I'm behind on my e-mail, so my apologies for those of you who are awaiting some sort of response from me. Some of these e-mails are going to take me 10 minutes to read, EACH, so it's really going to take me awhile to catch up on the long ones. If you've received a reply from me within the last 2 days, it's because you've written me a simple greeting. The rest are rather complicated...*sigh* which doesn't help the fact that I've been busy lately running around, helping a friend prepare for a fitness/figure competition that is coming up. (Dare I call it a bikini show? It depends on the judges I guess.) I really think that this competition will be beneficial to the Philippines. It's the Carlos Morales Bodybuilding Classic. It's supposed to be a near carbon-copy of the Arnold Schwarzenegger Bodybuilding Classic held in the States each year. A few of my friends criticize the upcoming show because Carlos Morales won only one bodybuilding competition and now they ask what makes him think he has the "authority" to put his name on something like this. I'll be his defense attorney.
I, for one, am glad that he's holding this competition. While his critics are correct in a way, I don't believe that Mr. Morales is holding this bodybuilding show to thump his own chest. To me, it seems like a step in the right direction to bring the gym culture more into the mainstream. While it's true that most of the rich and/or famous are now working out regularly at Gold's, Fitness First, or Slimmers World, the fitness lifestyle is not part of the mainstream of what the masses are brainwashed to accept. Thin is still "in" where most people, both men and women, perceive beauty as simply being skinny....dare I say bony? Even some of the local bikini competitions seem to reward being a walking skeleton more than they would someone who carries a "fitness" or "figure" build. For those who don't know, basically "figure" is the new trend in women's fitness. Hawaiian Tropic and Hooters in the States model their judging on figure, even if it's toned down. I watched the local bikini competitions from a past year, and it looked more like a shabu (crystal methamphetamines) smoking contest instead of a fitness competition. Basically if you can come in as thin as a rail with little or no muscle tone, you will win, or at least place in the top 3. The thing is that I'm not sure that's what people really want to see. My boss thinks those girls are "gross" as he puts it. In contrast, almost every one of the girls that I know is always asking me to teach them the secrets of my arms and shoulders. Whenever I go to walk around Greenbelt, all of the foreigners (and local guys) stare at me and many come up to complement me on the fact that I'm not flabby, or a "skinny fat person" like my boss likes to say. "Wow...a filipina who lifts...cool!", is often their remark. Basically my boss says that there are many girls who are thinner than me in body size, but their bodyfat is so much higher...hence the "skinny fat girls". It's true I suppose that since Asian girls tend to distribute fat all over our bodies instead of just in the hips and thighs, it's harder for us to notice right away when we gain or lose weight.
So back to my point, Carlos Morales is holding his bodybuilding show here in the Philippines. I understand that it will have figure, fitness, and bodybuilding categories unless I'm mistaken. Well, it at least needs to have them if he is to make it like the Arnold Classic. From what I understand, he is also going to make the judging for the girls be more in-line with what is accepted in the States in the case of the figure/bikini competition. I hope that's true. For once, we might get girls to actually build a little bit of muscle tone instead of holding the aforementioned "shabu-smoking contest". Anybody can starve themselves or take drugs to lose bodyfat. But it takes ass-busting effort for women to gain even 2 lbs of muscle. You (girls, and even guys) don't just walk into a weight room and trip over a dumbbell causing muscles to pop out everywhere like a bad rash. If done right, the local competitions like Slimmers World Bikini Bodies and Great Bodies, Gold's Gyms and Fitness First's upcoming shows will benefit from the added attention from Carlos Morales Bodybuilding Classic. At that point, fitness for women might finally be "in". Once again, the Philippines is 20 years behind the world. The rest of the world doesn't really love runway models. Those freak shows are restricted to Paris or Milan and are patronized by gay men and old women. The average red-blooded male prefers a buff cheerleader type. In any event, if Carlos can pull it off, he might just generate the momentum to thrust our collective perspective on beauty and fitness into the 21st century...finally! Good luck Carlos!
March 7th, 2005
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