Don’t Fear The Fetish

It should be no surprise that the world of female muscle and fitness has a fetish element. There is one section of the female muscle fandom highly devoted to mixed wrestling, sessions, fmg art, and stories. Typically, the hardcore fans are called schmoes, which carries a pejorative connotation. Supporters and fans of the female fitness culture tend to be suspicious or want to repudiate this section of fans. The reason mostly surrounds an irrational fear of fetish element. Everyone fan and athlete alike has an opinion about the female muscle fetish subculture. Some believe such activities lower the image of the sport. Other view it as harmless. It would be a hyperbole to say that the female muscle fetish element has harmed female bodybuilding. The biggest damage came from the corporations in the fitness industry and lack of sponsorship. Generally, this is the case with the majority of women’s sports along with unequal pay. Yet, detractors never mention those issues. Thus, a scapegoat is created to deflect attention away from the actual problem of institutional practices holding women back. Some athletes and fans have become very fearful of the female muscle fetish element within the fitness industry. There should be no concern  about this aspect of women’s involvement in fitness. Rather than judge there should be an understanding about why people like it and participate. Fans who are content creators even avoid the subject. A female muscle fetish is nothing to be scared or ashamed of.

            The male followers of female bodybuilders develop a female muscle fetish for a number of reasons. Personal experience, media images, or the ideas about aesthetics contribute to this development.   This is not just liking the muscular physique, this is immersing one’s self into the subculture. Men may go to session wrestling appointments, be members of websites , or produce web content of their own. That could feature art or stories. An outsider looking at these materials may be perplex or have more negative feelings. the first thought is that this is strange or abnormal. Other  opinions are more exaggerated such as this is a sexual perversion.  These views are spoken from a perspective of ignorance rather than knowledge.

The question then becomes, how is this anything different from other activities ? Every subculture as a strange uniqueness to it. There is memorabilia collection, platforms of fan communication. and merchandising . Anime fandom has cosplay, conventions, and fan dubs. What is colloquially called “nerd culture” consists of comics, video games, and science fiction.  The female muscle fandom and fetish follows in that similar sociological model. Fans enjoy discussing their favorite subject with other fans and exchanging materials of the subculture. The muscle woman fetish happens from exposure. Many men in say in their youth they were exposed to an image that sparked their interest. As the years pass the attraction grew. Others may just like the concept of a strong woman. It seems that now in popular culture and wider society  the notion of a strong independent woman is slowly becoming more accepted. The female muscle fans were celebrating this idea in a more literal way.

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It seems odd in the age of girl power being promoted that the muscular woman is still regulated to the space of subculture.  The female muscle fans were more progressive before many people were.

       Some say that the fetish element tarnishes the sport. This seems more facetious, rather than a statement of fact. Whatever the general public view is of the sport is, has little to due with the fetish element. The problem is the narrow view of what women should be and can do. Traditionalist would say women should not be allowed to do this at all. That dated mode of thinking needs to be retired. The idea that some how if the fetish element did not exist, female bodybuilding would gain more mainstream appeal is false. The sport itself is smaller compared to team sports like soccer  or basketball. There has been rapid expansion over the years, but it may not reach the level of larger sports. The subcultural appeal makes it unique and fun for longtime dedicated fans. Adding certain subculture to the mainstream tends to degrade their quality to a generic and uninteresting activity. Female bodybuilding and muscular women are slowly becoming more mainstream. The hope is that the wonderfully unique quality of women’s fitness culture remains intact. The fact that women are posing on stage in very little clothing is sexual. The only reason there is some distinction is that the women present a different type of beauty. The women’s bodies are analyzed from their chests, legs, arms, and torsos. That is in itself a fetish.

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There are certain parts of the human body that people like and pay attention to. The sport just wants the body sculpted into an aesthetically pleasing representation.  It cannot be ignored that there was a sexual element before the female muscle fetish. Women in bikinis who appeared in advertisements and TV are not just there for the sale of products. The fact that there is a sexual or fetish element should not reflect poorly on the sport. Human nature enables this sexual expression. That is not what the sport is all about either. Bodybuilding is about creating a powerful and balanced physique.

