Backstage Pass to the 2011 NABBA Worlds

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Maite Bueno     You may have experienced what it’s like to be at a bodybuilding competition before; watching fit babes strut around and pose on stage. But you may not have experienced what it’s actually like to be backstage (behind the scenes). And there’s no better place to get a backstage experience than at an international competition. So consider this your free backstage pass to the 2011 NABBA Worlds, courtesy of FBB Magazine’s own Marina Deak.

It’s a unique feeling being backstage. The sights, the sounds, and the smells are truly one of a kind. There’s so much that goes on there, that in some ways I find it more captivating and exciting than what actually takes place on stage. You can probably imagine what it’s like to be in a room or hallway surrounded by the most beautiful muscular women from around the world (in shimmering bikinis I might add) as they paint layer upon layer of tanning oil on each other. This is my first glimpse into the backstage world.

As I float from room to room in search of the top girls, I notice that the rooms have sort of become segregated by country. Brazil on the left, USA to the right, the UK further down, etc. It wasn’t setup that way, the girls just look for their friends, and before you know it you have a room full of Brazilian babes, lol. But the multiculturalism wasn’t completely gone, as there were usually a few competitors from another country present in any given room.

The girls say their main goal is to relax and try not to think about the competition. As they await their call times, I notice the majority chatting the time away to take their mind off of things. I find myself listening-in to their conversations. In each room they speak in different languages and accents. I can’t always understand them, but the topics are all the same; ranging from nearly everything, yet mostly about nothing. I see some girls zoned out in the corner, or up against the wall with their headphones on and their Ipods cranked up. I see others sprawled out on the floor taking a nap; and just about everything else in between.

Backstage Katia ValentimSome girls were smart enough to bring their own pre-cooked meals along with them to eat. I don’t know what it smells like because all I can smell is the heavy smell of peppermint resonating from those scented tanning oils. That unmistakable smell is everywhere. It hovers all around you like a plague, and there’s no escaping it.

As it gets closer to show time the tension builds, and normally so does the crowd. Photographers and reporters from all around the world are here. Sometimes it can get pretty crazy. I’ve literally had to step over and around people to get to where I wanted to go, all the while trying not to accidentally bump competitors, so not to get that oily tanning muck all over my nice clothes. But not today. Today I was spared the paparazzi experience.

After the show, it’s backstage where the girls will often show their true competitive spirit.  From congratulatory hugs & kisses, and words of encouragement, to broken trophies and bruised egos; I’ve seen it all. The backstage area makes for some great stories and photo ops while it last. But as they say, all good things must come to an end. Then it’s on to the after parties! But that is a whole other story.

Below are some candid backstage shots from the event.

Photography by Juja Kehl.



Backstage Pass to the 2011 NABBA Worlds, 5.0 out of 5 based on 2 ratings
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