After finishing my book, which is now in the hands of external referees, I realized that many photographs—taken by the incomparable artist and designer Patrick J. Reed—could not be included in it. I think his images offer feminist interventions in the often heteronormative, individualistic, and sexist world of bodybuilding/figure competitions, revealing moments of intense effort, communal caregiving, vulnerability, gender confusion, and trust. I include a few of my favourites below, though I saved the best examples for the book. I especially treasure the images in which I look tired, bored, or hideous, since they offer a nice counterpart to the more typical photographs of the so-called ‘finished product,’ showing a body that is tanned, posed, shiny, and flexed. So what do you think of the pictures below? If you have any images of your own competition or other event (preferably of backstage interactions or training rather than the usual glamour shots), I encourage you to share them with the FFG family.
The night before my show, I was painted with tanning dye by a gigantic floating arm. Thanks G-Smash.
It is difficult but necessary to contain such excessive femininity.
None of my helpers are responsible for the big galoot that awkwardly marched across the stage, as seen below.