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  1. #1
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    So...I went to a natural bodybuilding show the other night.

    Just opinions and commentary...

    I’m going to preface this with 2 comments. First, despite any impressions made by what I type in the name of discussion, I have ultimate respect for each and every contestant with the dedication and courage to get on the stage. Second, it’s always VERY easy to sit in the stands and “judge” when you aren’t on display, so take my self-comparisons with the grain of salt and rolled eyes they deserve.

    Overall, it’s always fun to go to a show, even when you know nobody competing. I like to admire the hard work, dedication, and bravery of the people competing...and I like to look at and critique physiques. If that sounds odd, consider The whole point of a bodybuilding competition. I find it kinda “rude” that people come into the auditorium for one category, cheer for thier friends , and then leave. No appreciation for the sport.

    Pro Cards...

    This was a state level WNBF pro qualifier. Overall winners got thier pro card. I think they hand out pro-cards just a bit to generously these days. There really needs to be a more stringent method, and series of wins and qualifications first, so the professionals are really the pick of the litter. MHO, but what’s the point of getting a pro card if you would just get annihilate at the pro level?

    Compulsory Poses?

    With the addition of so many classes, and to save time (the show was still 3 hours...last time I went it was 5 hours), they cut out all inntroductions and compulsory poses (my favorite part). They just had everyone file out as they read thier name, hit thier “favorite pose”, then the filed back off. Then they did thier walk or a posing routine that couldn’t have been longer than 30 seconds.

    The prejudging was done earlier in the day...but for the audience, it was much harder to compare strengths and weaknesses. I mean, I did pick ALMOST all the top three in each category correctly...but I look at bodybuilders all the time. “Normal” people would have a much harder time figuring out why thier friends placed where they did.

    Women Competators

    They had Figure, Bodybuilding (surprise, I though woman’s bodybuilding was gone), Fit Body, and Bikini...and what exactly the judges were looking for was hard to tell, since there were so many competitors cross competing in multiple catagories. All the women were very fit, most were muscular, and some were relitively cut...but honestly, they could have randomly placed them in any category and I don’t think anyone would have noticed. I think they really need less catagories, or a much more defined criteria at this level. But overall, the women were impressive (especially the one over 40 woman).

    Over 50 (men’s)

    There were only two contestants. It’s VERY easy to say this with my ass siting in the auditorium...but when they came out, it was obvious to me and everyone there who has seen me “cut”, I could have taken it if I had competed myself. I’ve toyed with the idea, but I just don’t seem to have that “need” or drive to compete that some people do, and I don’t have that “just for fun” or “just to say I did it” mentality...but, this may sound stupid, I go to a contest to admire people BETTER than me. But still props to the guys. Disappointing that at a state level comp, there were only 2 guys in this category (only 4 in the over 40...and 2 of them were the same guys, and the guy listed next).

    That One Guy...

    It was nice to see only 1 guy who should NOT have been there, at about 25% bodyfat, looking like a powerlifter...sadly, he was the only contestant in the super-heavyweight...so took home a 1st place trophy, and was onstage for the overall. There aught a be some quality control!!

    Men’s bodybuilding...

    Small groups overall. Men’s Batam (under 150) and lightweight had 6 or seven in each category and was the most competitive. There was no middleweight, 3 in heavy, and the fat guy in super heavy. The bantam and lightweight winners were impressive. I think in bantam (where I would have hypothetically competed), I would have placed between 2nd and 4th...but again, easy to say from the peanut gallery, having never competed. The bantam and lightweight winner were on equil footing in the overall, but the lightweight had just a tad better legs, and was just proportionately “bigger” by being taller and in a weight class higher...and he deservedly took the overall open.

    Teen Men

    There were only 3 kids...but all three were pretty impressive, and the 1rst and second place were particularly well proportioned and conditioned. If they stay natural they will be cleaning up this contest in the years to come.

    Men’s Physique...