         The fear surrounding the fetish element has several origins. Ignorance seems to be a major culprit. People tend to ostracize what they cannot understand. The intense predilection for the athletic or muscular female physique produces these feelings. Liking or having a fetish for muscular women should not be feared. It is no different from liking women who are red headed or have another particular type of  feature. Another issue is people’s problem and lack of knowledge about human sexuality and behavior. Sexology  is a topic rarely discussed in mainstream circles. Human sexual behavior is driven by psychological, biological, and sociological forces. It is not entirely understood and more research has to be done. Fetishes are not bad or abnormal rather just a type of sexual expression. The only time it could be harmful is that it interrupts daily functioning. Most men with this fetish are average and come from a variety of backgrounds. The other reason for the fear of the fetish element is that it makes the women’s fitness culture appear sleazy. This has to be the most illogical fear. Women wrestling men or doing wrestling session is no more sleazy than offering pole dance fitness classes. Making such claims makes a critic look like nothing more than a traditionalist fanatic creating a moral panic. The fitness industry has operated on the concept that sex sells for decades.  The “moral purity” argument lacks credibility.

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Objections and irrational fears seem to held together by weak or spurious claims. Society must learn to deal with human sexual behavior in a healthy and balanced way. The desire to either eliminate or act like it does not exist does not help. An opened mind about other people’s behavior and decisions can go a long way.

       The fear of the fetish element can also be internalized by fans. It is not uncommon for fans of female muscle to hide their videos, books,magazines, or any other material related to strong women. These items are not even adult content. The nervousness feelings about being judged for their preference in women becomes intense. What should be noted is that not all female muscle fans are hardcore fetish fans. Some may watch those videos or read fmg stories, yet have never done a session. These two factions of fans are not abnormal or deviant. They just enjoy different elements of the female muscle fandom.This is the life of a secret fan hiding what they like for fear of judgement. This is unfortunate to love something in secret. There should not be shame if a person has a female muscle fetish. People are into different activities. It does not matter what others think of it. Just as long as individuals like it and get enjoyment out of it. Denying the existence of the fetish element seem more ridiculous when it is an open secret.

       Session wrestling has been a financial tool for some athletes, when the sponsors left. Even women’s sports that are larger in exposure face a money problem. The women just found out how to finance their expenses for competition . However, there are women who have enough money not to do sessions. Some do it for the fun of it. There is no surprise that women may share with men some fetishes. Women just like men have sexual urges and fetishes. The reason it is not been discussed is that women were forced to be silent about it. Throughout history women’s sexuality and behavior was rigidly controlled. The sexual revolution change that in the 1960s. Women had greater sexual freedom and birth control enable more control of their bodies. Sexual expression was no longer for men only. It should be no surprise that women may feel some type of turn on wrestling men. This may be acting out a female power fantasy. Male sexual fantasies are well known, but female versions remain a mystery. The women who get pleasure out of sessions may like the idea they can dominate a man physically. When it is the instance of muscle worship, the idea of being treated like a Queen. This has not been studied in depth so what can be stated is just conjecture.

        session wrestling, muscle worship, and the female muscle fetish are just a part of the female muscle fandom. Accepting that fact will not damage the sport as a whole.The fetish element is nothing to be feared or treated with ignominious behavior. Humanity must come to terms with its sexual behavior and sexuality. This is not to say that the female athletes are sex objects designed for male pleasure. These women are athletes of the highest caliber; they deserve respect. That does not mean all should pretend that the sexual or fetish element does not exist. The reason fans flock to contests, collect photos, and watch videos is to see the unique aesthetic  presentation of the muscular  female body. Maybe the controversy is not so much about what the women and fans do, rather it is how people react to a new image of woman. The public may not realize it, but there has been a major change in gender roles and how the sexes relate to one another. What can be learned is not to fear change or something different.

Don’t Fear The Fetish

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics Will Be Postponed

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The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to be postponed. Sports fans and athletes will have to wait until next year for the Olympics. Prior to this announcement it was speculated that the pandemic would effect international sports competition ( Coronavirus May Effect the 2020 Olympics). The IOC and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe thought it would be best to postpone seeing as large groups only increases the chance of people getting infected with the viral disease. So far, it will still be called the 2020 Olympics even though it will be held in 2021. The only time the Olympics were cancelled was in 1940. At that time the World War II was engulfing Europe, Africa, and Asia. Athletes were also put in a difficult position. Training facilities had to be closed in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Cancellation was not an option considering how many sponsors are involved in the games. This would be the second time Japan has hosted the Olympics. The last time was back in 1964. The pandemic has exposed how vulnerable humanity is to new diseases. The need for universal healthcare and public health protection is dire. Hopefully, governments around the world will invest in that just as much as the Olympic Games.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics Will Be Postponed

Cathe Fitness : If You Have Strong Muscles Do You Have Strong Bones ?

