King Kamali breaks down the key changes that Women’s Bodybuilding needs to make in order for the division to succeed.
There was a time only a few years ago where it seemed like Women’s Bodybuilding was on the verge of completely dying. It was no longer featured at the Olympia weekend and rarely seen in majority of IFBB competitions throughout the year. All of that seemed to change with the announcement that the Olympia 2020 would feature Women’s Bodybuilding once again. But will it be able to grow and succeed? Or will it fall down the same path due to lack of interest? In our latest GI Exclusive interview, King Kamali shares his honest opinion on what women bodybuilders need to do to save the Women’s Bodybuilding division.
There hasn’t been a Women’s Bodybuilding competition held at the Olympia since 2014. Without a Ms. Olympia to fight towards – all of these years the Women’s Bodybuilding division has faltered and barely even existed in the IFBB. It’s like having a footballs eason without a Super Bowl at the end. There’s less incentive and it actively minimized the division to near death.
All of that is changing now with the Olympia 2020 featuring the Ms. Olympia competition once again. Jake Wood had always championed the Women’s Bodybuilding division at his Wings Of Strength shows. Now that he owns the Olympia weekend event, he aims to champion it further during the biggest bodybuilding weekend of the year.
Iris Kyle, the last person to win the Ms. Olympia (above).
But is that enough to save the Women’s Bodybuilding division? Unfortunately, this specific division has suffered problems for decades due to constantly changing expectations of what these competitors should look like on stage. “Femininity” is often a word that is brought up in conjunction with the division. There have been eras where the femininity was lost due to extreme muscle size. There have been other years with femininity was the focus – but then the muscle suffered. It led to confusion for the competitors and a slow spiral down for the division as a whole.
During our conversation with King Kamali, we asked him what the division can do to help bring Women’s Bodybuilding back up as one of the more popular divisions. King is always a blunt and honest figure in the industry – so we knew he’d hold nothing back.
King Kamali believes that femininity needs to be the focus of the Women’s Bodybuilding division. He does not think that muscular should be held as important as the Men’s Open Bodybuilding division. Instead, there should be a consistent focus on synergizing feminine features with muscle and aesthetic.
This would take consistency from both the competitors and the judges. King believes that women bodybuilders shouldn’t be rewarded for mass monster size in the same way Men’s Open often does. Bigger cannot equal better for the Women’s Open division. King believes if that can be achieved – the division will gain more competitors, more popularity, and more success for everyone involved.
Of course, this is easier said than done in such a subjective sport. How does one define what “femininity” even means on a scoring level? That’s tough to say. But what can’t happen is a reactionary back and forth from year after year. In past eras, one year the most muscular woman would be rewarded only for the next year a more conditioned feminine look gets the top prize. This confuses competitors and fans. It ultimately causes self harm to the division as a whole.
Ultimately, this year’s Ms. Olympia will be the jumping off point on how to progress forward. Perhaps under new ownership, the Olympia will start to help bring major changes to the Women’s Bodybuilding division. For now we’ll just have to wait and see.
Check out King Kamali’s full comments in our latest GI Exclusive interview segment above!