When a bodybuilder is on stage for the purpose of having an audience and judges look at his body, covering part of that body seems paradoxical. There's very little modesty in this sport as it is, so I don't see why we still hide as much as we do. I think some of the other posters have a good point about the more liberal attitudes in Europe, and that nude is probably the way to go. I don't compete, but I work out at a Gold's Gym, and some of the guys there wear virtually nothing, though they do put down towels on the benches. I asked around last night, and the majority said they think nude just mades sense. It's easier for working out, for getting ready, for posing, and for cleaning up afterwards, but they wear what they wear because of social norms. Most of them said they would like to see changes to these norms, and would participate in advancing those changes. I used to wear shorts when I worked out at Gold's, but so many of the other bodybuilders wore posing suits, that I switched to that.
But I found myself dealing with a hiking up, bunched seat so often, that I went for it and switched again to just a pouch. No negative comments at all. In fact, a lot of the guys are rolling up their suits anyway, for better views of their glutes, or because the elastic on the leg openings just bites into them when they're doing their reps. As I said, I don't compete, but if you want a couple of photos of me and some of my buddies at the gym, I'll see what I can do.
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Posing suits have outlived their purpose in this sport. My own feeling is that our societies have become sophistocated enough to handle seeing ourselves naked, especially in a sport where the unclothed body is the whole purpose of the sport. Europe is very far ahead of North America in this aspect; nudity in its correct context - public or private - is not seen as something sexual or wrong, but something natural. There is much more freedom there than here, and homophobia is much less prevalent. In America, it is very difficult to get away from a paranoid and inhibited way of thinking. Too bad, I think.
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