So what does Feminist Figure Girl do on a Friday night? Inquiring minds want to know. Is she out cutting a rug with 2DO—such a good influence—or testing her straightdar with Fitbabe? Is she showing off her reinflated breasts in a low-cut dress that also reveals mosquito-bite thighs, quaffing a shandy in a pub setting? [Aside: I love the word quaffing because it sounds filthy.] I’m afraid, my friends, that the answer is no. Firstly, I save all cleavage displays for the gym, which I’m sure you will agree is the only good and proper location for that sort of thing. Secondly, I am too busy to indulge in quaffing. It is 6 pm and I have already donned jim jams—a soft cotton négligé from Target ensures that I am both comfy and sexy, just in case Stephen Colbert decides to drop by—and am seated at my desk, working away. My tasks include course prep, applying to teach in Cortona next year, and producing an editorial in the hopes of getting even more publicity for FFG. Perhaps you now have another pressing question: Am I going to mention Colbert in every post from now on, pathetically attempting to catch the roving eyes of his internet-geek producers? I’m afraid, my friends, that the answer is yes. But it is not my fault; it’s a condition I have. I am metamotivated.
Metamotivation is a new concept for me, introduced by a comment sent to my blog site by a 60-year-old man. After implying that I am a crazy nut-bar, he made a rather heinous accusation: ‘You are obviously too high on the Maslow scale!’ At least I think that is what he wrote, for with a flick of my wrist I immediately sent that piece of negativity into the trash. Fuck freedom of expression! This is my site and I am the all-powerful master of it. After laughing maniacally while hitting the delete button, I paused to enjoy a moment of bafflement: What is the Maslow scale anyway? Imagining something like the psychopath test, I headed straight to the well documented and highly scholarly wikipedia [Sarcasm alert! Here I must pause to remind all students that they are forbidden from using this source. Pushing the send button does not constitute research. Oh, and you should also stop reading this blog because it might undermine my carefully crafted ‘I’m about to snap’ authoritarian style in the classroom]. Back to wiki: there I discovered that Abraham Maslow was an American psychologist best known for his 1954 publication called Motivation and Personality. He was also known for wearing cuddly sweaters to compliment his jack-o-lantern smile. He boldly swerved away from studying the mentally ill and instead focused more optimistically on human subjects who were successful and had great minds, like Frederick Douglass and Albert Einstein. Drawing from the lives of these mature men, Maslow created a hierarchy of needs scale, imaged below in the form of a delightfully gay-positive triangle.
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This past week was a media frenzy for FFG. After my research project was featured in the Edmonton Journal, the story was picked up by the National Post, and just this morning I was interviewed for CBC’s Q by the adorable, velvet-throated Jian Ghomeshi. Sigh. When his producer asked me to be on the show, I immediately blurted ‘Oh yeah, I have a big crush on Jian!’ [Edited in October 2014: I greatly regret writing this paragraph after learning that eight women have recently come forward to report their abuse by Jian. I believe these women and now feel only disgust for him]. Continue reading →
‘Oh, you’ll do it again. After competing for the first time, you’ll be hooked, unable to stop.’ A number of competitive bodybuilders delivered this sage prediction to me, when I was in the midst of dieting down and training for my show. They grinned knowingly and winked slyly. ‘Absolutely not,’ I insisted. ‘I am participating in the world of bodybuilding for research purposes only, and do not give a rat’s ass about performing on stage.’ I made such declarations in a defiant voice, filled with bravado, but I was never completely certain. Would I become a figure addict, repeatedly drawn to the allure of sparkly tits, slippery muscles, and a purse full of cold, cooked egg whites? Now that my competition has passed—has it already been three weeks?—I have my answer. No. I will not. I did not enjoy my moment under the bright lights, wearing hard plastic shoes that squeezed gel toe nails. At the same time, I relished being backstage, meeting a diverse range of other figure girls and hearing about their sense of accomplishment as they became ‘stage ready’ despite obstacles that included recent car accidents, relationship breakdowns, and chronic illnesses. Perhaps that is why I volunteered to shine and sheen the athletes at the Alberta Bodybuilding Association Provincial Championships this past Saturday; I spent the day placing my plastic-gloved hands on the fine buttocks of numerous ladies and even a few men. I have to admit, however, that when a a couple of cheeky individuals challenged me to a pose down, I could not resist strutting my stuff down the cloth covered hallway at the Winspear, while bikini girls and ripped boys wearing stained thongs shouted the odds, betting on their favourites. I Iost every time. My main rivals were:
Feminist Figure Gopher. My nemesis.
I was also beaten by Lamp.
Nice side pose, you illuminated hussy.
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The first is from GlamPro (thanks hottie!):
“Everybody loves a freak show!”
This is the phrase that my partner uttered as we climbed the steps of the Citadel theatre and saw the long line-up of fans waiting to see the pre-judging for the Northern Alberta Body Building Championship. I love my partner dearly, but despite a long history as a queer activist, she has a judgemental streak that sometimes isn’t pretty. I will admit that watching my dear friend FFG transform herself from an admittedly very fit gym rat to a muscled, tanned, bleached and otherwise buffed figure girl was at times a freaky process. Continue reading →
The Sunday morning after my competition I woke up happily thinking ‘I can be myself today.’ Then I ate and ate and ate. Mostly cookies. I began to transform back into a professor, becoming softer, bakier, more able to think. Continue reading →