Fit Kenya Girl founder Jane Mukami (Certified Personal Trainer by American Aerobic Association International and Wellness and Nutrition Consultant by American Fitness Professional Associate)

Meet Ann. She is stone-faced when working, but rather shy when not donning her black security uniform. Her towering beauty shouldn’t fool you into thinking she is your ordinary next door girl.

She is a professional bouncer whom The Nairobian met recently at the Ngong’ Racecourse where she was in charge of crowd control at the entrance.

The 29-year-old gym buff says being a female bouncer has some social limitations.

Despite her striking beauty, the soft-spoken, Ann says men are often intimidated by her character while others fear approaching because of her muscular physique.

It is a case of reversed roles. While many women salivate over men who are well-built, men seem to be turned off by women with bulging muscles.

“I get a lot of curious and sometimes incredulous glances every single day, from both men and women,” Ann says.

Fit Kenya Girl founder, Jane Mukami, admits that men would not readily date a ‘pumped-up’ women.

“Men are intimidated by women with well-defined arms, ripped abs and muscular bodies, yet a number of them are quite unfit and overweight. They probably feel ashamed or inferior as this probably highlights their personal failures.

This might lead to negative perceptions and stereotyping of well-toned women by men who wish to hide behind their inadequacies,” says the personal trainer who is certified by the American Aerobic Association International.

Conservative culture

Jane, who has also participated in reputable international bodybuilding championships, argues that our conservative culture defines who a woman is, her role and what is expected of her, hence the stereotypes labelled against female bodybuilders.

“Stereotyping actually began when I started working out more than the average person back in 2009. I worked out every single day,” she remembers, adding that, “By the time I was a full-fledged female body builder, it became obvious that female body builders, are unfairly chastised for not conforming to what a woman should look or act like because of our physique.”

Elizabeth Sore, a long-time bouncer and private security guard with Radar Security and Total Security, echoes Jane’s views.

“There are so many misleading stories out there that stereotype female bouncers and bodybuilders, making it very hard for some to have stable relationships,” she says. Jane adds that most men perceive muscular women to be aggressive and less romantic.

Too aggressive

“While this might be the case, not every woman who hits the gym is aggressive. Some of us are indeed quite shy and modest.” Jane is a single mother of three who believes that every woman deserve to be loved.

A majority of women interviewed by The Nairobian revealed that they would not hit the gym to lift weights, as that will make them look less sexy.

“Women are not keen on weights in the gym because they believe that will make them look like men. Most women will go to the gym for strength training and to just tone-up a bit, but will always shy from lifting weights. The belief is that this will make them look like men. This is however misleading, unless they take hormones,” says Mukami.

Jane advises that “nutrition is key for muscle growth, repair and ensuring that the body is in tip-top shape.”

Jane adds that, “Despite the negative perceptions, there are still men who find ripped women sexy and hot. Many of these women find their dates in the gym. We might have many male friends because of the nature of our job, but we live a normal life like any other woman.”