Female Celebs Go 'Bicep'tual at Emmys

How buff is too buff when it comes to actresses' guns?

Most normal people watch the Emmys to cheer on their favorite comedy or drama in its quest to win a golden statue. Alas, I am not normal. Last night, I lay splayed across the couch, laptop glowing from my thighs, as the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards unfolded. My mission: To judge, judge, judge. Had Amy Poehler lost her baby belly yet?  (I mean, she did give birth three weeks ago. She doesn’t really have an excuse.) Would Lea Michele look like someone needed to feed her a taco or three? Whose dress was stunning… or stunningly unfortunate? Whose hair looked like it had been styled in a wind tunnel?

There were a few cute juicy pre-show tidbits perfect for NeverSayDiet:
-Padma Lakshmi tweeted, “Small pinkberry mango perfect breakfast for fitting into Emmy dress!!”
-Blake Lively declared the best thing about being an actress is getting free food: "I actually think that was the reason I got into acting: the free food.”
-Sofia Vergara discussed an ad in last month’s Variety which declared she would run naked down Sunset Boulevard if Modern Family won the Best Comedy category. (It did! Alert the riot police!)
-January Jones says the women of Mad Men are kept to a strict “no exercise” clause: “They tell us to gain weight, gain weight, gain weight, because they want a soft, voluptuous woman which they were [back then] which is beautiful, as it should be.”

But what really caught my eye were all the rockhard Emmy arms staring me down from the TV screen. Kyra Sedgwick accepted her award in a deep magenta gown, her gently ripped biceps and shoulders flexing in the auditorium air. True Blood’s Rutina Wesley’s arms were nicely striated, as was skinny-buff Giuliana Rancic Kate Gosselin strongarmed photographers; even Glenn Close got in on the action.

Earlier in the day, we had attended my grandmother’s 85th birthday party. (Happy Birthday, Jeannie!) Per my usual, I opted to turn the focus to myself when I asked someone to take a photo of my husband and, upon looking at the image, I declared my arms flabby and shapeless. Dan called me a crazy person and walked away, but I insisted on continuing the conversation later that night, during the Emmys. “I want my arms to look like Kelly Ripa’s,” I whined. “What?!” he responded. “Dear God, no. If you looked like her, I would strap you down and forcefeed you mayonnaise.”  I then showed him this NY Times video gallery of top female tennis players in slow motion, insisting that one day, I would have Samantha Stosur's arms. Again, my pipe dreams were shot down.

The fact is, there are plenty of wing men out there who would rather snack on a meatier arm than a sinewy one. We women don’t need to kill ourselves in the gym to get cut -- unless, that is, we want that look for ourselves, and that’s an important distinction. But by this point, I feel we’ve been so bombarded by media images of “sexy” and “gorgeous” that I think it’s difficult for us to tease out whether we want to look a certain way for us or for them.  I do think many women do tricep kickback after tricep kickback because they think ripped arms are more sexually appealing. Unfortunately, unless genetics or an ungodly amount of dedication are on your side, Kelly Ripa arms may not ever be in the cards for you (or me.) Maybe I should just relax and, during next year’s Emmys, let my bat wings flap in the wind as I wave to the new crop of ultra-toned award nominees.

When it comes to buff arms, are you pro-gun? Chime in below.

Like this? Read these.
-Star Snapshots: Emmys Edition
-The Emmy Awards: Who Won What
-Best and Worst Dressed at the Emmys

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