Misconceptions About The Men’s Physique Division

Originally published on mensphysique.com on Wednesday, 16 July 2014. It was a pretty popular post!

http://www.rxmuscle.com/blogs/the-news-the-newest-in-mp/11258-misconceptions-about-the-men-s-physique-division.html
jeremy b greater gulf states 2013
The Men’s Physique Division has stirred up tremendous interest and a decent amount of controversy within the IFBB and NPC, with a plethora of fans as well as a camp of haters. Perhaps the most exciting thing about the inception of this division was the door of opportunity which opened for men who were interested in competing on a bodybuilding stage but who did not want to sign up for the rigors of a competitive bodybuilder’s regimen. As expected, the floodgates opened and the Men’s Physique Division became wildly popular, not just among competitors within the division, but also among its ever-growing fan base worldwide. Sadly, there have been naysayers who have popped up with scathing criticism of the division which echoes the main misconceptions about the division.

Here is a breakdown of the three main misconceptions which have been circulating since the division was established in 2011.

“The Men’s Physique Division should be renamed Men’s Bikini.”

Ever since the Men’s Physique Division (MPD) was established, insults began flying about how it had no business sharing the stage with Bodybuilding. The ideal Men’s Physique body is supposed to be distinctive from a bodybuilder’s body, balanced with a pronounced v-taper, and without the excessive muscularity that is so celebrated in Bodybuilding. The more abbreviated posing which characterizes the MPD, along with the specific poses, the beach god look, and the model type good looks which many competitors possess have prompted many bodybuilders and fans of old school bodybuilding to compare MPD to a beauty pageant.

I will admit that there have been rare instances in which I have seen MPD competitors exaggerate their posing in such a way that it becomes a bit comical and somewhat pageant-like, but such instances are isolated. I think it’s important to remember that MPD competitors train HARD, and the best in the industry are very well respected athletes. It is outrageously rude to make comparisons of these tremendous athletes to pageant contestants.

“Men’s Physique (MP) guys don’t have wheels.”

The regulation garment which was chosen for the MPD, the board short, was selected primarily to evoke the idea that the competitors were supposed to look like they had just walked off the beach, embodying the ideal buff beach body. However, this particular short style is cut in such a way that it always hides the quads and hams, so it is often impossible to tell whether a competitor has well developed legs or is hiding toothpick legs under all that fabric. My experience has been that I have seen quads on many MP competitors which rival the wheels of seasoned bodybuilders, blowing the idea that MP guys have stick legs completely out of the water.

Many MP guys lift heavy, and they certainly do train legs! Every once in a while you might see an MP guy with spindly legs, but the division certainly does not deserve to be picked on about leg development. It has in fact been suggested by many to implement a shorter cut onstage in order to reveal the quads and hams. Perhaps once that occurs, MP competitors will finally be able to dispel this rumor.

“All Men’s Physique guys are divas or gay.”

First of all, anyone who is narrow-minded enough to make a blanket assessment of the sexual orientation of an entire division of competitors simply because many of them are visually very appealing is completely ignorant. It seems like the haters who make such comments are mostly envious because the MP guys are the ones who usually turn heads and make the ladies swoon. As a matter of fact, many women, including me, were ecstatic when the MPD was established because we as spectators finally had our eye candy. Many MP competitors easily fit the expression “pretty boy” due to their Abercrombie & Fitch boyish good looks. Honestly, I don’t see how that is a bad thing!

Though I have observed a high maintenance and diva-esque attitude in some MP competitors, that type of attitude by no means pervades the division. Let’s face it: the world of competitive bodybuilding can sometimes spark up a picky, persnickety attitude in competitors regardless of gender or division, and that certainly includes competitive male bodybuilders, who can be the biggest pains in the ass because their regimens are so extreme.

It has been exciting to watch the MPD grow from the new kid on the block who got picked on, to now being a well-respected division which has enhanced the sport of competitive bodybuilding. Not only has the MPD brought in massive revenue for the NPC and IFBB, it has brought competitive bodybuilding to the mainstream with its more attainable body silhouette.

Bigger Breasts Are Not Better

Very-Large-Breasts cropped
There is such a thing as TOO BIG when it comes to breasts that are surgically augmented. In my humble opinion the limit has been reached when each of a woman’s breasts is larger than her face. Some women don’t have a choice and have to deal with what Mother Nature bestowed upon them, but other women actually choose to go under the knife to have excessively large implants surgically installed. I have even heard women say pre-surgery that they were hoping to achieve a cartoonish Jessica Rabbit look with extremely large, round implants. In other words, they wanted their breasts to look fake.