    This was by far the biggest showing, probably 10 guys each in the short and tall. I found 2 things disappointing. 1st, the two winners were obvious as soon as they stepped onstage, but WORSE is that BOTH had awsome upper AND lower bodies and could have easily taken thier perspective bodybuilding weight classes...but instead they chose physique (men can’t cross compete). The second thing I found “upsetting” was the lack of calf development. I hate the stereotype that physique guys don’t work legs...but other than the winners, many of these guys had “huge” bodybuilder level upper bodies and absolutely NO calves...I mean nothing, no indication of muscle or shape at all. It was embarrassing IMHO.
    Last edited by grubman; 04-29-2019 at 07:10 AM.
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  2. #2
    High Plains Lifter Mark1T's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting, Grubby. This is the kind of long post I actually read
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  3. #3
    Registered User grubman's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Mark1T View Post
    Thanks for posting, Grubby. This is the kind of long post I actually read
    Reading back, it sounds a little “negative” overall, and I really didn’t mean that. I had a good time, and lots of people that should be very proud of thier accomplishments. I guess the “negatives” are always the debatable talking points though.

    I was with one guy who had never been to a contest before, and he was amazed at how different the guys looked onstage compared to up close (after the show). A tanned cut 150 pound guy looks much more impressive up by himself with perfect lighting from a distance than he does standing next to you at 5’5” with, maybe 15” arms. Ha ha. Still impressive...but not the same.
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    Registered User Garage Rat's Avatar
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    Nice review.
    I agree the pro card thing is crazy.
    It's a money maker for the org.
    You have to pay for your pro card after winning the right to have it on top of membership in the org and contest fee.
    It can add up to some good cash.

  5. #5
    Registered User grubman's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Garage Rat View Post
    Nice review.
    I agree the pro card thing is crazy.
    It's a money maker for the org.
    You have to pay for your pro card after winning the right to have it on top of membership in the org and contest fee.
    It can add up to some good cash.
    Yeah, I did the math way back when...would have cost me about $300 to do this show (not counting prep, shorts, tan, ect.
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    So after seeing what the typical "natural" lifter is capable of, it underscores just how unlikely it is for the average 5'10" guy who starts posting on here and then says "yeah, I want to be ~200 lbs @ 10% bodyfat."
    Pull-Up PR: https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=177233951

  7. #7
    Registered User grubman's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Payton1221 View Post
    So after seeing what the typical "natural" lifter is capable of, it underscores just how unlikely it is for the average 5'10" guy who starts posting on here and then says "yeah, I want to be ~200 lbs @ 10% bodyfat."
    I kinda think (MHO only) that competitive natural lifters are a different animal than the rest of us. It takes a certain type of desire. I don’t necessarilly think all the guys blessed with the best natural genetics, who even lift, compete. So who really knows what the most gifted natural can attain?...especially since most people would ASSUME he’s on the juice as soon as he started to look awsome.

    I do think people are becoming a bit more honest on this level (with no money to be made), and there wasn’t one person who remotely looked like they were a fake (as opposed to shows I’ve been to in the past). Everyone looked healthy and happy, and that was refreshing.
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  8. #8
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    Originally Posted by Payton1221 View Post
    So after seeing what the typical "natural" lifter is capable of, it underscores just how unlikely it is for the average 5'10" guy who starts posting on here and then says "yeah, I want to be ~200 lbs @ 10% bodyfat."
    In my short time on this forum I have probably seen someone say they want to get to 10% body fat a hundred times. I told someone that the number that say that and actually ever get to a true 10% has to be pretty damn small.

    Grubman, I like reading your thoughts on the show. I wanted to ask, reading other posts about men’s physique it almost sounded like maybe they don’t even hit the various poses? Did the physique class at this show do any posing or just stand there with lats flared and abs tight?
    Bodybuilding is much more than an hour in the gym a few days a week---it's a lifestyle that changes all your perceptions about how to live, eat, and rest. It feeds the mind as much (and sometimes more so) than the body.
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    I've trained with guys who've been world class natties in their respective orgs and all I'm going to say is I LMAO when I read gullible kids using them as examples of what's achievable with hard training and a clean diet.

    I have a lot of respect for genuine natties, not so much for the others

  10. #10
    Registered User grubman's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by tblodg15 View Post
    Grubman, I like reading your thoughts on the show. I wanted to ask, reading other posts about men’s physique it almost sounded like maybe they don’t even hit the various poses? Did the physique class at this show do any posing or just stand there with lats flared and abs tight?
    They “pose”, but not like bodybuilding poses. They come out and we see a “relaxed” from front side and back. Then they individually walk dramatically to the center stage stop and hit a glamor pose, walk to the next point, hit it again, do it one more time, wave, walk off stage.

