I arrive to a sight of rippled muscles, the pungent whiff of fake tan, a very energetic DJ and lots of yelling.
‘Left and tricep pose’
‘Back pose please ladies’
‘Number 89 to the front and side’
‘Aaaaand pose down’ (which was basically a pose-off)
Two weeks ago, I wrote a story about Natalie Joyce’s appearance at a bodybuilding competition. She looked incredible. But more importantly – she looked confident and happy.
After the humiliating and public affair her ex husband former deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce had with his staffer, I was totally here for Natalie taking back her power in whichever way she saw fit.
But I can’t say it eliminated all of my upwards nose turning at the sport of bodybuilding and fitness modelling.
I admitted this while on the phone to the NSW State President of iCompete Natural, the competition Natalie was a part of, and so he challenged me to come and see it in the flesh.
"Don’t judge it until you’re in it," he told me. "A lot of the women here have been through trauma or abusive relationships. This is something they can do just for them, and it makes them feel powerful. Many of them only come for one competition and then give it up," Rab Mehajer explained.
The next competition was being held at the Australian Fitness Show at Sydney’s ICC, which is basically a who’s who of everyone in the industry.