When breasts look like distorted balloons, the natural curved architecture is lost. Another problem with extremely large implants is that men (and women) tend to regard women who have them as cheap, slutty, and lacking in intelligence. I realize that these are gross generalizations, but they are so common that any woman who tries to deny this is a fool. It’s important to be aware of how people may potentially regard you once you have a surgical augmentation, and if you have a problem with society’s impression of very large breasts, you might want to reconsider the size you are getting (if you don’t care, then more power to you!). Every once in a while I will see a beautiful woman with a delicate face and petite body who went overboard with the implants and as a result looks top heavy. For women who compete in the bodybuilding world, large implants can be very distracting, and not in a positive way.

Some augmented breasts may look alluring or eye catching when clothed, but horrifying when uncovered as a result of surgical revisions, scarring, ripples, unevenness, improper nipple position or capsular contracture. Almost every single woman I have talked to who has had extremely large implants (i.e., implants which have created a DDD or larger cup size) has had to have surgical revision. Some women who have had breast augmentation surgery also lose sensation in the nipples and in the breasts, obliterating that area of the body as an erogenous zone. It is also important to consider the anterior load on the chest which results from large implants and how it impacts posture. And forget about finding clothes off the rack that fit an extremely large bust.

The breast area is quite prone to body dysmorphia, which in large part explains why gargantuan breast implants are sometimes requested. Since the breast’s primary function is to provide nutrients to a baby, women and men will often equate a fuller or larger breast with greater fertility and femininity. While it is fine for a woman to desire larger breasts, selecting an extremely large implant size may only reinforce any insecurities about a woman’s sense of self and sexuality.

It’s MY Image And MY Branding

I have been struggling to assemble various elements of my personal branding on my own, but this task has proven to be extremely challenging. One of the first things I worked on was a logo, but after seven months, I still have nothing to show for it. Part of the problem is that I only have ideas of what I want to convey, and I have to rely on the creative vision of a logo designer to interpret my ideas in a way that is cohesive with my brand. This project has dragged on and on, and I am now beginning to doubt whether I will have a logo before the end of the year. There are countless other things on my to-do list, such as compiling an email list, revamping my three websites, designing a newsletter template, etc. I don’t have the expertise, nor do I have the time to do all of these things on my own. So I have been sitting on these projects as well.

Another thing I was hoping to get into place was a public relations person to help me with my image and to increase my exposure. Here’s where I ran into another wall. I had a meeting recently with a very competent and talented PR person but as we continued to discuss my goals and my vision, I realized that there was a disconnect. This person went through my images online and explained why certain images fell outside the realm of certain goals I was trying to achieve. While I understood that some images were less conservative than what a typical physician would take, I also felt attacked and restrained. Part of what I love about being who I am right now is the fact that I AM atypical, that I am defying the odds, and that I am challenging stereotypes.
black tassel beach logo only 2
One thing this person told me was that I needed to consider what a certain television show producer would think of me if he saw how I portray myself on the internet. With all due respect, I don’t live my life for others, and I will NOT conform for the sake of being invited on someone else’s TV show. I have enjoyed my personal freedoms and feel that as long as I honor the boundaries of common decency, I am NOT going to start doing photo shoots in business suits. That is simply NOT me and I would be miserable if I was FORCED to do that. I will never be the kind of person who will fit in a neat little conservative box. Try doing that to me and I will rebel.

In an era where the more outlandish and crazy someone is on television, the more popular they are, why is it that I am expected to remain on the straight and narrow path, with the reins pulled tight against my expression and my personality? I honestly don’t want to EVER sell out and become what a TV network or what middle America expects me to be. Perhaps Dr. Oz’s popularity stems somewhat from his conservative vibe, but I can tell you that when it comes to image, I will never be a predictable female version of that guy. No way. Don’t expect me to wear scrubs on a national TV show or dress in conservative garb just to appease the viewers. I am an IFBB Bikini Pro and very proud of it. So what if I model swimwear and fitness apparel? So what if I like to look sexy? Since when is that a crime?

My plan is to keep doing what I am doing, remain true to myself, maintain my integrity and keep moving closer to my ultimate goals.

Misconceptions About The Men’s Physique Division

Please read my latest article for MensPhysique.com! Original post can be found by clicking on this link:

http://www.rxmuscle.com/blogs/the-news-the-newest-in-mp/11258-misconceptions-about-the-men-s-physique-division.html

The Men’s Physique Division has stirred up tremendous interest and a decent amount of controversy within the IFBB and NPC, with a plethora of fans as well as a camp of haters. Perhaps the most exciting thing about the inception of this division was the door of opportunity which opened for men who were interested in competing on a bodybuilding stage but who did not want to sign up for the rigors of a competitive bodybuilder’s regimen. As expected, the floodgates opened and the Men’s Physique Division became wildly popular, not just among competitors within the division, but also among its ever-growing fan base worldwide. Sadly, there have been naysayers who have popped up with scathing criticism of the division which echoes the main misconceptions about the division.
Here is a breakdown of the three main misconceptions which have been circulating since the division was established in 2011.