    I’ve seen shows where they have them hit a double bi, but that’s it...not this one though.

    This short video sums it up:

    Last edited by grubman; 04-29-2019 at 03:59 PM.
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    Registered User tblodg15's Avatar
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    Ok, thanks for the description and video. For someone who only knows bodybuilding from 30+ years ago that is a very strange class. I really don’t understand it with the legs covered up and no normal poses. I completely understand the appeal for additional classes but I don’t know why they don’t just have different levels of normal bodybuilding classes. I fully respect the hard work the physique guys put in and many of them have phenomenal builds but that is why it seems strange to me.
    Last edited by tblodg15; 04-30-2019 at 12:41 PM.
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    Originally Posted by Garage Rat View Post
    Nice review.
    I agree the pro card thing is crazy.
    It's a money maker for the org.
    You have to pay for your pro card after winning the right to have it on top of membership in the org and contest fee.
    It can add up to some good cash.
    I visited a gym once because it was owned by a pro card holder, when I asked him about it he laughed and rolled his eyes. Great gym and great guys though.
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    1stUncle fought Sugar Ray etet1919's Avatar
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    @ Grubby: You must know even the so-called "natural" BB orgs have enough competitors (and coaches) that know how to get away being "non-natty"....There are so many loopholes in the "drug-testing" system...I know a few international male BB competitors that can attest to this. I'm not saying it's not possible at all. Just stating the facts.
    ^^ It's true, my first-generation uncle was a boxer who fought Sugar Ray Robinson! He also fought in the war, sacrificing the career he deeply loved, so people could have the right to freedom.

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    Registered User grubman's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by etet1919 View Post
    @ Grubby: You must know even the so-called "natural" BB orgs have enough competitors (and coaches) that know how to get away being "non-natty"....There are so many loopholes in the "drug-testing" system...I know a few international male BB competitors that can attest to this. I'm not saying it's not possible at all. Just stating the facts.
    Pretty common knowlege. I’m pretty good at spotting “fake natties”, and it’s pretty obvious at the higher levels of competition...but none of the guys in this competition had the look. They were in great shape, but there were no builds that were unobtainable through hard work and dedication. You see “normal” guys with this much muscle in every gym you go in.

    I hate a fake nattie as much as the next guy...but FAR TOO MANY people throwing accusations at guys who have any lean muscle these days. Not everyone who has a little muscle at 15% or lower is “on something”. There were still increadable physiques before steroids, and those guys didn’t know near as much as we do about optimal training and diet.

    At 5’ 7” 160 pounds, you wouldn’t take a second look at me walking down the street...yet I’ve been (laughably) accused 4 times on this forum this year (someone even made a crack in the comments on my progress video). One guy PMed me and said, “you’re on TRT right, there is no way you are in that shape at 50!”...like 134 pounds of LBM and not being fat is somehow an impossible feat , ha ha...forget that I don’t drink, never smoked or did drugs, watch what I eat, live an active life, and bust my ass in the gym.
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    Originally Posted by grubman View Post
    Pretty common knowlege. I’m pretty good at spotting “fake natties”, and it’s pretty obvious at the higher levels of competition...but none of the guys in this competition had the look. They were in great shape, but there were no builds that were unobtainable through hard work and dedication. You see “normal” guys with this much muscle in every gym you go in.

    I hate a fake nattie as much as the next guy...but FAR TOO MANY people throwing accusations at guys who have any lean muscle these days. Not everyone who has a little muscle at 15% or lower is “on something”. There were still increadable physiques before steroids, and those guys didn’t know near as much as we do about optimal training and diet.

    At 5’ 7” 160 pounds, you wouldn’t take a second look at me walking down the street...yet I’ve been (laughably) accused 4 times on this forum this year (someone even made a crack in the comments on my progress video). One guy PMed me and said, “you’re on TRT right, there is no way you are in that shape at 50!”...like 134 pounds of LBM and not being fat is somehow an impossible feat , ha ha...forget that I don’t drink, never smoked or did drugs, watch what I eat, live an active life, and bust my ass in the gym.
    LOL...See? Maybe you should look into competing, if only just for knowing the experience of what if feels like....?? Always take those "insults" as well-earned compliments!!! Look at some of the sh*t that's been thrown my way, for instance.... ...." Yo, that MUST be a dude in a wig, brah....What women has arms like that, dude?" LOL!! They are compliments to my genetics and gritty work!!
    ^^ It's true, my first-generation uncle was a boxer who fought Sugar Ray Robinson! He also fought in the war, sacrificing the career he deeply loved, so people could have the right to freedom.

