Unpopular Opinion, Weekly Wrap-Up

Unpopular Opinion – Bodybuilding Competitions

This past Saturday I was lightly guilted and bribed until I attended Jon Lindsay’s Titans Grand Prix Competition.

I don’t know what else to say other than:

 

 

I think these emojis together actually perfectly sum my personality up.
The last my friend Tim replied to:

 

Trick or treat? Treat or trick? Give me the candy or I’ll cut your bitch ass? Who knows?!

Don’t forget Tim, you’ll be hearing more about him in the future. We’re starting to collaborate on some comics and short stories. You may recognize him from some of my live concert photos. He performs in the group Me and the City (playing guitar and other cool instruments).

I don’t want to be that asshole that rips people apart for the things that they love or enjoy participating in, but I just don’t get this, and desperately need to get it out. Bodybuilding, strutting the stage in sparkle studded heels and bikinis and thongs (not to mention the oompa loompa colored tan spray and all of that shiny, shiny body oil) and standing there for 15 – 30 seconds, literally showing off your ass and asking for society to stare at and judge you.

It’s like you put in all that hard work and sacrifice to just stand there uncomfortably for half a minute to possibly win a trophy (who I suspect was modeled after someone with huge implants, use your imagination to figure out where)…. instead of actually using your new body and strength to go out and do something productive or truly athletic.

Part of my feelings for this stem from the fact that I was incredibly uncomfortable there because 1) I was surrounded by people, most of them more than half-naked, 2) there’s no way in the world any of this can be physically, mentally or emotionally healthy, and probably mostly because of 3) I felt like one of the fattest people there. Like I had eaten 3 or 4 of those greasy competitors and then just sat there to watch the rest of them. I’ve always struggled with my weight, and I found myself hating these people for helping to make up the modern body-shaming society we live in.

This comic has always hit me right smack in the feels. It’s out of place, but I like to share it when and where I can.

In today’s society, one is already intensely scrutinized for what they look like, how fat they are, how pretty and tanned they are. We turn our cheeks towards (or even idolize) those with eating disorders like anorexia because they eventually become what modern people believe to be the ideal weight – but then tear them down verbally and emotionally when they work to get healthy again and gain 20+ pounds. It’s an absolutely impossible and unhealthy standard – but these people are flaunting it.

For the record, I have nothing wrong with people with ANY kind of body. There is no standard for me. I don’t do the whole body shame thing. If you’re slim, good for you. If you’re built – way to go! Good work! I personally admire women with curves, and I wouldn’t judge any significant other of mine if they were or weren’t buff. You are all beautiful – as long as you’re all healthy and happy, I will think so. If you’re not – There’s always something beautiful there. Don’t doubt that. This is my roundabout way of saying that I don’t hate the people for how they look (though I really don’t understand the appeal of having muscular things thicker than the combined waist of you and your neighbor – no lie, there were people there like that) – but be healthy.

For the last 4 months I have lived with someone that worked to just “look good” in a bikini so she could compete in this tournament. She’s 18 years old, just out of high school. She had to cut out all sugar (including that from fruit since she wasn’t allowed to eat any), almost all carbs, anything that would provide a natural source of calcium… And she works out like mad for multiple hours a day, sometimes being required to do cardio without having eaten anything yet that day. At my guesstimate, she wouldn’t break 1,500 calories a day. She entered into a section that (how I understand it) didn’t judge you on your musculature, but how good you looked in a bikini. She got on stage, walked down, posed, turned around and bent slightly at the waist so everyone could see her butt, and then waved at the crowd.

This is so wrong to me.

Another thing that destroyed me were the amount of young children there at the competition. Let’s see how early we can teach kids that it’s okay to starve yourself as long as you get enough attention and a medal out of it. They’re learning that body-objectification (and that’s ALL this competition is) is a norm and simply apart of life (which unfortunately, in this society, it is). They watched as these “athletes” walked around mostly naked, eating an occasional piece of plain rice cake or nothing at all. Some of them passing out because they’re scared to drink water. Then they watched as they got on stage and flexed to the point where their whole bodies were trembling and shaking as they forced themselves to hold these unnatural poses.

I can’t really think of a way to sum up this blog post. I guess I just can’t imagine taking all of the work-outs, and dieting, and the attention that you get solely from your body image and making it your one singular purpose in life – which is what it seemed to be for all of the competitors there. There are too many movies and books and pieces of art and music and beautiful days out there to be so focused on such (shallow?) things.

** If anybody has the original art credit for the comic posted above with the lady in the red shirt, please alert me in the comics below. I’d like to link them and give them credit.

******

(Late) Weekly Wrap-Up

  • LOOK AT THIS! It’s a horror-movie-creature inspired music video by the band Common Shiner. I think it’s pretty damn adorable. I’m actually having this problem where I’m just watching it over and over again. Ain’t true love grand?
  • Love ceramics? Love skulls? Look no further than the whimsically creepy ceramic works by Nicole Pangas. I want to fill my whole kitchen with them. Each piece is hand made and unique. I can just imagine curling up with one filled to the brim with tea and lemon while watching the rain.
  • If you’re an art student like me, you’re probably going to have to take a life drawing class. In that class you’re going to probably have to study anatomy and draw the muscle structures. Posemaniacs contains the musculature of a variety of poses that can be viewed from a variety of angles. Or you can just use it for other drawing references. You have to scroll through their pages to find the pose you’re looking for, but it’s better than accidentally stumbling across a brony site and seeing something that will make you want to bleach your eyes. May or may not be a true story. You’re welcome.
  • Cosplayers! Check this out! Jo-Ann’s Fabric stores will begin to carry Cosplay Fabrics brand products nationwide starting Spring 2016. Better get costuming! I’m excited to see what you all come up with at future cons. It blows me away how creative people get, like the talented Eldritch Arts, Joker’s Harley and Harley’s Joker.
    • The best piece of costuming I’ve ever seen though, was years ago on somebody’s tumblr page (forgive me, I can’t remember who it was. If you know, let me know in the comments and I’ll like them!). They were cosplaying a Killjoy from Gerard Way’s comic and had completely painted a pair of jeans a flat grey color, and painted on all of the detail lines, pockets, seams, everything in black. It literally looked like a life sized pair of jeans pulled directly out of a comic frame. Insane and beautiful work.
      • **EDIT 1/11/16 – I’ve started seeing this online more and more and have learned that it’s called “cel shading,” and I have to say it’s pretty fucking amazing. Here’s a tiny picture of what I remember the pants looking like. I can’t find the original post, but I’m pretty sure these are it. There’s another example of it on skin.
 

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