Kristy Hawkins

Kristy Hawkins is a power lifting  athlete, former bodybuilder, and chemical engineer. Many professional bodybuilding fans remember her for her impressive size and massive biceps. She gathered a good following during her bodybuilding career. Besides being a talented athlete, she is a skilled scholar in the sciences. Chemistry is one subject she loves the most besides her athletic endeavors. Kristy was born in Longview, Texas in 1980. She is a graduate of Texas A&M University  and earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering in 2002. Kristy Hawkins graduated summa cum laude. She also earned her a Masters Degree from California Institute of Technology in 2005. Then she acquired her her Ph.D  in chemical engineering in 2008 from Caltech as well. This challenges many stereotypes on various levels. Generally, there is a mistaken belief that bodybuilders do not have intellectual interests or limited ability in areas that require thought. There still is a belief that women cannot be successful at science or sport. Kristy Hawkins destroyed both of this false notions by her accomplishments. She truly is a combination of beauty, brains, and brawn. There were some struggles in her early life she had to overcome. Her story is an interesting one.

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  Kristy has said in elementary school  that she was a child with a weight problem. She was involved in dance and became a twirler. As shocking as this information is Kristy at one time suffered from anorexia nervosa. Seeing her now, a person would think she would not have body image issues. These types of problems can effect women no matter their background is. She eventually made a change and went to a gym to restore her health. at first she started off with cardio and then switched to using weights. She attained a gym membership at age 15. When Kristy was 17 she entered her first contest. The ANPPC show held in Mississippi  was not a huge victory, but she placed third. This is impressive and it was clear that Kristy had a talent. From 1997 to 2011 Kristy would be competing as a bodybuilder. Her best wins include the AAU MS. Southwest America (1998, 1999),  the ANPPC ( 2000),  the Michigan NPC Championships (2002) , the NPC Lone Star Classic (2003), the Pittsburgh Open (2003),  the Ronnie Coleman Classic (2003), and the NPC Nationals (2007).The year 2003 was a period of rapid victories and culminated in her earning her IFBB pro-card. It was more of challenge competing on the Ms.Olympia stage. This was the time of Iris Kyle’s reign, Andrulla Blanchette, Yaxeni Garcia, and a host of great competitors. Although Kristy Hawkins did not place high, she presented a physique that was large and symmetrical. This is difficult to do. The larger muscular aesthetic has normally been condemned as being over exaggerated, but Kristy made it look attractive.

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Kristy stands at 5’3 and a competition weight of 135 to 145 pounds. During the off season she can get up to a 170 pounds. She appears to be very strong and she is. Her best lifts include 457 pound squat, 537 pound dead lift, and 308 pound bench press. Tiny, but mighty it is no surprise that she would gravitate to power lifting. That strength is the product of serious training for decades.  To maintain such a body Kristy has to consume up to 3,000 calories a day. Kristy has said that “I’ve been told I can be intimidating, but I’ve really never had a negative reaction.” Although there has not been negative reactions, there has been less positive responses. Kristy claimed in an interview ” I have gotten some negative responses in the past, but overwhelmingly, the response is positive. ” Kristy  also has her family and  to thank : “My family and friends are fully supportive and the general public is respectfully inquisitive-people ask for advice more than anything!”Far from intimidating, Kristy seems to be a mild mannered personality with much ambition.

        Besides athletic pursuits Kristy has worked extensively in the chemical engineering field. She worked as an intern for Eastman Chemical Company and Soulita Inc. Kristy then worked as a chemist and engineer for Amyris. She was involved in metabolic engineering. Since 2013 she has worked for the Lygos Company working on yeast engineering. She would leave the company going on to be the co-founder of Anthenia. Kristy writes : ” Antheia uses genetically engineered yeast cells to produce natural products for pharmaceuticals.” She is not only as scientist, but is becoming a business owner. Currently based in California this is the best place to be for bodybuilding and the chemical engineering industry. Dr. Hawkins is not only a skilled athlete, but a great scientist that loves what she does. More women and broadly people like her are needed in society. Science is an amazing subject describing the natural world. It is a gift that should be shared with humanity. It is great that Kristy in a indirect way is contributing to that.Kristy has by her own admission “I’ve always been very strong at math, science, and logic problems so I was naturally drawn towards the engineering disciplines.” She expounded further : “chemical engineering turned out to be a great fit because it gave me the most flexibility in my graduate work, which was more closely related to the field of molecular biology (bioengineering).”

