View our other publications:

What2Where | Strong is the new glam

For 2014, we resolve to gain f(ab)ulousness

As a popular fitness mantra goes, strong is the new skinny– but it’s also the new glam.

A recent MAC cosmetics ad campaign depicts Serbian bodybuilder Jelena Abbou, flexing her considerable muscles, styled to the max in black eyeliner and a latex ballgown. 

The MAC campaign is reminiscent of an iconic image by photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. Shot in 1982, it shows pioneer bodybuilder Lisa Lyon wearing a

leatherbustier and a black, veiled picture hat with two white flowers tucked into the brim. She’s seated in profile, gazing calmly into space, her elbow bent in an L-shape and fist clenched to reveal her sculpted bicep. 

Clocking in at a mere 5’ 3” and 105 pounds, Lyon could deadlift a quarterback and benchpress your mom. In the image, she blurs the line between brute force and ladylike grace in a way that is disconcertingly, yet undeniably beautiful. And if the MAC campaign is any indication, she still inspires a new generation of strong, stylish women to do the same. 

For 2014, we resolve to flex our definition of what it means to be alluring. What it means to be fierce— and fabulous. 

Oh, and we also resolve to hit the gym.

A creative director, writer, blogger and occasional stylist, Kate Sonnick has a love-hate relationship with Crossfit. Follow her on Pinterest, Twitter, and at


Subscribe to our newsletter