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The Women Hardcover – January 9, 1994


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Artisan; First edition. edition (January 9, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1885183011
  • ISBN-13: 978-1885183019
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 0.5 x 11.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #157,167 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Having experienced a surge in popularity in the 1980s, women's bodybuilding produced a number of how-to books by stars such as Lisa Lyon, Gladys Portugues, and Rachel McLish. Dobbins's book is a gallery of 50 color and black-and-white "art" photos (read: there is some tasteful nudity) showing off the physiques of female bodybuilders in studio settings. The brief text recaps the muscles-vs.-beauty controversy in the sport and emphasizes the special obstacles women face, physically and psychologically, in the form of criticism from family and friends. This book champions the "muscles are beautiful" side. Dobbins, who coauthored The Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding (LJ 9/1/85) with Arnold Schwarzenegger, has extensive photographic experience with bodybuilders, and it shows in these crisp, artful photographs. Recommended for public libraries.
Kathy Ruffle, Coll. of New Caledonia Lib., Prince George, B.C.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Bill Dobbins is a photographer, writer, and video maker who has been working with champion bodybuilders for more than a decade. He is the author of five books, including Arnold's Modern Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding, with Arnold Schwarzenegger. His photographs of bodybuilders have been the subject of several one-man exhibitions and have been featured in Joe Weider's publications Muscle & Fitness and Flex. His work has also appeared in Sports Illustrated, Cosmopolitan, Penthouse, Essence, and Newlook.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 28, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I found the photos in this book to be quite beautiful. The women are shown as exotic, beautiful bodybuilders - not gross overly muscular freaks, nor phony "Miss America" plastic beauty queens. And for those of you that are wondering, yes there are nudes in the book. Why that detail is always ignored in reviews is beyond me. I guess they want to make you buy it before that is disclosed.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 6, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I'm a female bodybuilder and I HATE the cheesecake photos of physique women I see in the bodybulding magazines. The pictures in The Women, on the other hand, are artistic and respectful of what these female bodybuilders have achieved. I think Bill Dobbins is to women with muscle what Ansel Adams was to Yosemite, and Dobbins' photos will be the ones people still look at 50 years from now. Okay, I guess I tipped my hand..I really like the book!
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By astro121275@hotmail.com on December 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover
"The women" here are unprecedented in history: women with much greater muscularity and strength than many men (including me). Until the 1980s, women did not have the chance to build this huge muscularity. Yet within a few years, massively muscular female bodybuilders (FBBs) were on the scene. Are these women (1) grotesque freaks or (2) a new kind of femininity? The author thinks it's #2 and presents these photos are proof.
None of "the women" here look like men in drag. All have elements of conventional femininity: stunning faces, luxurious coiffures, slender waists, and curvaceous hips. Some model seductive lingerie. But the also have massive biceps, shoulders, and backs, as well as hard, flat, strapping chests with virtually no bosom. (As part of their exercise regiment and diet, FBBs tend to increase their chest size while dramatically losing breast mass.)
So what are "the women": half man/half woman monsters or a new kind of "muscular femininity"--elements of traditional womanhood combined with a new look of strength and power? For me, it's a "new femininity." The elements of traditional womanhood are so seductively powerful in these women that I could never call them masculine. The best description for them is "titanic." The Titans in Greek mythology were a race of massively muscular men and women--the women far more muscular than an ordinary man. Yet the Titan women still had al the traditional elements of womanhood at the same time. And that's "the women."
Two concluding observations from reading this book. First, what we look for in a woman's body depends on what we expect from them. If we expect clinging fragility, we look for a weak, delicate body.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 14, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I found this book, with its exquisite pictures, sexy and very entertaining. The women are lovely, sexy and strong, and as a gay woman, I truly appreciate that combination.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 26, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This book is a marvel. It portrays many of the world's leading female bodybuilders in challenging and alluring poses. The pictures of Sharon Bruneau are reason enough to buy the book. It has brightened up many a long night for me.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book remained on my coffee table for years. I wanted others to see how beautiful feminine muscle could be. The pictures are just magnificent. They are of some of the top female bodybuilders of that time. Today, it seems the sport is taking a turn in a downward direction. The sport is constantly struggling to get the recognition & respect it deserves. This book is an excellent portrayal of "Female Beauty".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 15, 1997
Format: Hardcover
This book contains an outstanding collection of photographs of some of the most exquisite, stunning female bodybuilders in the world...a must have if you have a differing view of feminine beauty. Also includes an article about womens' bodybuilding, and about the sport's struggle against the prevailing standard of femininity
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 12, 1998
Format: Hardcover
If you have ever wanted to see the true form of bodybuilding's greatest women competitors, this is the place to see them....stunning photography, and stunning women!!! A must for those who truly adore the well defined feminine form!!
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