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Bones and Muscles

There may be a correlation between strong muscles and the preservation of bone health.This would make sense seeing as the skeleton is the frame in which our organs are placed.  Without bones our bodies would be nothing more than flesh like blobs. Maintaining bone density is important for human health. Over time bone and muscle mass decrease. Women over the age of 50 must take considerable steps to preserve bone density. The reason for this sex  specific difference is due to sexual dimorphism. Women have less bone and muscle mass than an average man. When age decreases the amount women have less to work with. The reduction of estrogen levels can also cause the reduction of bone mass. Women who engage in large amount of endurance exercise and do not get the proper caloric intake are at risk of bone loss. Gymnasts and ballerinas have this problem as Cathe Friedrich describes. Women can get osteoporosis even before menopause. Extreme weight loss is not healthy either. Weight training can be a solution to preserving and building bone density. Although there is a large amount of research on the effects on the muscular system, bones remain a mystery. Certain studies suggests there is a relation between muscle strength and bone density.

         Bone mass can be effected by a resistance training regimen. One study compared subjects who did endurance exercise with people who did strength training. The groups  was a mix of both men and women. The results showed that the strength training subjects had more bone density. Further research revealed form other studies showed that the amount of time  was also essential. The subjects who lifted on a regular basis had more bone density. While further investigation is needed to make this be a statement of health science fact, it can be assumed the link is clear.

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If we had to take a guess the woman with the bigger muscles may have the most bone density.
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Strength training can build muscles and bones.
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Lifting weights can be beneficial to women’s health.

The skeleton acts as support for organs. It houses the muscle connecting through a system of ligaments and tendons. The musculoskeletal system is the description of both the bones and muscles of the human body. Heavy resistance training is good for health in many ways. Healthcare professionals have advise the use of high impact exercise to preserve bone mass, yet have been gradually suggesting that heavy resistance training can also be and aid. Lifting lighter weights with high repetitions are not effective at building bone mass or muscle to the highest degree. Lifting light weights does still have an benefit. This can be a method of increasing muscular endurance. That is an aspect of fitness that should not be ignored entirely. Bone mass is built in an incredible why, which demonstrates how easily the human body can be manipulated. When the muscle contracts a tendon is activated. This results in the bone being put into motion. Exercise stimulus has to be large enough to induce the formation of the bone. Bones have to make adjustments otherwise, not be functional. A minimal essential strain must be reached to induce the physiological response of bone growth.  This should not be done to a dangerous level otherwise it could cause a bone fracture. The resistance must be 90 % of the one repetition maximum to see an increase in musculoskeletal mass. Bone mass can be changed allowing for the prevention of certain skeletal diseases.

         Bone formation occurs  by means of osteoblasts. These are bone cells that are responsible for creating new bone. Physical activity such as running, plyometrics, jump rope, and step training are enough to activate new bone growth. Osteoclasts have to remold the new bone into its finished product. Low impact activity can still build bone. Cycling can cause bone growth if done frequently. Osteology is the study of the skeletal system and its physiological properties. It has a wide range of applications beyond physical fitness and biomedical science. Anthropology, paleontology, and natural history disciplines use it to uncover the past.  Health science uses osteology to manage or prevent diseases of the bone such a osteoporosis, osteogenesis imperfecta, and scoliosis. Osteogenesis functions the same way in women. The difference is related to amount and how age effects bone and muscle loss over time.

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Bone formation is needed to keep up with muscular growth.
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The structure and cells of the bones. 
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Cycling is a low impact exercise compared to running.

Women have on average less musculoskletal mass compared to men. Overtime this decreases with age. This means women could be more vulnerable to bone related disease related to age and could be at higher risk for fractures. At a certain age falls could be fatal. Hip fractures can become an even greater concern. Resistance training can build a bone and muscle reserve that protects the body. Even a small amount can be good for a person.

