What is a Swole Sister?

I had absolutely nothing to do with the making of this video, but I really wish I had. 

I first used the term “swole sister”  to describe a muscular woman who trains seriously and is proud of her strength. If I remember correctly, I was in one of those rapidly devolving arguments with a bunch of anonymous bros on the internet about muscular women being “gross”, attempting to defend my theory that men who are so unattracted to physically strong women that they feel the need to publically share their revulsion are emasculated by them.

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Fun with Stock Images Vol 3: “Female Lifter”

Bring on the pink dumbbells and coordinated fitness “outfits”, because the LADIES are about to LIFT! Gals, please double check that your overpriced headband is firmly in place and make sure to do your 8lb dumbbell lunges with your ass facing the benches so all the guys can see how firm and toned you are from your 1 set of 20 reps of each of the 10 pointless, overly complicated exercises that cute trainer showed you during your complimentary sign-up session at your crappy corporate gym.

Also, please don’t lift anything more than 20lbs or you will get gross and bulky like Madonna or Jessica Biel in Blade 3. As long as you keep doing bicep curls in front of the mirror with a bored look on your face after 30 minutes spent on the recumbent bicycle in the “fat loss” zone while reading SELF or PEOPLE, you are guaranteed to look like Jennifer Anistonwho, as we all know (because she constantly reminds us), has achieved the perfect female body through a strict regimen of low-impact yoga and a diet of bottled water and organic macrobiotic vegan salad.

Seriously, I don’t doubt that this is actually what the vast majority of people think a “female lifter” does. It kind of makes me wonder what most people imagine me doing in the gym when I say I do weight training. Actually, scratch that, I don’t care what people think I do in the gym because I’m stronger than them. Continue reading

Fun With Stock Images Vol. 2: “Healthy Lifestyle”


I really dislike using the term “lifestyle” because it’s used so ubiquitously in advertising to promote everything from spray-on salad dressing to lawn care equipment–things that don’t in any way represent your priorities in life or the important choices you make on a daily basis. The most frequently used lifestyle-phrase in advertising, marketing and research is “healthy lifestyle”, which seems to mean anything from choosing to be a non-smoker to being a triathlete, but is most often associated with vague notions of healthy behavior such as doing yoga, running, and eating 5 servings of fruit and vegetables per day.

Given how vague our definition of healthy lifestyle is, it’s surprising that depictions of a “healthy lifestyle” suggest that choices and priorities that promote better health and lower disability are strictly limited to attractive white people who like to stand in front of blue skies and throw their arms up in gratitude at being so fit and happy and able to afford such nice performance sportswear. Observe: Continue reading