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More women must get involved in science. The public must also embrace it and not see it as something impossible to comprehend or unimportant.May be if young girls see Kristy be successful as a scientist, it will encourage them as well.

       Kristy Hawkins love of bodybuilding and strength sports is a bit unique from her fellow competitors. Kristy revealed that “I always thought it was interesting how bodybuilding gave me the opportunity to get my hair and makeup done and feel very glamorous, do photo shoots, etc. I never would have seen myself that way otherwise.”This is the aspect or idea that is ignored by some observers. Women do feel glamorous putting on glittered bikinis, posing, and doing photo shoots for magazines. They are almost like an enhanced version of super models, displaying athletic prowess.Kristy had body image issues and suddenly now she developed a new positive  self image. Dr.Hawkins also enjoyed like most competitors how their body was able to transform. She has said in numerous interviews that her best body part was her glutes. Many fans say it is her enormous biceps.

  Looking at her photos her biceps could rival Hulk Hogan’s. They protrude like two bowling balls almost to the point of looking unreal. Her biceps could make many men jealous. The larger look works for her, because she was able to balance her upper and lower body. Competitors have trouble doing this and many times it creates a distortion when presented on stage.

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 Kristy has impressive legs striated and large. This then complemented her upper body development when on stage. Overall she presented a excellent version of physique closer to the immense size of Bev Francis and the fullness of Lenda Murray. When she competed in the sport there was many formidable competitors. One of the reasons she retired was that she felt she took her physique as far as it could go.

         Kristy did make a television appearance on MSNBC’s Hooked Muscle Women. Along with other competitors the documentary examines what motivates women to get into bodybuilding. She articulates her points in a lucid manner and disprove some common myths. She tells the story of an old woman who was in the gym who told her ” no man will ever marry you looking like that.”  Kristy said that the old woman was initially talking about another female personal trainer’s biceps being “too big.” Kristy told her that her biceps were twice the size of that. The old woman did not believe her and Kristy rolled up her sleeve. She handle  what was a rude response well. Kristy said she “had men lined up.” This should be no shock, there are a portion of men who like strong muscular women. There were questions in the program about steroids. Kristy responded by saying “there are drugs in every sport with us it is more obvious.”  Kristy neither condoned or condemned use, but it is a reality. To most it is not a major problem. Ultimately, it is the competitor’s decision whether of not they want to use. Her intelligent and well though answers did a good job at dispelling negative stereotypes about the sport. Normally, mainstream media distorts many things presented, but Kristy was a great representative to a wider viewing public. At the end of the documentary she said she rather have an iron pumping addiction, than an anorexic one.

         Fans were sad to hear that Kristy went into semi-retirement from bodybuilding. However, that was not the end of her athletic pursuits. From 2011 on wards, Kristy got involved in power lifting. She now holds records in that sport. Kristy is a player for the Crossfit Oakland Team.

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This seems to be the trend with any female bodybuilders is to go and compete in Crossfit. Kristy has done so many 400 pound squats, she makes it look easy.  With her Crossfit and power lifting activities it leaves some to speculate will she ever appear on a bodybuilding stage again? It seems highly unlikely, but she still maintains a muscular physique that could win competitions. If not bodybuilding, then may be the physique category. Inconsistent judging and limited opportunities drive away talented women. However, their love of the sport is what keeps them coming back. Kristy has said athletic activity is a large part of her life and something she does not want to abandon.

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Being involved in Crossfit activities and having successful chemical engineering career makes a come back to the bodybuilding stage less likely as well. Her size and shape made the larger model of female bodybuilding look like a work of art. Like sculpture she made a body that that looked like a living statue. This should be the goal of anyone who wants to compete on a bodybuilding stage. Kristy is unique because she challenges two popular stereotypes. The first is that bodybuilders do not have much intellect or curiosity. The second is that the hyper-muscular woman cannot be attractive. The bodybuilder scientist defeated both of these myths. Even if she does not appear on a bodybuilding stage, fans can still see her lifting heavy at power lifting competitions.

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Kristy Hawkins

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