       Strength training does have the ability to protect the skeleton. The question remains which exercises are the best. This has not been tested, so the only answer that can be formed is through conjecture. Cathe suggests that exercises that work the back and hips could be the best. Compound exercises are recommended  and isolated ones are too. The problem with doing just isolation exercises is that other areas could be neglected. The point should be to strengthen all bones of the body. Doing bench presses, bicep curls, squats,deadlifts, and lunges should be part of a workout routine. The bones and muscles have to be challenged to see physical change. When training it should be noted that results are not automatic. The process takes considerable time and effort. Bone mass increase can take years. People with osteoporosis are advised to consult their doctor before going into a strength training regimen. Post-menopausal women must be vigilant in regards to bone health. DEXA scans are available to see if a person has osteopenia or osteoporosis. These two are not the same condition. Osteopenia refers to the low level of bone density, but it is not enough to be considered threatening to health. Strength training for people with osteopenia can still possibly prevent osteoporosis.

        Having built muscle would mean that there are also stronger bones to support them. This makes sense from a perspective of morphology. The skeleton is the foundation of the building of the human body. Thinness for women has been presented as the image of health. The reality is this does not have a scientific basis. A thin body, inactivity, smoking, and genetic history are risk factors. There is no complete guarantee that all chronic illness can be prevented through diet and exercise. The human body is a complex network of cells, organs, and physiological functions. At some point it breaks down like a machine. Aging does not have to mean physical and mental decline if certain steps are taken. Regular exercise, proper nutrition, and being consistent with health habits can improve the quality of life. Diet may not be enough to maintain the health of all of the organ systems. The skeletal system needs as much attention as the circulatory system and nervous system.

Cathe Fitness : If You Have Strong Muscles Do You Have Strong Bones ?

ABC News : The Secret World of Women’s Bodybuilding (2001)

 

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The Secret World of Female Bodybuilding  

ABC News produced an article discussing female bodybuilding in 2001 called “The Secret World of Female Bodybuilding.” Most female bodybuilding fans know that mainstream media does not tend to be fair to the sport or unbiased. This is not just directed at female bodybuilding mainstream media has this problem with other subcultures or things they simply do not understand. Back then, there was more trust in media. The corporate model of news has destroyed mainstream media credibility. So much so, few viewers even trust it anymore. Opinions become more important than facts. One narrative is presented as correct. Bias, favoritism, and at an extreme prejudice is actively promoted on TV and radio. The repeal of the fairness doctrine in 1987 has only caused a wider partisan divide. The internet has become a large source of information. However, the rise of fake news is a growing concern. Alternative media seeks to remedy this problem. It comes under attack from the mainstream media as being “conspiracy theory.” To be truly media literate, one must look at various sources of information. Doing this and using critical thinking skills allows a person not to be manipulated by bias or misinformation. The interesting aspect about this ABC News article is that it presents female bodybuilding as an oddity. While one can see that it does not favor women doing this, it does at least gets some statements from athletes. The writing fails the test of objectivity.  Female bodybuilding is presented as a consuming, dangerous, and sexual subculture. Anyone with more knowledge and familiarity of the sport knows that is not the reality.

       The sport can be intensive in its level of dedication. Being consuming is just part of achieving skill. No one ever says to a painter stop making  too much artwork. A boss at a company never says to their workers stop working so hard. A musician or singer has to practice vigorously  to have a quality performance.  It should be no surprise that female bodybuilders train hard to build a certain type of physique. The problem with the ABC news Article is that it gets most of its information from Katie Arnoldi. She is the author of chemical Chemical Pink a novel that explores the female bodybuilding subculture. The novel was reliant on common stereotypes in the subculture and the woman getting abused theme. This was not a positive representation of the sport and one would think it was written by a detractor. Arnoldi was actually a bodybuilder herself competing in a few competitions. She has some credibility, yet the bias becomes clear in her statements.

