What Would Derrida Think of My Supplements?

I realize that you are itching to hear what the amazing Jacques thinks about bodybuilding, but I have to share something else first. I regularly check the stats on the Feminist Figure Girl blog, which tell me how many hits my site receives per day, and which entry has been the most popular with readers. Wordpress also lists the different search terms that have guided people to my writing, however unwittingly. Some are obvious, like figure girl, figure competition, feminist bodybuilding. Others are hilarious. I give you: ‘obese black thong’ (no comment necessary), ‘why women kick testicles’ (I imagine a creepy guy clasping an ice pack to his crotch with one hand and gingerly typing this query with the other), ‘locker room women naked’ (I hope they were directed to my discussion of 1970s porno bushes), and ‘girl bent elbow armpit’ (ugh, does someone consider my bicep header erotic, even pornographic?). I also like ‘why did my ex become such an asshole?’ Now I don’t doubt that your ex did become an asshole, but is google really the place to figure out why? I think my favourite search term, however, is ‘speedo shame feminist.’ What was that person hoping to find? An image of Gloria Steinem looking sheepish in a lime green banana hammock? I might actually pay a small fee to see that. ‘Lingering hot sexy model man.’ Oh yeah, I want a hot man but I do not want him to be lingering. Bad odours linger, unpleasant experiences linger, unwanted house guests linger. And shadowy stalkers who were once hot male models might also linger…just outside of the 20 foot restraining order limit.  

On to Jacques Derrida and his supplements. Here is what he probably ingested on a daily basis to bolster his man power: coffee, cigarettes, viagra, red wine, creme fraiche. Okay so he had an old French bad breath nervous energy kind of manliness. Still, I heard that ‘JD’ was quite a ladies’ man and could dance. That is what one of my theory professors used to call the effusive French philosopher, as if they were close friends. During class this taut German would have an unlit smoke stuck to her lip, and would pound the table with her fist while shouting ‘HEGEL JA!’ Seriously. Do you think I could make this shit up? I drank quite a bit of JD—the brown liquid kind—before writing a Heidegger versus Mothra paper on ‘the handiness of the hand’ for her course. Got an A. Then when she asked me to discuss it with her while sober I reread the essay but could no longer understand my own argument. 

Supplements simultaneously overcome and draw attention to lack; they are both a surplus and necessary addition, and are thus central to approaching the vicissitudes of bodybuilding. Derrida discusses writing as a supplement, but he also explains the relationship between writing and the body: ‘in what one calls the real life of these existences “of flesh and bone”…there has never been anything but writing; there have never been anything but supplements, substitutive significations which could only come forth in a chain of differential references’ (Of Grammatology). Hell yes, and the Feminist Figure Girl project, which attempts to convey bodily experiences in textual form only reinforces that point, albeit in a literal rather than mind boggling fashion. Are protein powders, fat burners, and vitamins in any way like writing, or like this blog? I have included photos of my own supplementation regimen, though some of it has been placed under erasure. 

I know what you are thinking. ‘I can identify vitamin C and fish oil tablets, but does she take vitamin S?’ Argh, how you annoy me. Why do so many people identify steroid use immediately and almost exclusively with bodybuilding when vitamin S is used by various athletes and even the unathletic? As if simply using steroids could produce the fine physiques that you see on stage. Of course many competitive bodybuilders do indeed indulge in these extra special supplements, in differing amounts, cycling on and off, while also injecting themselves with GH (growth hormone), which is synthetically produced and imported illegally from China. Some figure girls take GH as well as the lady anabolic steroid known as anavar, or just var. It promotes hard muscle growth but is mild, not virilizing; in fact, it has few side effects other than var-clit, or an enlarged clitoris. I find it fascinating that becoming a truly feminine figure girl can require an increase in testosterone and a gigantic (hermaphroditic?) clit. Of course, it should be obvious that I already have some man parts, namely testicles, caused not by steroids but by my current regime of powerlifting. I now do wide grip chin ups—unassisted and not by jumping up or standing on a bench either—with a round weight tied around my waist; it is attached to a super sexy linked chain and a thick sweat stained brown belt. This week I kept shifting my dangling appendage from side to side, telling DYT that I had finally grown half a pair.

In contrast, a steroid called tren does more than enhance the clitoris; it actually produces a miniature—and sometimes not so small—penis visible through the bikini bottoms of (a few extreme) female heavyweight bodybuilders. Some men desire this kind of supplement, or penile prosthesis. Here is an e-mail recently sent—uninvited mind you—to a female heavyweight bodybuilder who does not use tren: 

Your body is truly a work of art, and you are incredibly sexy too. I have some quick questions for you: 1. Do you like younger men? 2. How dominant are you? 3. Have you ever used a strap-on on a guy before? 

Writing is another kind of prosthesis. For as JD would say ‘one can no longer see disease in substitution when one sees that the substitute is substituted for a substitute.’ Amen mon frere. Bodybuilding supplements enhance the human body, both pushing and revealing its limits. Muscular development would be slower without them, and would be very different without them. There is really no pretense of the ‘natural’ in this bodily practice. That might be part of what I like about it. Competitors in so-called natural shows simply have to test clean and by no means have to avoid taking supplements. Timing is everything my friends.

And on that note I will leave you with the latest search term that directed someone to my site: ‘naked hot girls with their tits showing bras and panties off.’ And their cocks out?

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About feministfiguregirl

I am a 51-year-old professor named Lianne McTavish who receives as much satisfaction from working out at the gym as from publishing my academic research. About eight years ago, I decided to combine my two primary identities (scholar/gym rat) to create "Feminist Figure Girl," a fictional character who both analyzes and participates in bodybuilding. I competed in my first figure show in June of 2011, and then wrote a book inspired by the process, published by SUNY Press in February 2015. In this blog I will write about and consider my ongoing research on the body, while regularly making fun of myself. I recommend that you start reading my first post from August 2010 (available on the home page), instead of backwards from the most recent one, in order to get the full FFG effect.

2 thoughts on “What Would Derrida Think of My Supplements?

  1. Haha I thought I had ridiculous search engine generations. Yours seem to be much more sexual than mine, although I have got not one but two hits today based on a “grasping the nuts” search.

    I use a lot of supplements (natural), while my husband is dying to take steroids but I have forbidden it. Is that cruel of me? 🙂

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