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    Originally Posted by etet1919 View Post
    LOL...See? Maybe you should look into competing, if only just for knowing the experience of what if feels like....?? Always take those "insults" as well-earned compliments!!! Look at some of the sh*t that's been thrown my way, for instance.... ...." Yo, that MUST be a dude in a wig, brah....What women has arms like that, dude?" LOL!! They are compliments to my genetics and gritty work!!
    I do find it personally insulting...but I’m much more concerned with the pessimistic negativity of NOT ONLY the general public, BUT ALSO people who work out but haven’t yet achieved the results they want. People are way to quick to want to blame some kind of cheating for the successes of others, rather than admit they just aren’t doing everything they can to achieve thier own goals.

    Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of “cheating” going on, I’m not naive...but I also know it’s not even as close to as common as people think. A LOT can be accomplished with hard work and dedication. More if a person is blessed in the genetics department...and even more if they have that rare eye of the tiger personal drive.
    My 8 year progress video: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wg3BXudgIjg

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    Originally Posted by grubman View Post
    At 5’ 7” 160 pounds, you wouldn’t take a second look at me walking down the street...yet I’ve been (laughably) accused 4 times on this forum this year (someone even made a crack in the comments on my progress video). One guy PMed me and said, “you’re on TRT right, there is no way you are in that shape at 50!”...like 134 pounds of LBM and not being fat is somehow an impossible feat , ha ha...forget that I don’t drink, never smoked or did drugs, watch what I eat, live an active life, and bust my ass in the gym.
    Wow, I can’t believe how some people are. I wonder if they are just jealous or are they really that frickin dumb to think drugs are necessary to have a good build?
    Bodybuilding is much more than an hour in the gym a few days a week---it's a lifestyle that changes all your perceptions about how to live, eat, and rest. It feeds the mind as much (and sometimes more so) than the body.
    ~Originally posted by ironwill2008

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    Originally Posted by etet1919 View Post
    @ Grubby: You must know even the so-called "natural" BB orgs have enough competitors (and coaches) that know how to get away being "non-natty"....There are so many loopholes in the "drug-testing" system...I know a few international male BB competitors that can attest to this. I'm not saying it's not possible at all. Just stating the facts.
    Lance Armstrong was on PEDs for his entire racing career and never tested positive.
    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

    It's easy to not be afraid of tigers when you're sitting in your living room watching a television program about tigers. When you're in the jungle where the tigers are, it's quite a different story.

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    Originally Posted by supramax View Post
    Lance Armstrong was on PEDs for his entire racing career and never tested positive.
    I've heard it said that it's more of an IQ test because the "smarter" people know how to pass the test
    Pull-Up PR: https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=177233951

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    Originally Posted by Payton1221 View Post
    I've heard it said that it's more of an IQ test because the "smarter" people know how to pass the test
    I read something similar at T-Nation; words to the effect: 'you have to be stupid to fail a drug test'.
    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

    It's easy to not be afraid of tigers when you're sitting in your living room watching a television program about tigers. When you're in the jungle where the tigers are, it's quite a different story.

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    Registered User grubman's Avatar
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    It’s moot. I’m 99% sure everyone at this contest was true lifetime natural...and I commend them for that, and was happy and encouraged to see it.

    I’d provide some pictures...but I wanted the conversation to be more “generic” about the general direction of natural bodybuilding at the highest local level. That, and I don’t think it’s my place to critique non-public individuals by name or face, without thier consent. After all, they are hard lifting guys just like most of us here.
    My 8 year progress video: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wg3BXudgIjg

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    Originally Posted by grubman View Post
    They “pose”, but not like bodybuilding poses. They come out and we see a “relaxed” from front side and back. Then they individually walk dramatically to the center stage stop and hit a glamor pose, walk to the next point, hit it again, do it one more time, wave, walk off stage.

    I’ve seen shows where they have them hit a double bi, but that’s it...not this one though.