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Katie Arnoldi 

She compares the dedicated drive to an obsession. The only time an activity becomes an obsession is it hinders functioning and daily life. Many female bodybuilders have careers outside their sport to support their competition costs. The image of hulking woman just pumping iron in a gym is not entirely true. The ABC News claim only demonstrates more of a moral panic ” Arnoldi started bodybuilding when she was 33 to get back in shape after the birth of her second child.” The story takes another turn as if something horrible happened “But what started out as an innocent exercise plan quickly turned into an obsession as she fell deeper and deeper into the bodybuilding subculture.” Katie Arnoldi never used drugs or did sessions. These things are not as awful as a person would think. Arnoldi  did neither of those this so the worst thing that happened is that she just got in shape. Too much dedication can cause burn out or strip the fun right out of an enjoyable activity. Sports are by nature competitive. Women are competitive, yet this is seen as being obsessive to a society that prefers women to limit themselves. Professional bodybuilding takes intense energy, planning, and training. It also takes much mental strength to deal with the highs and lows with fierce competition. The unfortunate part is that most people cannot appreciate the diligence and the aesthetic being created.

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The image may not be to everyone’s taste. That does not mean should not follow certain pursuits or seek male approval. The article would take a different tone, if it was interviewing men. There is sex bias here, because women are being viewed as freaks or oddities. They are not getting respect as professional athletes. Objective journalism is a endangered species. Here the ABC news report already has decided what it should think about women’s bodybuilding. A person ignorant of the sport would already be easily influenced, because they are discreetly being told what to think. Women’s bodybuilding is given a negative image and readers are being influenced to feel that way.

            The voices in support of the sport are not even present. There is only one comment from Yvette Williams. Lesa Lewis provides a counterargument. The only other female bodybuilder that makes commentary was  Mimi D’Attomo. At the time she was retired from competition. If this article wanted to have more of a balanced view they would have at least interviewed women who were still in competition. Her story was about wanting to win so badly that she resorted to anabolic androgenic steroids  and diuretics. Competing for three years she took a mixture of drugs. Bodybuilding cannot be blamed for what appears to be an addictive behavior. Competing is not like being an alcoholic. Some people may be biologically and psychologically vulnerable to addictive behavior. Mimi D’Attomo may have been one of those individuals. This cannot be proven, but there was something else at work.

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Mimi D’Attomo.

 The constant desire to win makes people do dangerous acts. Society and our culture tells us to constantly strive for success or be the best. This one vision of success or constantly pushing yourself to unhealthy levels has devastating consequences. Mimi D’Attomo just realized that going to extremes to enhance the body was not worth it. A success and win at all costs culture can harm mental and physical health. One can be competitive with out being addictive in behavior.

          Performance enhancing drugs are part of every sport. Bodybuilding is more open about use. Women face more scrutiny for their use of  AAS. There are many myths and unknowns about steroids. The most obvious myth is that women cannot build muscle without them. There are drug tested shows that have women with significant muscle. Women who do not even compete can have mesomorphic body types. Women can build muscle without the use of steroids. Simply taking steroids is no going to make an athlete a champion. To say it is impossible to make it on stage without drugs is not correct. Certain supplements could be better or just as good. Creatine has become popular for this reason. The public has an odd relation with drugs. The general view is that there are “good” drugs and there are “bad” drugs. Any substance can be made illegal for whatever reason. Prohibition proved how arbitrary drug law is. Alcohol and cigarettes have killed more people than steroids, but these drugs are legal. Even more ridiculous is the fact that marijuana is illegal. This was not done to protect public health rather increase profits for private prisons. Steroids only became a schedule three banned substance in 1990. Objections to them or women using has nothing to do with health effects. It more so has to do with appearance. The biggest objections about women’s use is that it will destroy their beauty. The fact is that depending on the dose, type, and how long the drug was used determines the side effects. Virilization can happen to women who use steroids while others do not see any changes. It is not entirely certain if id does effect the ability to get pregnant or not. The use of steroids should not be considered a moral panic or concern.   Compared to the lives lost in the drug trade or the prison industrial complex it is insignificant. The opioid   crisis was the product of corrupt pharmaceutical industry, yet there is limited action against such entities. This is not endorsement of steroids or the use of them. It is the realization that how people feel about drugs can change over time.

         Free societies can have aspects of being puritanical. When it comes to human sexual nature there is a taboo. Drugs are called the dark part of the sport. It is not called that as much as session wrestling. Katie Arnoldi describes it as rich men taking advantage of women for sexual thrill. She claimed that many rich men were sponsoring women in competing in exchange for sessions. Session wrestling is very misunderstood. There are men who like muscular so much they want to get close. This is obviously is part of a fetish. There is more to it. Seeing as muscular women are a rare sight see one up close becomes a treat. Not all meetings are session wrestling. Muscle worship is the least physical activity in which clients feel a woman’s muscles.

