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Woman Excluded from Contest Photos Online

This came up on my FB feed and I thought it was interesting… the woman lost 140 lbs and is damn proud of her transformation, yet is still nowhere even close to being stage ready. The photographer chose not to include pics of Her on the online contest gallery. Thoughts? (I’ll wait with my own take)


It’s a tough one. The promoters have a show to run. They are selling a certain image. There are two takes in my mind:

  1. Don’t include the pics of someone who shouldn’t be there. You want to project that your show is for serious competitors. You don’t want to push away the serious folks and get a reputation as the “inclusive” show.

  2. Include the lady as a special feature with before/after shots. Sure, she has no business on stage with the other competitors. But she looks 100x better than she used to. The multi billion dollar fitness industry traffics in crazy transformations. It might get some people interested in competing or attending your show next year that maybe aren’t part of the BB scene now. In a way you’re sort of co opting/piggybacking off her feel good story to promote your show.

I don’t know the right answer as I’ve never promoted a show. I will say that if this was a guy nobody would give a rip. I also don’t think this is fat shaming or some other nonsense.

She shaved and put on the fake tan and got up on stage so people could JUDGE her physique. Don’t get mad if you don’t measure up and they don’t want to promote your physique.


I had a similar incident happen at my job. A younger girl jumped on the recent band wagon and made bodybuilding her new obsession. She took her supplements, did thousands of reps on cable exercises, and of course, had a fitspirational instagram page. She went to posing classes, hired a diet coach, and almost entered a bodybuilding contest looking like she had not done a single athletic activity in her life. Thankfully somebody finally told her to either jump on a few cycles or give it up. The problem is our culture is too soft. Everybody expects positive feedback, despite outcome. Eventually, they believe the comments on their social media. There’s a lot of shitty “competitors” out there now because of this.


I understand she is disappointed, but I believe, as harsh as this sounds, she, as an adult, should see that she looks nothing like her competitors, nor would someone look at her and think, “She looks like a figure competitor or female bodybuilder”. And as Basement mentioned, perhaps a promoter does not want pictures showing anyone in that sort of condition because it might invite others in similar subpar condition, which makes the show a yawn fest for serious attendees/fans.

Look, I’m not a spectacular bodybuilder, but I think I at least looked good or “middle of the pack” and I came in shredded. And I’ve been a fan for a long time. So when I show up to amateur shows, natty or NPC, and I see people who look like they are FOUR or more months out, I actually think to myself, “Goddamn it! WTF is this?!” Usually I just zone out during the routine or scoff at the lineup when I see such a person next to people who understand this endeavor.

I think it is great that she lost all that weight because such a change can literally change someone’s life, for better health, quality of life, and in some cases can help someone finally find a partner. But that has nothing to do with bodybuilding.


The photographer landed in an unfortunate “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation. There was no right move for him so he erred on the side of caution, contacted her personally and made it as “right” as he could from a personal perspective.

From a physique/comp perspective- she’s not in the same class. Maybe it’s not currently popular to say or do, but it isn’t offensive to me at all to say “You, you &you- Go home. You don’t meet the standard.” especially in a competition that is based on aesthetic judgement.

Well. She paid the entry fee. So might as well get pre judged. But that doesn’t mean you make it on a poster for the show.

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I agree 100%. I wouldn’t put myself next to serious competitors except as a joke. Certainly wouldn’t expect to be included in any promotional or ad material.

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Having none of the discipline it takes to be a body builder, I’ll comment as someone who has lost 100+ lbs twice in my life (fat child, medical issue as an adult).

She really shouldn’t have been there in the first place, let’s be honest. It’s not the job of a BODYBUILDING contest to make her feel good about herself. Like others have said, they have a sport with standards and rules and a competition to keep legitimate. I wouldn’t expect to be the poster boy in any other sport competition that I didn’t come close to winning, no one should. If she really wanted to be a bodybuilder, she should do it… like the other contestants have done. For her, that might mean surgery and another year or two of prep, so be it if that’s what it takes.

She did a great thing, she should be happy and proud that she transformed herself. No one else (in the real world) is obligated to give her anything.


I’m pretty sure we can blame Chris Farley for this.


It’s similar to this in my opinion. I have nothing but respect for people like this, but you are entering a contest for people with above average physiques. Don’t be ignorant and upset when no one is PC and praises you for all your efforts. I wouldn’t apply at hooters if I had gyno.

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Also in a recent video he said his body fat was 10 percent and was perceived to be 5 percent in the video. I smells some bullshits

I for one give her my blessings, because she had the courage to even try to stand on stage. Also now she is the talk of the world, and I know there’s many women out there who probably has same situation and would not dare to share their own progress. It took a lot of courage, so let’s at lest give her credit where credit is do. Her progress to loss all the weight got her there in the first place. It took a lot to loss all that and hard work plus determination. Isn’t that what lifting weights or the fitness world is all about, losing weight and building muscles? Maybe we should be more encouraging and giving advise to what next she should do.

Cover up her FUPA. That’s what she should do next.

I can see multiple sides to this.

1- This woman made a very respectable transformation, and is proud of herself. Unquestionably she should be! I’m sure that even the most hardcore competitors wouldn’t argue this point.


2- A physique contest, where the levels of development go far and above beyond what the average person would ever want, may not be the place to show off the results of your personal accomplishment/journey, when despite the very impressive changes, you are still ridiculously well below the condition of even the bottom placing competitors.

I have seen instances where contests have specific divisions, or types of recognition for “transformations” or “weight loss” types of accomplishments, but even then, when such an entrant ventures into an open class, no one is surprised when they place at the bottom.

As to the show in question’s promotional/online material,… it’s a tough call. You want to recognize an impressive accomplishment, BUT, you also want your contest to attract the best competitors. It’s better for future shows, and it’s most certainly better for those who come wanting to go up against tough competition. I can tell you from experience, as competitor and judge, that winning your class, or winning an entire show, against other athletes who weren’t just not even close to you, but had no business being onstage is a crummy feeling. You want to be damn proud of yourself, and yes, the personal pride of the journey and effort etc etc is a win in itself, BUT… when you’ve got your contest photos, and you;'re looking at the pics of the line up… seeing guys who look like they needed to drop another 15 lbs, of could have used an easy 5 more years putting on muscle,… well, it can take something away.

[There are plenty of online figures (authors, coaches etc) who compete, but will NEVER show a photo from their stage line-ups. It’s something that other competitors ALWAYS notice.]



Is it also body shaming for the judges to not give her the win? Maybe everyone should get a participation trophy and there should be no winner. People like that shouldn’t step on stage in the first place

Can we consider the other women in the show? Once you put that woman on the promo poster, the poster becomes all about her. She is the one who stands out after all. The other women are marginalized, and that’s not fair to them. The least bad way to handle this to put together a separate product highlighting her transformation.