Venus with Biceps

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.”

seated lady like shoulder pressSo interesting!

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.

1900s weight training women

Somehow I think this is a 'warm up' set!

Old school powerlifting!

Now this is how its done!

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.

I am officially intrigued.

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  1. Thank you! This is so going on my wishlist now!

  2. Hmm, interesting. I may just have to pick this up too!

  3. Me too! I had no idea that women of my mother’s and grandmother’s generations did weight training.

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