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Men paying women to wrestle is not the weirdest activity have done. The image presented is something sleazy . if anything it is more comedic than some form of exploitation of women. If anything the women are exploiting the men paying for sessions. Hardcore fans of female bodybuilding called schmoes do not see it as such. Just like the women themselves they are subject to stereotypes. The view is that they are either socially inept, sexual predators, nerds, or hyper obsessed fans. These men come from various ethnic, religious, racial, and national backgrounds. There are also men who are fans of muscular women in general. They do not have to be a female bodybuilder per se. People objecting to sessions is fine. The strange part is criticizing men and women who enjoy it. For some women this finances their competing expenses and more. The IFBB does not give women enough prize money, promotion, or sponsorship so they had to go into business for themselves. While money related issues may force some women to do this so they can compete, it is not impossible to say that some enjoy it. Women may have the same feelings of arousal wrestling a man. Some women may like the idea there are many men they can just physically overpower. Sessions are not all about being sexual. There are some that are serious about wrestling. Matches can be competitive or semi-competitive. Semi-competitive are preferred because both the wrestler and client want to avoid injury.  As long as no one is hurt or being abused there is nothing wrong with session wrestling. Detractors equate this to prostitution. That comparison lacks cogency. Sex really is not a part of sessions. The major point is women overpowering the client and showing her strength.

         Bodybuilding does have benefits for women. Athletes report having higher body confidence and body satisfaction. Lesa Lewis quoted in the article said ”  I love the competitive part.” Lesa also said that it allowed her to travel to different places. A psychological change happens in women making them feel more powerful. It cannot be denied that the image of the muscular woman is an empowering one. Women were told they were the weaker sex  or inferiors. That concept literally is crushed.

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The new image of female athleticism is a more forceful and powerful . There are more traditional minded people or those who have become disillusioned  who object. The media which ideally is suppose to tell the public truthfully about people, events, and activities. That cannot be possible in a world full of media giants. Only a few corporations own news outlets. This explains why one narrative and perspective is presented in print and broadcast. People cannot detect bias or distortions if they do not have other sources of information. ABC News did not really explore the health benefits from a consistent exercise regimen. Besides maintaining bone and muscle health weightlifting could protect the circulatory system. Women need to be more involved in exercise, sports, and fitness.  Women have lower levels of physical activity compared to men, which could have an effect on their health. The prevention of chronic illness is important seeing as women will live longer than men on average.  The women of bodybuilding dared to defy cultural expectations. The media instead of questioning the status quo has become its enforcer. Other subcultures have been targeted. Video games, animation, or other forms of popular entertainment has been subject to corporate media distortion.

      Sensationalism gets viewers and helps struggling newspapers. This may explain why the article took  the approach that it did. Instead of doing an objective analysis of the sport a one sided presentation was discussed. The illusion of objectivity was a few statements from only two competing athletes. There is a reason why prejudice, panic, or misinformation spreads so rapidly. The internet and digital media provides some hope. The traditional media may disparage or condemn it. It is the wave of the future and there is a generational divide. Older consumers of media either prefer a newspaper or TV broadcast. Younger consumers are going for digital media and internet based journalism. Arnoldi expresses no one is making the women get involved in fitness culture. It is there choice so what is so terrible about that? If you think that women can be responsible adults and make their own choices this should be no problem. Women taking up bodybuilding or getting into fitness culture is not the worst thing that has happened to them. The ABC report makes it seem like it is. High quality investigative journalism examines an activity, person, or event with great detail. This was not utilized in the report. The ABC News report may be useful  for historical preservation purposes. Using it for unbiased information on the sport is not. Much has changed since 2001. The sport has expanded to include various divisions. The Ms.Olympia ended in 2014, yet revived in 2020. Crossfit has become a popular fitness craze. Thanks to the internet the female muscle fandom has grown bigger than ever. The same stubborn arguments remain despite a devoted fandom and changes in opinion. Will the muscular woman ever find acceptance among the general public ? That is difficult to answer. The media has a huge influence over people’s opinions. If the media presentation changes people may shift their perspective.

