Paging Sasha Fierce

Ask me what the hardest of part of bodybuilding is. 

  • Is it the exercise?  No (well, except on leg day.)
  • Is it the diet?  No (but ask me again the week before the show and I might have a different answer.)
  • Is it the posing?

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!


Posing practice 2012

Bikini poses are THE WORST for me, because I’m not comfortable putting my sexuality on display.  Don’t get me wrong, the poses are just putting your hand on your hip and walking with swagger; it’s not like you’re twerking or anything, but I still feel very uncomfortable and vulnerable.

Figure poses are so much easier for me because they just involve doing quarter turns without falling over.  Know what the hardest part of the figure pose was?  Waving good-bye!  I was like a deer in headlights.  I was fine with having judges compare my muscle groups against the woman standing next to me, but the moment it became about letting them in to see me, and my personality, that kind of freaked me out.

There are a lot of reasons why I find it difficult to be sexy.  For one, I’m a mom.  Moms aren’t sexy.  But it’s not like my kids are backstage with me; they’ll be home with a babysitter.

For another, I’m a feminist.  Feminists object to the objectification of women.  But since the male bodybuilders are wearing equally miniscule posing suits, where you can see pretty much everything, and they too are judged by comparisons of the same muscle groups, it’s equal objectification and just a quirk of the sport.  So my inner feminist is cool with it.

Mostly, I’m dealing with some emotional baggage.  When I was 20 years old and backpacking through France, I was held down in a car and sexually assaulted by a person who was supposedly a friend.  Even though I thought I had done everything “right” – I was sober; I was wearing a conservative outfit of pants and a long sleeve shirt; I said ‘no’ clearly and often – none of that mattered because it’s not about what the victim does or doesn’t do; it’s about the sexual predator seeking power.

This was a very shameful secret I kept for decades because I somehow thought it was my fault.  Doing my first bikini competition was a catharsis because I forced myself to be sassy on stage…and I didn’t die.  No one wanted to harm me, even though I was wearing a bikini and sticking out my assets.

I guess I could have gone to therapy, but where’s the fun in that?  Last year I took up beginners pole dancing lessons instead.  It was like I was on a mission, twenty years later, to reclaim what that a**hole took from me:  comfort in my own body and with my own sexuality.Pole invert

This is what I’ve learned:  It’s okay to be sexy.  Thrusting out your hips and liking it doesn’t mean you’re stupid.  You can look hot in a bikini and still be a good mom.

That said, I’m still not totally comfortable with the bikini poses.  My dance teacher, Serena Hicks, gave me a good trick.  She told me that when Beyoncé started her career she created an alter ego named Sasha Fierce.  When she went on stage “Sasha Fierce” was able to take command of the stage and be sexy and fearless, leaving “Beyoncé” to be shy and more of a ‘good girl’ off stage.  Beyonce Sasha Fierce

Well, if it worked for B, Ima give it a try!  Together with Serena, I’m creating a character I can be for the competition, just like I used to do when I was an actress, who has no problem owning the stage and walking with swagger.  Posing is my biggest obstacle and maybe a little bit of creativity and compartmentalization will allow me to push past it.

Incidentally, Beyoncé has since dropped the alter ego and is now comfortable with all the parts of herself, even the sexy, fearless parts.  That is my ultimate goal as well.  In the meantime, I’m paging my own inner Sasha Fierce.

Lisa ;)

Lisa Traugott is a Mom’s Choice Award winning writer, fitness blogger, wife and mom of two. You can read more about her in her new book, “She’s Losing It!” available at Resolution Front Cover.4837209 (c) 2015 Lisa Traugott. All rights reserved. No portion of this blog, including any text, photographs, and artwork, may be reproduced or copied without written permission.


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Showing 6 comments
  • Serena Hicks

    Wow – powerful post Lisa. Thank you for sharing and thereby claiming – or reclaiming – every magnificent piece of you. <3 <3 <3


      Thanks, Serena. YOU ROCK.

  • healthyfrenchie

    I’m so sorry to hear what you went through. I was also sexually assaulted 10 years ago and it took me a long time to come to term with it and it still affects some aspects of my life to this day. I did go to therapy for a bit and believe it or not it was fun. My Councillor was someone I could have been friends with. Anyway. it’s great to see you’re using body building as therapy! Good on you. What are you calling your alter ego?


      I’m sorry you went through that too and am glad you dealt with it. My alter ego is Kylie Fierce. I’ve been having so much fun with her; listening to a lot of gansta rap LOL

  • Cindy vatter

    Good article Lisa. I was kidnapped and attempted rape at nineteen and I too was wearing boys corduroy pants and a long sleeve shirt! It is about power and not sex. I don’t know if that’s why I’m uncomfortable too showing my assets or just upbringing but I totally agree that if you force yourself to be pretend to be what you want to be you will become it!


      God, that’s awful! I’m sorry to hear about that. Isn’t it odd – that need to stay covered, even years later? I’m having a lot of fun with my alter ego. Maybe you should give it a try too?

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