Thursday, March 22, 2018

What’s It Like Being a Female Bodybuilder?

Kristy Hawkins

The Bold Italic - I’ve been photographing female bodybuilders and physique athletes since the 1990s. I always thought these women looked cool, like real-life superheroes (I collected comics as a kid), but it wasn’t until one of my friends at school asked me to shoot her at a bodybuilding show that I really started to pay attention to these strong women.

Carla Rossi
Since that first shoot, I’ve seen the female bodybuilding community grow from a small subgroup that participated in one big bodybuilding contest to a worldwide community of a variety of athletes who compete in different divisions and categories, including bikini, figure, fitness, and physique. Physique is the closest to bodybuilding, but athletes who compete in physique have less extreme levels of muscularity. In both types of competitions, judges look for muscularity, symmetry, and conditioning. Figure competitors are less muscular, as are fitness competitors — both reward shape, balance, conditioning, and poise. As the category name suggests, bikini contestants wear two-piece swimsuits and are judged by balance and shape. Figure, fitness, and bikini athletes usually don’t flex in competitions, but they do perform a series of poses.

Female bodybuilding and physique training is a pretty neat subculture and one that’s often misunderstood. Even liberal, open-minded folks in the Bay Area have preconceived notions of muscular women, and often, they are way off-base. Like anyone who pursues a passion, these women just choose something that many others will never understand but that also takes over their entire lives.

Here are seven Bay Area/Northern California women who compete as bodybuilders, physique, and fitness athletes whom I’ve met and photographed over the years.  >> Read More

Wednesday, March 21, 2018


Marie-Claude Bourbonnais.  An Area Orion breast expansion morph.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Linda Steele Transformation

Linda Steele Transformation
Linda Steele is a friend of Area Orion and we recently came across her transformation pics. All we can say is WOW.

This Chicago fitness trainer and glamour model is the poster girl that fitness (and silicone implants) do a body amazing!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018


Jacquelyn Hickerson
Jacquelyn Hickerson.  An Area Orion female muscle morph.

Saturday, February 10, 2018


breast expansion
Doina Gorun.  An Area Orion breast expansion morph.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Holy Squats

Suelen Bisssolati
Brazilian women are known for their great asses! Many in the bodybuilding & fitness world are taking them to a whole new level. Take for example Suelen Bisssolati, a fitness model and motivational speaker from Sao Paulo.

She says, "The before photo is exactly 10 years ago. I was already training, but I was just a girl. I knew exactly where I wanted to go, full of dreams and plans, some frustrated, others went further than my expectations, however, I am proud of the woman I became. I fell a lot, but all the tumbles only served to make me even stronger."

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Female bodybuilder says Arnold Sports Festival discriminates

Beth Mandyck
Beth Mandyck
The Columbus Dispatch - Beth Mandyck had mostly hung around smaller bodybuilding competitions until she won the Ms. Buffalo Bodybuilding title nine months ago.

That crown vaulted the Rochester, New York, nurse to two national competitions last year. Her trainer told her to set her sights on the Arnold Sports Festival in 2018.

But Ms. Buffalo likely won’t be coming to Columbus.

The Arnold hasn’t offered women’s bodybuilding as a competitive category since 2013. Organizers said the number of women who wanted to compete in bodybuilding competitions had been dropping for years, and the Arnold offers several alternatives.

Mandyck, though, said the annual event discriminates against women by not offering the same competition it has for men. She has lodged complaints with the city.

“The Arnold is like everybody’s dream. When I went to look at it, I was aghast that there was no women’s bodybuilding,” she said. “If there’s a category for men, why can’t there be a category for women?”   Read More >>

Saturday, January 20, 2018


Libby Powell
Libby Powell.  An Area Orion breast expansion morph.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Asia's Female Bodybuilders Are Smashing Gender Stereotypes About Body Image

Asia's Female Bodybuilders
Anna Ho (second from left) participating in the World Championships in Ulaanbaatar this October.
Forbes - “Women want to be capable in every way possible. They don’t want to limit themselves to only the household and their children. They want to be assertive outdoors; kick that football, and lift those barbells,” says Anna Christianne Ho, a 50-year-old bodybuilder from Hong Kong.

Ho is a poster girl for the growing number of female bodybuilders in Asia, fighting to eliminate gender stereotypes in a society obsessed with small framed and soft physiques, inspired by the imagery of its ubiquitous pop culture.

“Looking good goes far beyond skin deep,” says Ho. “All that spending on expensive clothing and make-up, means we pay least attention to the most important element: a fit and able body.”

Ho started focusing on her body after giving birth to her two children in Sydney. Being a health and fitness enthusiast carried her through some of the toughest moments of her life. A victim of domestic violence, incorporating a good workout regime helped her become a “stronger person, inside and out.”

Since the rise of female bodybuilding, gender discrimination has been a concerning issue. Female bodybuilders often experience criticism of their bodies, whilst they build an aesthetic commonly conflated with a masculine identity. > READ MORE

Jayne Lo
Jayne Lo, in her element at the gym.

Thursday, December 14, 2017


Eleonora Dobrinina
Eleonora Dobrinina.  An Area Orion female muscle morph.
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