Presenting yourself in the best possible way is important to all people, not just bodybuilders and the like when they step on stage. Posture, hair, makeup, facial expression, speed of foot steps and deliberate movements with gender specific body language is critical to epitomizing your image as an ethereal being and not a mere mortal.
Do You Have What It Takes?
I remember savagely ridiculing myself after a show and my friend Scott Ferguson said “ You get on stage almost naked in front of thousands of people and are judged on your body, almost no one could do that.” I think his point is no matter how bad you think you presented, or your conditioning was, people are paying to see you with your clothes off so you can’t suck that bad.
The most important thing about stepping on stage that people forget until they are ON STAGE is the AUDIENCE! You’re virtually naked in front of hundreds and sometimes thousands of people and they have cameras with instagram. Your emotional state is reflected off the crowd. If you’re comfortable they are comfortable, if you’re nervous it makes them uncomfortable. Their emotional reaction determines the feedback they give you, and that positive feedback can be channeled into more confidence in your performance and thus you give a better performance which again is reflected. So there is a positive or negative spiral to your performance based on your anxiety or lack thereof when you step on stage. For this reason some people have a glass of red wine, or take a xanax and/or smoke some weed before they pump up.
In 2011 at the NPC Nationals I could see the judges faces. I was the most conditioned I have ever been and looked surreal but I was so thrown off by the disinterest and disappointment on the judges faces after my first few failed poses I ended up panicking and I forgot half the mandatory poses. Thats like forgetting how to chew. I was severely marked down for that 1st round.
I say this because I want to highlight how this often overlooked element of the sport is one of the most profound and breaks people all the time. This and this alone is why I don’t consider someone a bodybuilder unless they have AT LEAST been on stage once. This whole “Im a bodybuilder because I say so” movement is nonsense. You’re not a mother because you got pregnant, you’re a mother because you gave birth, getting pregnant is the fun part. Likewise, Lifting weights doesn’t make you a bodybuilder; dieting, posing, AND presenting your masterpiece makes you a bodybuilder. Lifting weights is the fun part.
Your Stage Identity and How To Sell It
Most people can’t take themselves seriously when they pose. Posing isn’t just hitting the appropriate poses, at the appropriate time; its Displaying your masterpiece to a piece of music. The theme and mood of the music piece has to fit the Identity you present. And it has to be the appropriate time, not have foul language, not be to heavy, and not be so fast you can’t pose to it. I suppose first have an Idea of the character you’re going to play when you step onstage.
Typically Bikini competitors are either sultry and sexy, or bubbly and cute, whereas most figure women are either like regal queens or battle hardened warriors. Bodybuilders tend to either be fluid and graceful posing to R&B, or stocky, rugged, and aggressive posing to hard rock. Suit selection goes with the skin complexion and hair and eye color but still has to be appropriate for the music. A graceful ectomorph with purple rhinestone posing trunks posing to Prince would be a good combination. You couldn’t be a tattooed biker dude posing to Biohazard with the same purple rhinestone trunks though, black or a red would be a better choice.
Likewise Women have to match their makeup and suit to their eyes and hair. The platinum blond in a silver suit or the beach bunny blond in the royal blue suit are common themes. Despite both women being blond, those colors wouldn’t look as good on each other.