Who are you calling disgusting?

Does your body appeal to everyone? Are you universally the most attractive human on the planet? If so, please stop reading this. You could (if you chose to) pass judgement on others. I bet you don’t though.

I bet you are like EVERYONE else. You have features that others find attractive. Maybe a whole lot of them. Maybe a few. Maybe you don’t even realise what they are! But the thing is, different things and different bodies appeal to different people.

I have a bit of a gripe today. I really want us all to make an undertaking never to use the words ‘gross’ or ‘disgusting’ when we are talking about another woman’s body.

I’ve decided to train towards a ‘figure international’ style body type. It’s a style of bodybuilding.

Yes. I said bodybuilding.

Cue the “EWWWWW”, “Those women are disgusting” or the even more abhorrent “They look like men”.

Shut up.

On stage, pumped-up, tanned-up and at the extremes of their musculature, the women I am inspired by look like this:

2012 Arnold Sports Festival and Fitness Expo Nicole Wilkins allisonethier2 allisonethier


These same women in their regular life? These are not BEFORE photos, they are just off stage photos.

Nicole Wilkins3allisonethier3

These women are fit, active examples of the type of fitness and shape I aspire to. Yet fifty percent of the people I’ve told that I am training for this have referred to this type of body as disgusting, unwomanly and freakish.

You can jump to their defence and say – oh they wouldn’t have meant these women. These women are hot. But what if a woman were more musclular?


What if a woman were much thinner?


Or significantly overweight?

Bella Before

Ask yourself – which of these women deserve to be called disgusting? Or unwomanly?

And you KNOW that the answer is none of them. Do you personally aspire to all of the body types here? No.

But these are people. And you are a person. And none of us are disgusting.

So let’s make an effort to expand our ideas of beauty and acceptance of others hey? For me?

I’ll leave you with one of my favourite ads from M.A.C cosmetics, a photo of the model and the poignant words of the girl band TLC.

Jelena Abbou

You can buy your hair if it won’t grow
You can fix your nose if he says so
You can buy all the make-up 
that M.AC. can make 
But if you can’t look inside you
Find out who am I too
Be in a position to make me feel 
So damn unpretty
It’ll make you feel unpretty too

Rant overboard!


14 thoughts on “Who are you calling disgusting?

    • Thanks Petra, and yes – people’s actions can make them pretty disgusting! I’m pretty sure I’ll never turn into a ‘cloud man’ (what my kids call the UBER muscly guys 🙂

  1. Im with you Bella, we need to all be a bit more accepting of differences: different body types and different aspirations. ‘Disgust’ is a powerful and negative word.
    What really challenges my acceptance though, is the image you show of the ultra thin gal. I know some of us are just genetically geared for ectomorphic body types, yet I find it hard not to judge the beauty industry for idealising this body type which only about 2% of the population naturally have. [dont quote me on that figure! lol] There are too many women (and lots of young girls) aspiring to look too thin and it worries me. And Im not immune to this marketed image of beauty too. But im not ‘disgusted’ by the photo of the thin girl, just concerned about media driven ideas of female beauty.
    I love the idea of women with muscles, and Im enjoying growing a few myself. To me, a strong body is a working body. It can do stuff! Thats a fantastic goal for anybody to have! Good luck on your journey Bella! Go grow some muscle 🙂

    • Hi – I couldn’t agree more about the glorification of the ultra-thin in the media. It’s worried me my entire life and caused significant issue to me personally. On the other side of the coin, I have friends who are naturally very thin and they constantly hear people refer to photos of similar looking women as grotesque and horrible. My point in this post is more about the unnecessary meanness we sometimes use in discussing others bodies.

      I am 100% about health and functionality (and if we can just be nice to each other that would be awesome!) but totally agree with you
      Thanks so much for your post 🙂

    • Glorification of uber-skinny models is one thing. Calling skinny women disgusting is a whole different kettle of fish. Depending on the reason skinny may be unhealthy. But judgment calls on any persons body shape is never right. Never.

    • Haha, yes – you won’t EVER catch me trying to argue that the tan is a good idea. The theory is that the darker tans show up muscle definition better under stage lights (like dancers wearing exaggerated makeup to avoid face ‘wash-out’) but yes, it’s not a fab look! Feel free to call me an oompa-loompa, just not a disgusting one :p
      Cheers, SV

  2. So totally agree with yourself and Jenathon’s comments. All humas are beautiful i my eyes.

    The tan is all the better to see the muscles, I’d look silly coz I am so fair, being a red head gone silver at 48 but like you, I am close to my goal and am in the process of talking to a PT next week for a training schedual and prices.
    Are you going to do the L&S with Mish or on your own?? Good luck in what ever road you choose as I am certain that you will succeed like Tracey, Ute and Juanita and a few others 🙂

    • Hi Karen! I’m going to look pretty ridiculous in the tan too – I’m naturally blue/white! But still will be having fun. Really torn on 12wbt. I have an amazing coach, I’ll be qualified as a PT myself shortly but there is the ever present lure of having a mentor like Mish in back pocket!

  3. An awesome and healthy goal, good luck! I still don’t understand why a woman can’t be strong or have muscles and still be feminine, it bugs me so much when people say that.

    • Same! It always has really, even when I was overweight. Now that it’s me and MY muscles that they are talking about it’s pretty hard not to be cranky!

  4. What a beautiful post. A little more love in our hearts and support to our fellow humans. Eradicate the fear and competitive backbiting. Inspiring 🙂

  5. Love this Bella! We all have our different goals! Really dislike when woman put down other woman! We should all respect each other more and be supportive. If you have nothing nice to say don’t say it at all. xo

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