    This short video sums it up:

    Far cry from the likes of Ed Corney. This is not even posing if you ask me.

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    Kicking sarcopenia's azz ljimd's Avatar
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    Give the stage a shot grub.

    Entering a bodybuilding comp will teach you much more about yourself than the competitors.

    Cheaters always gonna cheat. You can't do anything 'bout that. Most folks don't.

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    Originally Posted by adamgentile View Post
    Far cry from the likes of Ed Corney. I can’t stand this kind of posing for guys, no offense but this is how the females pose
    How would someone NOT take that offensively?

    It’s is what it is. It’s a class to display fitness model physiques in fitness model style poses. The guys have great physiques and good looks...and that’s what they are there to showcase.

    I mean, if it’s not your cup of tea, cool...but they deserve credit and respect for the work and persuing thier Passion.

    Don’t hate just to hate.
    My 8 year progress video: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wg3BXudgIjg

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    Originally Posted by ljimd View Post
    Entering a bodybuilding comp will teach you much more about yourself than the competitors.
    I thought about it in the past. The cut pics in my gallery with the yellow backs were an “experiment” to see how long it would take to cut and how much size I would lose. I lost about 12 pounds down to 150, and realized I’d need to lose another 5 pounds to be contest ready. I didn’t like the way I looked or felt, and, honestly, 2 years later I don’t feel I’ve gained back the mass and fullness I lost getting into that condition. (Side note: my avitar was shortly after, when I started eating again and the muscles really filled before the fat and water kicked in...it was a relitively short period, and I’m glad I snapped some pics).

    Analyzing the reasons I lift, it really doesn’t have anything to do with recognition, validation, or competitiveness. For me ultimately, I just enjoy it and it makes me feel good. I mean, I’m healthy enough without it and never had physical or weight problems. Sharing a particularly good picture with my peers on occasion gives me enough public satisfaction.

    It’s also a little funny when you look at it from a certain perspective. Two years ago, the over 50 had 3 great competators that would have anhilated me. This year there were 2, both of which I could have beaten. Ha ha. Assuming a person comes in at thier best, it’s more about who else shows up than it is about how good you are.

    I just don’t think it’s for me. But...I would love to be a judge . I think I have a good discriminating eye...but, don’t we all.
    My 8 year progress video: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wg3BXudgIjg

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    Originally Posted by grubman View Post
    many of these guys had “huge” bodybuilder level upper bodies and absolutely NO calves...I mean nothing, no indication of muscle or shape at all. It was embarrassing IMHO.
    Just dont post any pictures of it and it is OK to say that
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    Originally Posted by induced_drag View Post
    Just dont post any pictures of it and it is OK to say that
    That’s good advice!
    My 8 year progress video: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wg3BXudgIjg

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    Originally Posted by grubman View Post
    I thought about it in the past. The cut pics in my gallery with the yellow backs were an “experiment” to see how long it would take to cut and how much size I would lose. I lost about 12 pounds down to 150, and realized I’d need to lose another 5 pounds to be contest ready. I didn’t like the way I looked or felt, and, honestly, 2 years later I don’t feel I’ve gained back the mass and fullness I lost getting into that condition. (Side note: my avitar was shortly after, when I started eating again and the muscles really filled before the fat and water kicked in...it was a relitively short period, and I’m glad I snapped some pics).
    I have a buddy that did a full trial run at competing in a show a full year before he competed, was that nervous about getting on stage. He went on to compete and started hearing Pro-Card whispers but really needed to step back and focus on his education, working on his PhD. Still lifts, big & leanish. I still love his "experiment" pic:

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    Originally Posted by Bando View Post
    I have a buddy that did a full trial run at competing in a show a full year before he competed, was that nervous about getting on stage. He went on to compete and started hearing Pro-Card whispers but really needed to step back and focus on his education, working on his PhD. Still lifts, big & leanish. I still love his "experiment" pic:

    Those are some monstrous legs!

    Looks like he already has 1 trophy next to his whey powder? Unless that’s a Joe Weider paper weight.
    My 8 year progress video: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wg3BXudgIjg

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    Originally Posted by grubman View Post

    Don’t hate just to hate.
    He looks fantastic, the posing is weird, it's like fluffing the feathers a little. The Corney reference is how posing is a lost art now.

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