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Man arms

Man arms

Posted: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 8:00 pm
By: By Lisa Smartt

Some of you may never speak to me again after reading this column. But I hope you’ll keep an open mind and realize that everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. Occasionally, I get tired of writing about funny things that happen at the grocery store or my own parenting mistakes or the fact that I can’t do seventh grade math. Instead, I get the inkling to write an opinion piece about a cultural phenomenon. And, of course, when one decides to write an opinion piece about a cultural phenomenon, well, one opens oneself up to a lot of criticism.
So I’m taking a deep breath and I’m just going to say it. I don’t really understand the new fad of women wanting man arms. There. I said it. I’m all for getting in shape. I’m all for physical fitness. I’m all for good health. But I kind of like it when a man has man arms and a woman has woman arms.
I first noticed the trend when a woman news commentator made mention of the “beautiful biceps and definition” of a female celebrity’s arms. A picture of the celebrity flashed on the screen and I knew our culture was on the verge of going stark-raving crazy. Her arms looked like a man’s arms. My husband gasped. “What in the world? Are they saying her arms are beautiful? She has man arms! She has more definition than the average high school boy. I think she could bench press more than most guys.”
I know what some of you are thinking. I can almost hear you whispering it under your breath. You’re thinking that my husband feels threatened by her strength, determination and physical agility. You’re thinking that his masculine identity is too fragile and he needs to get over himself. I don’t think so. I think he just doesn’t think a woman is as attractive when she has more bicep definition than the average guy. He has a right to his opinion. And I’m sure he’s not alone.
Come to think of it, women are usually the ones complimenting other women who have man arms. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a man say, “The minute I saw Karen’s biceps, I was smitten and had to ask her out.” No. Women are the ones talking about the tone and definition of other women’s arms. Men are thinking about something else entirely.
If you are a woman and you want arms and shoulders with a lot of definition and muscular development, knock yourself out. Go for it. I support you. And if you’re a man and you find muscular development on a woman wildly attractive, I support you as well.  
But if you’re a woman and you don’t want arms and shoulders with a lot of definition and muscular development, you have rights, too. And if you’re a man and you think a woman with a little less muscle mass is more attractive, well, don’t be afraid of your opinion, brother. It is what it is.
We live in a great country. The home of the free and the brave. We don’t have to agree on everything. My husband doesn’t understand the new trend in women’s arms. And that’s OK. He likes a woman with a little more “soft and squishy.” I’m happy to oblige.
For more information about Lisa Smartt, visit her website,

Published in The Messenger 3.21.12