The latest Photoshop challenge at Worth 1000 is called "Celebrity Steroids: Juicing the Rich and Famous." Participants have given stars like Angelina Jolie, Amy Winehouse and Gisele Bundchen rippling abs, bulging biceps and thunderous thighs. The effect is supposed to be hilarious, or, at least, jarring. But consider this:On Feministe, blogger Lauren has a post in which she links to Martin Schoeller's amazing photographs of female bodybuilders. She writes:

Women are so deeply conditioned to seeing feminine beauty as something fragile that doesn't take up space, which is why I love seeing representations of femininity that isn't that of a delicate orchid. It's interesting to me that many female body builders who work on attaining what are considered masculine traits play up their feminine characteristics, perhaps to counteract the kind of physique that is usually culturally marked male, sometimes to an extreme that appears to be a conscious genderfuck.

It is interesting to see how these women — the bodybuilders — have bikini tops, earrings, lipstick, eyeshadow — all the trappings of "femininity," yet none of them are what the average person would think of feminine.


The truth is, although the Photoshopped images and the bodybuilder photos are extreme examples of muscle development, the human body is capable of such things, whether it be male or female. (And yes, perhaps steroids were involved.) But still: We don't believe that "female" is equivalent to "weak." So why do we think that muscles are "masculine"? These ladies certainly don't think so.


Celebrity Steroids [Worth 1000, via Yeeeah] Beauty And Power [Feministe] Женский бодибилдинг в книге Мартина Шоллера \ Photography (Martin Schoeller's Femal Bodybuilders) [eToday]