“The Men’s Physique Division should be renamed Men’s Bikini.”

Ever since the Men’s Physique Division (MPD) was established, insults began flying about how it had no business sharing the stage with Bodybuilding. The ideal Men’s Physique body is supposed to be distinctive from a bodybuilder’s body, balanced with a pronounced v-taper, and without the excessive muscularity that is so celebrated in Bodybuilding. The more abbreviated posing which characterizes the MPD, along with the specific poses, the beach god look, and the model type good looks which many competitors possess have prompted many bodybuilders and fans of old school bodybuilding to compare MPD to a beauty pageant. I will admit that there have been rare instances in which I have seen MPD competitors exaggerate their posing in such a way that it becomes a bit comical and somewhat pageant-like, but such instances are isolated. I think it’s important to remember that MPD competitors train HARD, and the best in the industry are very well respected athletes. It is outrageously rude to make comparisons of these tremendous athletes to pageant contestants.

“Men’s Physique (MP) guys don’t have wheels.”

MP Quads
The regulation garment which was chosen for the MPD, the board short, was selected primarily to evoke the idea that the competitors were supposed to look like they had just walked off the beach, embodying the ideal buff beach body. However, this particular short style is cut in such a way that it always hides the quads and hams, so it is often impossible to tell whether a competitor has well developed legs or is hiding toothpick legs under all that fabric. My experience has been that I have seen quads on many MP competitors which rival the wheels of seasoned bodybuilders, blowing the idea that MP guys have stick legs completely out of the water. Many MP guys lift heavy, and they certainly do train legs! Every once in a while you might see an MP guy with spindly legs, but the division certainly does not deserve to be picked on about leg development. It has in fact been suggested by many to implement a shorter cut onstage in order to reveal the quads and hams. Perhaps once that occurs, MP competitors will finally be able to dispel this rumor.

“All Men’s Physique guys are divas or gay.”

First of all, anyone who is narrow-minded enough to make a blanket assessment of the sexual orientation of an entire division of competitors simply because many of them are visually very appealing is completely ignorant. It seems like the haters who make such comments are mostly envious because the MP guys are the ones who usually turn heads and make the ladies swoon. As a matter of fact, many women, including me, were ecstatic when the MPD was established because we as spectators finally had our eye candy. Many MP competitors easily fit the expression “pretty boy” due to their Abercrombie & Fitch boyish good looks. Honestly, I don’t see how that is a bad thing! Though I have observed a high maintenance and diva-esque attitude in some MP competitors, that type of attitude by no means pervades the division. Let’s face it: the world of competitive bodybuilding can sometimes spark up a picky, persnickety attitude in competitors regardless of gender or division, and that certainly includes competitive male bodybuilders, who can be the biggest pains in the ass because their regimens are so extreme.

It has been exciting to watch the MPD grow from the new kid on the block who got picked on, to now being a well-respected division which has enhanced the sport of competitive bodybuilding. Not only has the MPD brought in massive revenue for the NPC and IFBB, it has brought competitive bodybuilding to the mainstream with its more attainable body silhouette.

Just Because I Like Cats, Doesn’t Mean I Am A Cat Person

Yes, I like cats. As a matter of fact, I adore them, and have always gotten along well with them and understood their movements and instincts. As a child I was able to befriend strays who would never dare come near any other humans, so this earned me a label very early on of “cat person”. Why do I have to wear such a label because I like and own cats? The labels “dog person” and “cat person” are often attached to an applied exclusion in which the two are not expected to comingle, and in which both labels could not possibly be worn by one person. So what if I have cats? It doesn’t mean that I am anti-dog! I would LOVE to have dogs, but since I have always been a fan of large dog breeds, and because I don’t have a yard, it would be unfair of me to have dogs at this point in my life. I am also so incredibly busy that I wouldn’t have time to walk a dog or devote the extra time which dogs demand from their owners. Most importantly, two of my cats are very doglike and follow me EVERYWHERE I go when I am at home.

My babies...

My babies…

Another thing I do not engage in is collecting cat motif items. Do not expect to walk into my home and see cat pillows, cat artwork, etc., in the common areas, because I will not subject myself nor anyone else in the household to such feline tributes. The only cats you will see in my living room are the living furry companions who are family members and sources of great joy to me. I do have photos of my cats on the fridges (we have two fridges in our place), but there are only a few.

It always surprises me when people who don’t know me well reveal with hesitation that they have dogs, as if I am anti-dog. Instead, I respond with excitement, asking them what kinds of dogs they have. Honestly, I adore dogs so much that I get dog lust if I hang around great dogs. I have also been tempted on more than one occasion in my life to adopt a dog even though my schedule has never been accommodating enough for me to be a good doggy mom.

