Mar 12

Competitor-Shaming: What A Shame

Female-competitor-overweightY’know, it’s such a shame that, in a sport in which we’re supposed to inspire, empower, and motivate ourselves and others, we do such a ‘great’ job at ripping into others and tearing them down. Why? To make ourselves feel better? To be able to look in the mirror and say, “Well at least I’m better than HER or HIM!” Is that why you do this? You (and me), who didn’t have the greatest body when you began and was ashamed and embarrassed to post your ‘before’ pics until you looked fit enough? You (and me), who more likely than not was as smooth as the proverbial baby’s behind in your first, and maybe even your 4th or 5th show? You (and me), who will NEVER have that ‘IT’ factor and genetic physique to take it to the next level? Yet still you find it within yourself to belittle a competitor who doesn’t fit YOUR ideal standard of what stage-ready looks like.

Lemme holla at ya’ll for a second…EVERYBODY and ANYBODY has the right and privilege to step onstage at a local, amateur show REGARDLESS of their physical condition. Yes, even if their condition isn’t what YOU think they should look like. Some of the comments I read concerning this young woman absolutely disgusted me. How dare all of you ‘perfectly physiqued’ individuals get on your pathetic little soapbox and jam her up by saying she looks like sh*t, she should kill herself for looking this bad, who’d ever wanna look like that…I could go on and on. And then the supposedly ‘nice’ ones were like, “Well…there should be a standard for competition…” or “I think there should be some kind of qualifier/prerequisite…”, and my personal ‘favorite’, “I pay good money to see quality physiques, and if I want to see beached whales, I’ll go to the beach.” Yeah…these idiotic comments come from your fellow competitors. Still feel like your sh*t don’t stink?

I see and read so many posts on FB and IG and see so many of the ‘beautiful bodies’ from both the women AND men  who continuously post to feed their own egos (just keepin’ it real here. You know it’s true…), “I’m here to inspire others to achieve their best potential because if I can do it, so can you,” yet many of those same individuals are the ones ripping into this woman and others like her. WHO MADE YOU JUDGE, JURY, AND EXECUTIONER? Oh, you’ll holla ‘inspire’ and ‘motive’ as long as it’s about YOUR body, but when someone else puts up a not-so-great picture, suddenly you belittle and body-shame? Shame on you!!

Baby-Lemme see-who can I rip into todaySocial media has created some of the worst cyber-bullies and monsters, in my opinion, than one could ever imagine. It’s so easy to hide behind your smartphone or laptop and blast others with your words. Yet, in my mind and eye, this woman was WAY more courageous than 90% of the competitors out there. She exhibited REAL courage by stepping onstage looking the way she did. I respect her far more than many gifted competitors, because regardless of the naysayers, regardless of who ridiculed her, who bashed her, who told her she couldn’t do it, shouldn’t do it, and was wasting her time, she did it anyway. That, to me, is real courage. That, to me, is a real athlete. Did she know she didn’t look that great? I’m sure she did. But how she looks at a local show really isn’t any of your concern, is it?

My question to you is simple…Why does her competing bother all of you ‘great’ competitors so much? As one jackass competitor said (yes, I said jackass because I’m that pissed), “Her look offended me…”. HOW THE HELL DOES HER LOOK OFFEND YOU? Why are you even WORRYING about her look? Why aren’t you supporting her, offering her constructive feedback? Questioning her to see if you can help her in any way, shape, or form? Find out if her training, cardio, and nutrition is on point, and if not, steer her in the right direction. Why aren’t you encouraging her to keep at it? To stay the steady, and tell her that at each show she’ll get better and better? Why don’t you find her on social media, go on her page, and tell her how awesome she is for doing what less than 1% of the American people do…compete in a bodybuilding/fitness/figure/physique/bikini contest? Uh…you DID know that this is but a microcosm in the world, didn’t you? Don’t get so wrapped up in this sport that you forget that it’s a small sub-culture, and the rest of the world has far too much to think about, worry about, and focus on than a stupid contest.

As far as a standard of competition or prequalifier to compete, that makes absolutely no sense. THIS IS THE PREQUALIFER!! It’s a local show, people! Where else do people learn about what they have to do. When someone says that they need to have a prequalifier or set a standard at a local show, I wanna throat-punch em! Again, that makes no sense! You QUALIFY for the National scene by doing well in the regional scene. You LEARN about what to do at the local level. At the local level is where you figure everything out – the training, cardio, foods – this is the stage for first-time competitors. There will be MANY competitors who don’t look good from a competitive standpoint. And now some of you idiots say that those first-time competitors need to have a STANDARD OF PROFICIENCY before they can even step onstage just to please YOUR sorry ass? Get real…

Fat to fit womanWe can throw up a before-and-after pic, and everyone’s all over that. “Wow…you look fantastic!” “Way to kill it!” “Great job!” “Awesome transformation!” “I sure wish I could do that!!” We even see pics of people just getting started who’ll say, “Day 1 of my journey,” and people will be all over that as well. “You can do it!” “You’ve got this!” “BeastMode, baby!” Yet have a person, man or woman, throw up a competition pic, and many ‘seasoned’ competitors lose their damn minds! And by seasoned, I mean most of those people have only been at it less than 2-3 years themselves. You want a seasoned competitor? Put in 10-12 years of COMPETING…then I’ll call you seasoned. But guess what? By then you’ll have spent enough time in the trenches and seen and heard enough that you WON’T be making stupid comments like ripping into others for no reason other than to feed your own ego.

Lemme ask you guys something. If that were your daughter up there, would you like to read all of the comments written about her? You’d be so proud of her for chasing, and accomplishing, her dreams, but when you go online to see her pictures, and you read some of the negative, hurtful comments, would you be happy? Would you be pleased and proud that your daughter belonged to such a ‘fine, upstanding community of competitors’? No. You’d cringe at the words on the screen. You’d want to do everything in your power to protect your daughter from the cyber-insults being tossed her way for no reason other than to feed someone’s ego. You’d hope that your daughter was strong enough to withstand the written assaults, and will not wither and die within. Remember, just because YOU don’t know this woman, doesn’t mean that someone else isn’t close to her.

This picture, among others, is of a female competitor in a bikini contest. By my standards she’s not in contest shape. That’s where it ends with me. That’s where it should end with you as well. Competitors, stop the madness. We’re all in this together. Peace…




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