You're a Big-Breasted Blond
The Atomic Dog is a weekly feature that isn't necessarily about weight training or bodybuilding. Sometimes it's about sports in general, sex, women, or male issues of some kind. At times it's inspirational, but it can also be informative, funny, and even a little weird, but hopefully, always interesting and a little controversial. We hope it reflects the nature of Testosterone magazine in that, just as no man is completely one-dimensional and only interested in one subject, neither are we. If it makes you think or laugh — or even get angry — it's served its purpose.
I've got news for you.
If you lift weights and you're any good at all, the world regards you as the male equivalent of a lipstick wearing, high-heeled, butt-twitching blonde with enormous, barely constrained breasts.
That's right, you're Pam Anderson, Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, and Paris Hilton — well, if Paris had any breasts to speak of — combined. The world thinks you're as dumb as week-old Arkansas road kill.
You're on the right. Society is on the left.
In society's eye, big biceps are the male equivalent to big tits, both attributes somehow being inversely related to intelligence.
Maybe this doesn't come as a revelation to you, but if you're a weight-transformed nerd, you have to admit that it's a perverse turn of events.
When I was a kid, I was discriminated against because I wasn't athletic. Kid society holds athleticism at a high premium, whereas having brains earns you lots of noogies and wedgies and a whole lot of other indignities ending with the letters i-e-s.
Hell, kids didn't even have to know you to tell that you were a nerd. The thick glasses were a giveaway, as was the Binghamton's Guide to North American Songbirds that was tucked away in the back pocket of your neatly pressed JC Penney slacks.
Luckily, grown-up society was more forgiving. They recognized your attributes and couldn't wait for you to grow up so that you could use that big brain to cure diseases, find big loopholes in their tax returns, or invent a razor that had three blades, no, four! Whoa! Maybe even...five! Holy mackerel, who knows how many blades!?! You're a kid with above-average smarts with almost unlimited potential!!
Too bad you used that well-functioning brain to bring about a physical transformation. As your biceps grew, your wimpiness receded — but so did your status as a smart guy.
Society now regards you and me as big, friendly, slobbering, floppy-eared Newfoundlands, worthy of perhaps a pat on the head but having little to offer in terms of intellectual stimulation.
I was having a drink at a local watering hole the other night when I overheard two guys having a conversation. From what I could gather, one of them worked at a bookstore and the other guy was an editor at Penguin books who was in town to visit relatives. Both looked as if they had endured a long, hard childhood filled with wedgies and perhaps even swirlies.
The editor asked the bookstore clerk where the writers in town hung out.
I couldn't resist. Before he could answer, I said, "They hang out here."
They looked at me through their smudgy glasses and immediately categorized me in their card catalog brains under s, for surfer, or q, for quarterback, sub-category aging, or maybe even m for meathead, sub-category generic, weighlifting — anything but a writer — and turned away without responding.
I wanted to pull a Moe on them and clunk Larry and Curly's heads together for their sheer rudeness as much as anything else, but I restrained myself.
I get this kind of reaction all the time. Say for instance I'm caught reading anything without the words "hot", "throbbing", or "greatest sports feats" in the title. Why, strangers and casual acquaintances look at me as if I had a string of tiny pink rumba-dancing poodles coming out of my ears. My brain and my body, at least my body's appearance, is suddenly regarded as an incongruity. Hey, I read plenty of sports books or books that do have the words hot or throbbing in the title, but that's not all that I am.
Literature, the movies, and real-life abound with stories of wimpy-looking guys who turned out to have some unforeseen strength, power, or ability, but try finding any similar scenarios that involve strong-looking guys who turned out to be smart, too.
The only examples I could think of all come from comic books, mainly because comics are generally written by nerds for nerds. As far as books, the closest thing I could think of was, believe it or not, Tarzan. Yeah, Tarzan of Tarzan and the Apes fame. In the series of books by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan was rescued from the jungle at a young age and educated at Oxford University before deciding to return to the jungle. Yeah, the book Tarzan spoke like Tony Blair, although hopefully a whole bunch of octaves lower.
Tarzan of the Apes, as drawn by Frank Frazetta.
I guess I shouldn't be surprised that Hollywood turned him into a monosyllabic simpleton because the combination of an athletic body and a superior brain stretches the fabric of reality! Sure, the public can buy a guy who speaks to the animals, kills lions with his bare hands, and swings from vine to vine to get around the jungle, but making him smart is like, wow, bull goose loony.