Whether you have cats or dogs, chances are I will be fine with them all.

Guys Like Ladies With Hearty Appetites

Food and DrinkWith the exception of an incredibly stupid and weak period in my life when I was anorexic, I have always brought a hearty appetite to the dinner table. My dad used to brag about the fact that his slender daughter (ME) could go to an all-you-can-eat buffet and polish off 5 or 6 plates of food. Think of the sheer value of a young girl mowing down such massive quantities of food! That was one way I made my dad proud, perhaps even more so than when I got good grades or won some award.

I also recall a very amusing incident which occurred when I was hanging out with my very first boyfriend. I was 14 years old, 5’4″, 98 pounds, and could put away food like no one’s business. We went to a local hot dog stand and my boyfriend ordered four bratwurst dogs which he then brought to the car for us to to eat. He and I polished off two dogs each, then looked over at my boyfriend expectantly.

BF: “Are you okay?”
ME: “Yeah, but I’m still hungry.”
BF: “Me too. about if we get regular hot dogs?”
ME: “Sure.”
BF: “So, one for you?”
ME: “Two.”

My boyfriend gave me a concerned look but exited the car, returning several minutes later with four regular hot dogs. I wolfed two down while he did the same with the two remaining dogs.

BF: “I’m gonna get one more, be right back.”
ME: “I’m still hungry.”
BF: “Are you serious?”
ME: “Yep. Just one more.”

When my boyfriend returned to the stand to get the third round of hot dogs, the guy working the counter was so astonished that he had to see what enormous girl looked like who was demolishing so many hot dogs. The guy walked to the car, peered in, and was in a state of disbelief. I just sat there with my girl’s size 14 skinny white jeans, giggling over my gustatory feat.

That was a long time ago and I would never eat hot dogs now, but I have a very big appetite which I occasionally give in to when I can relax and have a fun meal. One of the rituals which my last ex-boyfriend and I would engage in was to split an extra large pepperoni pizza, then have Snickers Ice Cream Bars or slices of German chocolate cake with red velvet ice cream once we got home. I also seem to shock my friends with whom I venture out for a fun meal on occasion. They expect me to order a salad, but I usually go full guns and order a burger and fries, plus dessert, or I pound down a LOT of sushi and sashimi. I am not afraid of food and I make sure to enjoy the experience of eating food when I have some freedom with food choices.

My male friends have told me that they find a fit woman with a hearty appetite very sexy, and I can see why. Where’s the fun in taking a princess type out to a steakhouse, only to watch her timidly peruse a restaurant menu, then predictably order a salad? If I am at a restaurant that specializes in steak, you’d better believe I am ordering a steak! The same rationale applies if I am at a burger joint or pizza place and am planning to lift all dietary restrictions for that meal. Besides, eating a hearty meal every now and then, especially if you follow a calorie restricted contest prep plan, will help to rev up your metabolism.

Take home message? Dig in, ladies!

Don’t Box Me In: Labels

Label jars not peopleLabels drive me nuts. Truly they do. I am one of those individuals who consistently does not clearly fit into a category, a fact which challenges the sense of order which some people rely on. I know that I am not a “typical” anything, so I get pretty bent out of shape when someone expresses confusion because I cannot be fit into a nicely labeled box. I find myself wanting to ask, “What is a typical (doctor, 40-something, Californian, woman, etc.) to you, anyway?”

I have never traveled the beaten path, ever. This has defined my existence from conception, which came about in a somewhat unorthodox fashion. I can’t even check one box for ethnicity on surveys due to my Asian and Caucasian backgrounds. I looked different from EVERYONE in my grade school class. I was the only 16 year old in my class at high school graduation. I experienced college in a different way, then zigzagged through all the interests I wanted to explore, applying to medical school at the age of 30. By that time, I had modeled, acted, done graphic design and fashion design, worked retail, worked office jobs, worked as a personal assistant for a celebrity, became a beauty pageant queen, worked as a fitness trainer, and worked as an optometric technician.

Even as a IFBB Bodybuilding Pro, my division (Bikini) is considered a bit controversial due to the fact that this division is constantly being redefined. I am, at the age of 47, much older than most IFBB Bikini Pros. I am one of a select few physician-Pros in the industry. I LIKE standing out in a crowd, whether it is my physical appearance, my educational background, or my life experiences which set me apart from the crowd.
No_Labeling
I am also intrigued by others who in similar fashion boldly contradict labels and stereotypes as they navigate through life. It is human nature to express individuality, to be recognized and set apart from the crowd. Hopefully that is something I will continue to do, since I enjoy it so much. Instead of having my footsteps muddied by those of so many others along a beaten path, I will always forge my own course.