I often get asked, ‘What’s with the heels?‘ when discussing the attire for Figure Competitors.
M response usually comes in the form of a shrug and ‘meh!‘ I really have no idea why heels and bedazzlement are required. Its fun, but I had no idea why until this morning when I read a book review for Venus with Biceps, A History of Muscled Women.
Low and behold, an answer!
“From the mid-1950s to the early 1970s, women had to appear as ladylike as possible, even when doing something as traditionally masculine as working out with weights. This girl is doing a seated press with respectably heavy weight, but her high heels and helmet0like hairdo are like fig leaves preserving her femininity.”
Women have been weight training for centuries. I am glad we kept the weight training and ditched the dresses! Thank goodness for shorts and tank tops with built in bras.
Old school powerlifting!
The book explores many themes and ideas around weight training, self esteem, and societal perceptions when it comes to ‘strong women‘.
A thought from the author.
Many of the same battles that were being fought over a century ago are still being waged today… after all, labels are so much easier to deal with than realities.
This is now on my ‘must read‘ list.