Maybe I'm being too hard on society because we all tend to stereotype. I can't deny that the average athlete sounds like a moron when he's being interviewed on television. I swear I'd donate my entire collection of Racquel Darrian tapes to charity if any one of them said something witty or original.
Maybe the whole "beauty is devoid of brains" way of thinking stems from the cavalcade of bimbos most of us see every day on television and in real life. Most of these racks on Manolo Blahnik stilts realized early in life that book learnin' wasn't their strong suit and they'd best cultivate the garden of their loins instead of the garden of their minds.
I challenge you to think of one beautiful actress, fitness model, or stripper that really had it going on upstairs, and I'm not talking about what happens in her apartment when she takes her director, editor, or club manager home for some career advancement.
Of course I'd be remiss not to admit that some of these shallow, brain numb women taught me a thing or two. Why, a fitness model once told me that anal sex can be a "bummer if you're not, like, totally relaxed," and a stripper I met a few days ago told me that she'd been in a hot tub with Tiger Woods last month in Vegas and, in addition to being "real boring," Tiger was also uncircumcised.
Jasmine didn't like that; didn't like that at all. Said it reminded her of the Dumb Donald character from The Fat Albert cartoon show. She thought it was a "big turn-off."
Dumb Donald lives in Tiger Wood's pants.
Can't say that I blame her.
I don't know why it's so hard for physical and mental beauty to co-exist in the same human form. I mean, you wouldn't think it'd be as rare as a Major League pitcher who can hit, too, but it is.
Just imagine finding a beautiful woman with comic-book artist rendered breasts whose brain was as tight, nimble, and agile as her hoo-hah.... why, it's the stuff of science fiction.
Come to think of it, there was a Steve Martin "science fiction" movie in the 80's that touched on the subject. It was called The Man With Two Brains. In it, the pioneering neurosurgeon, Dr. Michael Hfuhruhurr (played by Martin) falls in love with a disembodied brain in a liquid-filled jar. She's intelligent and kind, but she has the obvious drawback of living in a pickle jar.
Hfuhruhurr goes about finding a body to match her brain. While wandering the streets, he finds a beautiful prostitute who propositions the doctor in the squeakiest, Hollywood bimbo voice imaginable. If I remember correctly, the conversation went like this:
Dr. Hfuhruhurr: "I want to inject Windex in your veins, drag your corpse into my laboratory, and transplant another brain into your body."
Beautiful hooker: "I don't moind."
Dr. Hfuhruhurr and his girlfriend.
While the movie presents a wonderful, uplifting fantasy that gives hope to us all, being able to transplant brains into the bodies of beautiful hookers is probably years away, especially if that damn Bill Frist and his buddies have anything to say about it.
Anyhow, one of the few segments of society that seems to often break this stereotype is the garden variety nerd I spoke of earlier, albeit the nerd who focused his brain power on building up his or her own body. That's right, bubba, I'm talking about you.
One of the first lifters to pierce the perception of good body, poo-poo mind was Arnold. Soon after the documentary, Pumping Iron, was released, producers George Butler and Bill Gaines were invited to do the Today show by Barbara Walters. According to Butler, Barbawa was furious that they brought Arnold along with them. She really wished they'd left the brainless "hulk" back in his cave, or wherever he lived. Butler recounted the story as follows:
"We sat down, and she was hostile to Arnold, and the first question she asked him was, Do you take steroids?' She expected him to say no, but instead Arnold eloquently explained that to be a champion one couldn't rely on steroids, but that yes, he did take them."
Then, master showman, master manipulator Arnold offered Walters his arm.
"It's soft!" she squealed.
He simultaneously convinced Barbawa of his honesty, his humanity, and his intelligence. In other words, he snowed the bitch. Except for the smart part.
Arnold has done more than his part to change the image of the muscle man, but society generally regards him as a rarity, something like that goat in Florida that was born with Dale Earnhardt's number 3 on his side.
"Hail, that's just one goat, a spayshul goat, I'll grant you that, but show me another Dale Earnhardt goat, or mebbe another that's got a Pennzoil emblem on its ass. Then mebbe I'll start thinkin' there's some sort of movement or trend going on."
The famous Dale Earnhardt goat.
So we remain blondes with Howitzer-sized tits, at least in society's eyes. It doesn't matter so much unless you're trying to sell your mind to a prospective employer instead of your body. If that's the case, I suggest you cover up your biceps and put on some smudgy glasses.
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