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.

How to Get Shit Done and Feel Accomplished

I do not usually give sanctimonious advice. Nor do I promote lists meant to “improve your life” in easy steps. In my experience, people rarely change in fundamental ways. Who you are by age 20 is a pretty good indication of your future, though someone recently told me that temperament and character emerge clearly before a child turns two. All the same, I am about to provide you with a series of tips encouraging you to be more productive and goal oriented. I decided to write this post after several people asked me for help, wondering: How can I multi-task, be more efficient, and simply get more shit done in a day? What is your secret, oh great goddess FFG? Continue reading

Embodied Identity

Book by Kim TallBear

Book by Kim TallBear

Last week I went to a symposium on my campus called “Indigenous Foucault”  (https://nativestudies.ualberta.ca). A number of brilliant First Nations and indigenous scholars reworked the influential theories of French philosopher Michel Foucault (d. 1984). It was an inspiring and challenging occasion, though not a particularly relaxing one for me. I focused on listening, which is not my strong point, and shutting the fuck up, which is always hard for a white person to do.  Continue reading

Are Breast Implants Fat Phobic?

I would rather travel than have big boobs.

I would rather travel and contribute to my pension fund than have big boobs.

I enjoy looking at bare breasts in the change room at my gym. I do it brazenly, out of curiosity. I am constantly amazed by how many women have breast implants these days, especially women who appear to be in their early 20s. These young ladies shelled out a lot of money (whether their cash or somebody else’s), undergoing the risks and pain of surgery simply to make their breasts look larger. Continue reading

Heartache for Alan Kurdi

I have been bursting into tears at regular intervals. Sometimes it’s full-out sobbing when I am alone, like last night when I was writing this post. At other times, my throat wells up and a few tears trickle out in public, including right before I taught my first class last week. Did my students notice my trembling voice? Did the woman who served me an Edo Japan lunch remark on my puffy eyes? Did anyone taste salty tears in the dish I brought to the welcome back pot luck? I usually hide my emotions, but this time it is impossible. I am heartbroken. Continue reading

Why I Wear Men’s Shirts to the Gym: Guest Post by Hissy Fit

 

catcalls2Since moving to a new city a few months ago, my fitness routine — and my life in general — has drastically changed.  And not for the better.  After the dust of moving settled, I have simply been astounded at the rampant misogyny that exists here.  I was going to say I was “culture shocked,” but that’s too polite.  It’s not culture shock.  It’s pure old-fashioned sexism.  Continue reading