 

ABC News : The Secret World of Women’s Bodybuilding (2001)

BBC Science Focus : Regular Exercise Could Counter The Harmful Effects of Alcohol (2016)

Alcohol and Exercise

It is well known that excessive drinking comes with a increased risk to human health. A study from 2016 claimed that regular exercise could counter alcohol’s damaging effects. The British Journal of Sports Medicine made the suggestion that doing the government recommended amount of exercise could prevent some of the risk that comes with alcohol consumption. The government recommendation is 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week. This could anything from walking or cycling. The research is based on a number of health surveys collected in the UK between 1994 to 2006. A team of international researchers also assisted with the study. The data consisted of mostly 40 year old subjects. The conclusions reached were fascinating. The drinkers who even consumed alcohol in the suggested government limits were at a 36% of death from cancer and a 13% higher risk from other causes compared to their  non-drinking counterparts.  The study makes the claim that the more a person drinks, the higher the risk becomes. Exercise may be able to reduce these percentages of health risk. While this study could be on to an important discovery of health science. However, there are other factors that could lead to chronic illness.

        Alcohol consumption does not have a health benefit. Attempts to quantify the amount to avoid health related issues or diseases may not be possible. One drink during New Years eve will not harm a person, but excessive consumption overtime can. There are different classification patterns. Individuals can either engage in light frequent drinking or more extreme binge drinking. Alcoholism or alcohol use disorder is classified as a disease in which someone has a dependency on excessive drinking. A person who drinks occasionally would not have AUD, but a person with an addiction may have the disease. The long term health risk of alcohol consumption according to the CDC  can range from liver disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, digestive issues, and possible  stroke. Excessive drinking may even cause memory loss or put a person at risk for dementia. The mouth, colon, liver, throat, esophagus,   and breasts could be at risk for cancer. People have numerous reasons for alcohol consumption. Social occasions encourage it. Wine or beer could just have a good taste and considered a treat. More severe cases is that some use alcohol to self medicate in periods of  stress or mental anguish.

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Young people may think its something cool to do. Many teenagers start drinking without the knowledge of their parents or guardians. Peer pressure or a new sense of curiosity sometimes make them take unnecessary risks.  A habit that starts early in life becomes difficult to quit as an adult. Alcohol becomes a means to cope with the stress and frustrations of life. Women are now becoming heavy drinkers just like men. Societal strain and economic uncertainty leads people to do to self destructive behaviors.

       This is only one study so it should be questioned. To be considered scientific fact it must be vigorously tested. It should be realized that everyone’s health condition is not the same. Some people have the ability to abuse their own bodies without falling to their demise. Genetics and the family history of health condition can influence outcomes. The sample used 40 year old men and women. Older people should be examined as well. If the same results can be seen with over 60 year old people or advanced age people then the theory holds credibility. Sex can also impact health. Women are going to live longer, which means they have a greater chance of getting certain diseases as they age. Alcohol and drinking is harder on a woman’s body. Women produce lower levels of alcohol dehydrogenase, which enables the liver to break down drinks. This means women can experience the damage to health at a greater extent than men. This means liver disease, harm to the heart, and nerves is more severe.

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There really is not a safe quantity of alcohol . There was the claim that some red wine is good for the heart, but than has come under debate. 
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The liver is the organ that suffers the most damage from alcohol abuse. The liver has the task of  filtering blood coming the digestive tract. 
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Drinking does not kill brain cells. It can negatively effect dendrites of the neurons. Too much drinking can cause memory loss. 

This information is relatively new. Most studies on alcohol were done on men up until the 1990s. The gender gap in this section of medical research has gradually been closing. Exercise may reduce some of the damage,but not all of it. The risk factor goes up  the more a person drinks or consumes an unhealthy diet. The study did not take into account environment. This was only conducted in the UK. The circumstances in other countries may reveal a different story. Binge drinking culture is not entirely universal. There is even some skepticism from BBc Science Focus : ”  The study is purely observational, so no conclusions can be made about the cause of the results. ” The problem with just mere observation is that it may not show everything. It could be possible that some on the survey drank more than reported. At some point light drinking and binge drinking could become blurred. What might be some low levels of alcohol could be large amounts to another person. Drinking can increase the risk of throat and mouth cancer. This was the correlation seen in the study. The active people did not see the same instances of disease. More investigation is needed to fully decipher the correlation. What is known is that drinking should not be part of a regular diet.

 

BBC Science Focus : Regular Exercise Could Counter The Harmful Effects of Alcohol (2016)