Women have always been the soft beauty of the sexes; made of sugar and spice and everything nice. . . OK, let’s be real! Women are the care takers, the bag holders, the house cleaners, and the glue that holds families and life together. Let’s not forget we still continue to create life! Yes, we are sugar and spice, but we are all strong and BRAWN wrapped up in what used to only be viewed as a smooth, curvy, soft body. All of the macho “pick things up and put them down”, jacked muscles and fun activities were predominantly geared towards men. Our BRAWN was always there, but we needed to bring out the BUFF! Like the Hulk exploding out of his clothes when you made him mad!

Let’s travel back about 100 years. Between the 1920’s and 1940’s, something started to happen with women’s fitness. There were these so-called “fitness machines” of a crazy sort coming out during this era. These machines looked like fun, but sometimes almost painful, just standing there and having a band vibrating around your waste, legs, and rollers kneading up and down your body. Of course women wore heels to workout in this era (please see links). These exercises looked uncomfortable and all in all just silly. There were also different types of stretching movements that resemble today’s yoga movements. Well, it wasn’t perfect, but it was the start of a new era for women! BRAWN was making its move to BUFF!!

Check out this videos to catch a glimpse of fitness in the 1920’s and 1940’s! https://youtu.be/Ue6l7P5lROY , and the 1940’s https://youtu.be/7G7cBihgUmg , and this Vintage Glamour Girl Workout. https://youtu.be/c56gRLmDwUs 

It wasn’t until the 1970’s through the year 2000 that women really started “Getting Physical!” With very familiar names such as Jane Fonda, Richard Simmons. In 1982, Jane Fonda made the first ever fitness video. Her home workout series stormed the world! Soon to be followed by Richard Simmon’s, “Sweatin to the Oldies,” and other at home fitness workouts.

Meanwhile, modern women’s bodybuilding also began in the 1970’s. It introduced the “BUFF” type of female physique. It challenged the social view of acceptable feminine female bodies in terms of looks and physical development. This sport would have women build and create the maximum exquisite development of the muscles of their body and change the soft—yet strong—BRAWN to a now sharp, defined BUFF. Building big muscles, but also involving aesthetic consideration such as shape, symmetry, proportion, and just defined beauty of lines and structure, this era was the start of something wonderful! Women taking charge of their bodies and developing their muscles purely for the purpose of sculpting and creating a body that was a work of art.

Keep in mind that the opening years of women’s body building were still visually made up of softer body contours and toning. Let’s just say the founding mothers of women’s body building were smaller versions of the jacked female body builders that surfaced about 10 years later. Women learned that they could build their bodies to the level of BUFF that was far beyond what was previously expected. And that is exactly what they did!

Of course, female body builders had experienced a degree of gender discrimination in the sport. Nonetheless, they still grew in leaps and bounds, defying any and all push-back from naysayers. They laid the foundation for today’s female bodybuilders, whether you just enjoyed sculpting your BUFF body or you choose to actively compete in the sport. Bodybuilding for women has created a revolution in how people view the female body, and most importantly how we view ourselves. We are strong and beautiful! Today, for the average woman we have an endless list of group fitness classes: kickboxing, HIIT, Semperfit (functional fitness), yoga, and CrossFit to name a few. What was once almost a cute gesture for us girls to do is now BOOMING! Women are staying fit through pregnancy and after! This era has empowered us, and we have empowered it, creating the new and improved version of WOMAN!

Our history of going from BRAWN to BUFF has been a short journey so far, but we have brought out the Superwoman from within and taken our bodies into our own hands. We now control our own beauty standard and will choose to be BUFF, to get fit at home, to be an athlete, or even a female bodybuilder, choosing whatever level of fitness suits us. We have all grown leaps and bounds from asking a man to pick up a heavy weight at the gym, to loading up our own stacks to press.

Today is a great day to be a woman! We are loving, we are feminine, we are caring, and we are powerfully beautiful! I thank those who came before me, making my journey of fitness a wonderful one!

Kitty Teresi