Farah Malhass: Female Bodybuilder...from Jordan
"You are somebody when you stop being nobody"
I just read about Farah Malhass, a cis-female bodybuilder in the country of Jordan. Yes, that Jordan. The Jordan of "honor killing", misogynist religious intolerance and many more culturally accepted forms of oppression to women.
Farah is one bad-ass human.
She can bench press more than you, has awesome tattoos, wears whatever she wants, flexes her muscles and her boobs and she's taking her desire to compete as a bodybuilder to an international competition in Toronto, this September.
Farah is a sitting target for Jordan's hardliners, not least of all because her body is covered in tattoos: a bare-breasted angel is depicted on her upper thighs, angel wings cover her back, and edgy statements are branded across her arms.
"You are somebody when you stop being nobody," reads one. "Only the one who hurts you can heal your pain," reads another. [GulfNews]
Oh, and when she's not busting egos at the gym, Farah works at the International Organisation for Migration, assisting Iraqi immigrants who deal with relocation and the scars of torture and bloodshed.
Farah is a shining, perfect example of the creativity, beauty, strength and limitless possiblity of individual expression that is in every one of us. She is a glaring example of what is available to us all if we claim our own identity and declare it to the world. She is also a great big "fuck you" to oppression, bullying and misogyny. For that last point, she receives no end of discouraging remarks. For the first point, she gets this writer's wholehearted approval, support and praise.
Rock on with your bad self, Farah!