Muschamp Rd

Never Blog About Calves

December 19th, 2008
Michelle Jin's Calves

Unless you want an unending stream of strange keyword referrals. This is something I’ve learned after years of self publishing online but when I looked at other search results for the same odd phrases I noticed I wasn’t the only one who wrote about calves figuring they would get some strange keyword referrals. Most aren’t aware of just how popular calves are…

This blog continues to remain popular and not for the right reasons, if you are looking for #fitspiration I suggest you try Pinterest, it excels at reposting images you found elsewhere and wanted to save/share.

Amy Lu is Internet Famous for her muscular legs

Pictures are key to increasing page views on the social media dominated web. I don’t want to break copyright law, though on the social media dominated web, reposting, retweeting, and sharing images is accepted even if it isn’t 100% legal. If anyone owns the copyright to these images and wants them taken down, sorry in advance, I’ll be glad to remove your intellectual property.

There was a Time magazine article I read about Korean women having plastic surgery to reduce the size of their calves, published circa 2004. The magazine was in the lobby of the English school I was working at at the time in Toyohashi. I asked Japanese staff and students if the article was an exaggeration. But it is true, the Japanese have a word for large calves, “Daikon Ashi”. I can’t remember the Korean equivalent, but it apparently is “muu-dari”. I have had this prejudice confirmed by numerous Koreans, Japanese, even mainland Chinese. There is/was a real obsession even fear over the size of women’s calf muscles in Asia. Thick calves = unattractive, whereas having surgery to shave the muscle down is considered fashionable.

It sounds crazy but it is true. Korean women statistically have more  cosmetic surgery than the women of almost any other country. A Korean doctor invented the so-called calf reduction surgery. Some people have an unhealthy sense of their own worth. This is a problem I personally face. Some women in particular seem to want to be unhealthily thin. In the 80s and 90s things got particularly bad, but action movie heroines like Linda Carter, video game characters like Chun Li, even celebrities such as Madona have made muscle more acceptable even desirable, possibly even fashionable, at least in the West. In East Asia it is still considered best for women to be tiny delicate flowers, unless it is during the Olympics.

Yeon Woo Jii is a Korean Bodybuilder

Exercising is smarter than fad diets and more sensible than plastic surgery. Apparently I was ahead of my time in writing about this online, other people have since found calf muscle shaving surgery abhorrent. Others have also discovered that some consider women who are fit even muscular to be attractive. Mainstream media has proclaimed strong is the new sexy, you can see similar views expressed by women all over the Internet, I first heard the phrase on Pinterest or perhaps Fitocracy.

When I discovered in my dictionary a character combination of strong + beautiful: 健美 I found it interesting, given the strongly conflicting views others had expressed and the existence of calf muscle reduction surgery and negative stereotypes over having ‘radish legs’. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that there are specialty websites catering to fetishizing Asian women. Japan is the second largest producer of adult entertainment. But I have to caution against blogging about porn or even using the word in a post.

Melissa Wee Looking Strong

Just because you find a dubious but interesting story online, it doesn’t mean you should blog about it or share it with all your friends and followers. You will get strange keyword referrals, people will judge you, perhaps even harshly. It can be bad for your career. Sharing anything and everything online may work for some, but I’m living proof that social media isn’t all good all the time.

So my recommendation still stands, never blog about calves, never blog about human anatomy, and definitely don’t blog about porn, even in jest.

Before I return you to your regularly scheduled quest for eye candy, here is a blog post by Melissa Wee one of the women pictured. I ‘borrowed’ her picture and others to hopefully make a point. She is a big believer in squatting and doing other exercises to strengthen your legs. She tries to explain the health benefits but her blog also contains many many self portraits. Once you’re Internet famous it is hard to become un-famous as Angie Varona and others have learned.

I actually wrote Melissa a message while rewriting this blog post, but not to compare dubious keyword referrals and strange upsetting emails from strangers. I wrote her to try and thank her for providing a positive attitude and inspiring message. As someone who has written too much about their personal problems and their depressing observations online, let me assure you it has not helped my career or my health. I’d love to have access to a time machine and go back to the beginning of 2005 and tell myself not to trust certain people, not to confess my hopes and dreams to people. I’d even warn myself not to blog, or at least not to blog so honestly.

Rebekah Kresila

There are people online who find it acceptable and entertaining to pick on others for no reason besides they can, hiding behind their ‘handle’. They think there are no negative consequences to calling someone a liar and/or a violent psychopath or other nasty hurtful words. How can they not imagine this will have a profound negative effect on another person’s life, health, career, etc. etc.

Don’t be like me, don’t trust the wrong people, take care of yourself before going out of your way to help others, especially if other people are going out of their way to hurt you. Things won’t suddenly get better. No amount of emails or apologies or blog posts will cause some people to believe you. Some people you just have to cut out of your life like the cancer that they are, people can be hurtful, downright nasty, even if they smile to your face when they want something from you claiming to be “friends”.

Try to surround yourself with positive people, not bitter curmudgeons like myself. I also remembered the words of Kris Kristofferson while writing Melissa, which I’ve since added to my quotation collection:

“Don’t let the bastards get you down.”

Tiffany Yee Asian fitness model with great gams

I probably shouldn’t have updated this post. I probably shouldn’t have written Melissa or followed her on social media. I don’t know exactly where my life went wrong, but I do know the worst day of my life, the second worst day of my life, and I have a pretty good idea what day I’d vote as the third worst day of my life.

I don’t know when I hit rock bottom exactly, but I’m pretty sure I had taken down my blog so the exact date isn’t marked by a celebratory blog post. I still have many, many, handwritten journals if I ever want to relive the misery of the last few years.

You can see why I’d rather blog about other people than my own personal problems and life. I admire people who have their shit together, who prioritize their health and personal wellbeing over the opinions of others. I admire their strength, composure, and dedication. Someday maybe I’ll have my health back, but I read the other day that a serious mental illness knocks 10-15 years off your life expectancy. That is a depressing statistic. I’ve probably gained over 50 pounds since March 17th 2005.

I managed to lose some of it, but then knee injuries and CFA® exams set me back. Now it is 2019 and I’m motivated still to improve myself further.

Challenging Asian Stereotypes

An article made it into the Hao Hao report about nü han zi (女汉子), these differ from the so-called leftover women or 3-highs. Nu han zi are proud of their independence and being non-traditional, but what also made the article was a picture of one of the ladies on this webpage, a Korean woman who has a husband ironically. Oh well the Chinese Internet isn’t known for fact checking prior to publishing.

Additional Recommendation

In addition to not blogging about calves or human anatomy I have to recommend not blogging about calculators. Blog postings about calculators attract nothing but ungrateful individuals who have nothing better to do than leave nasty comments and send nasty emails to people who go out of their way to try and help random strangers online. I also have to recommend against going out of your way to help random strangers online and maybe even against starting a blog in the first place. If you do start a blog it is probably wise to turn off all comments and do not provide your email so people can contact you.

Huong Arcinas is a fitness competitor

Michelle Jin and her famously muscular calves

Sandy Vu in a tug of war on the beaches of Vancouver

Cookie a model from the website


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Posts on Muskblog © Andrew "Muskie" McKay.
CFA Institute does not endorse, promote or warrant the accuracy or quality of Muskblog. CFA® and Chartered Financial Analyst® are registered trademarks owned by CFA Institute.