Alan Mansfield and Barbara McGinn
The law endlessly writes itself on bodies. It engraves itself on parchments made with the skin of its subjects. (de Certau, 1988:7)
A vascular woman may turn the average pencil-neck off. (Ross, Sept. 1990:45)
Posing: The Art of Hardcore Physical Display…
Rip Up: Your Secret Blueprint for the Ultimate Ripped Physique-A new three-way programme for razor sharp rip-up techniques for that cut-to-the-ribbons look…brutal iron-pumping routines…
Savage Sets: The Ultimate Pre-Exhaust Pump Out-Your guide to the savage-cut look you've always wanted…It digs down deep into muscle fiber, pulverises layers that have never been stressed before and shocks the most stubborn, lazy areas of your body. (Kennedy, Summer 1990:47)
'Awesome Arnie' is the archetypal image of the bodybuilder. The Titan of Testosterone', 'the Deltoid Destroyer', 'the Pectoral Prince', 'the Pied Piper of Pump', Arnold Schwarzenegger is, in Dylan Jones' words 'Rambo one step on: a little more irony, a little more vicious realism, a little more muscle' (Jones, 1990). What the imagery surrounding Schwarzenegger and his films makes clear is that muscularity and masculinity can be, and often are, conflated. The lexicon and imagery of the Robert Kennedy books cited above would not be out of place on one of the posters for a Schwarzenegger film, or indeed any of the other violent macho movies of Hollywood's current crop. The perhaps surprising thing, however, is that these books are all publications directed specifically towards women. Although couched in quite violent and brutal language they are all from the 'Female Bodybuilders' Bookshelf'.
The picture of the bodybuilder Sandy Riddell on the front cover of Ironman, October 1990, displays much of the contradiction and irony of this mismatch between bookshelf and language, between the feminine and the masculine. Sandy