I’ve been researching bodybuilder poses, the reasons for them and the way they accentuate the muscle definition. Scrolling through Google images at these magazine covers, there are obvious themes that arise. The women are very rarely as muscly as the men, they are often used as props to the central male figure or they are overtly feminised and sexualised in bikinis with big flowing hair. I couldn’t find any magazine covers with any variation of this apart from Renee Campbell, a bodybuilder who is trying to challenge the standard look. There weren’t any covers of her but the photos from an article on CNN definitely had a different energy and aesthetic.

The positions range from intimidating to comical, one of my favourites is the one where they look like they’re pushing an invisible shopping trolley. When I look at a lot of these images and bodies all at once, shiny, bulging, smiling, angry, tanned, flexed bodies, it starts to make me feel weird, they remind me of rotisserie chickens just spinning on repeat. But they are also somehow very fascinating and impressive.

The limitations of mobility that pushing your body to this size causes makes me wonder if they are really hyperable or if they are just a visual symbol of hyperability.

Renee Campbell via CNN

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