also falling for that XD

Although I must admit that Noomi Rapace, Mackenzie Davis, Alicia Vikander and a few more raised the bar in regards of prepping for a role.

Jul 07, 2021 - permalink

The way female muscle is presented in the media is still taboo despite it being accepted more widely on platforms like social media. The presentation and treatment of the industry could be better to make it more ACCEPTABLE but not entirely more mainstream. Remember not all sports were accepted right away. It took work to make them the juggernauts they are today: football, basketball, soccer, boxing, MMA, pro wrestling...

HOW can it be done? I don't have the answer. But it takes effort from the top to do it, and I'm not sure there's anyone at the top that is WILLING to put in that kind of work to make female muscle more acceptable among the masses.

Jul 07, 2021 - permalink

Its not overly accepted on social media either. The most hqcked Olympia FBBs would be lucky to have a few hundred k followers..thats simply not indicative of it being widely accepted lol

Jul 07, 2021 - permalink
Deleted by hellohotbeef
Jul 07, 2021 - permalink

In my opinion we need a female Arnold. Some fbb who moves to Hollywood and keeps her muscles in the films. This will make female muscle mainstream and people will start to accept it as normal

I agree. Make women bodybuilders heroes or at least villains that can be taken seriously. There’s no guarantee it will work, but it’s a start.

Jul 07, 2021 - permalink

just let super computers,data mining and algorithms figure it out,,seems to be the fad now

Jul 07, 2021 - permalink

How can we make people more accepting of something we like but they find repulsive? I suspect it will never be accepted in the mainstream. Look at the guys. Arnold did well. Dwayne Johnson does well. Yet apart from a select few, society balks at large amounts of muscle. Humans are irrational. Girls swoon for The Rock and then go apeshit if their boyfriend takes a bit of test. Boys love 70 homeruns until they find out GASP they cheated. Inconsistencies everywhere.

Maybe an already popular female actress will put in the hard work over years. Or maybe some high profile, respected guy will get a muscular girlfriend. Even still people will be like "well she looks ok in a dress at the gala, but she's not like those other monsters," when reality is difference in bodyfat levels and precontest drug regimens.

Jul 07, 2021 - permalink

Let's see how the Disney+ she hulk will be. She Hulk is bound to have muscles. It's a marvel hero with the power of Disney behind it. It should reach a massive audience. If the reaction is positive then it could be a big step forward for female muscle

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