Talk about femininity. Well at least femininity turned on its head. From the dailymail this morning come these stunning images as taken by photographer Martin Schoeller depicting some of the world’s most peak female body builders.
As augmented by the National Physique Committee, an amateur organization first begun in 1982 to administer governing rules for female body builders, the committee stipulates that all female body builders must compete in a two piece costume, with the strict stipulation that competitors are forbidden from ‘hiking’ up their outfits as to better show off their ‘complete’ physique. Indeed…
Other stipulations include the banning of jewelry (how unlady like!), as well as glasses, props, and chewing gum. Decorative hair pieces on the other hand are allowed. During competition, competitors flex an array of poses in tandem with music best designed to show off competitor’s symmetry, shape, proportion, muscle tone, poise and interestingly ‘beauty flow.’
Offers Martin Schoeller who took these stunning array of pictures: ‘I am trying to show the vulnerability that I see and feel in the subjects when I am with them, to get to the complex emotions behind a mask of extreme physical expression.’
How ironic and yet very fitting, to attempt to depict the innate vulnerability in female body builders who when first glanced off the street evince a sense of the invulnerable, torpid and foreboding. Yet like most pursuits within the creative dispositions it is often the pursuit of the intangible that hints at the diabolical under currents at hand, the vulnerability and pathos that even these women feel even if it appears otherwise. In fact perhaps it could be argued that it is because of their vulnerability these women have pursuits such extreme manifestations.
In essence what results is a reconfiguration of how one comes to define femininity and perhaps more importantly how certain females can come to terms with what is often thought to be the sole exclusive province of masculine dominions.
Isn’t it time ladies you also challenged society’s concept of what you as a woman are capable of?