I am looking into media (documentaries, movies, etc) to share with my body image class this fall and came across Bigger Stronger Faster* in my research. This documentary is directed by Chris Bell who, along with his two brothers, has been a longtime powerlifter and bodybuilder. They started out at boys who idolized Hulk Hogan, Sylvester Stallone, and Arnold Schwarzenegger and did everything they could in the weight room to be like their heroes. Except their heroes were getting juiced— what you see is not always what you get (much like the airbrushed images we see of female models in ads).
At a crossroads, Bell– who has taken steroids but is conflicted– talks to controversial athletes, physicians, parents, pro-steroid folks, magazine editors, students. Then he looks into the politics and psychology of steroids. All along, the question is about what we do to gain the competitive edge– and the “norm” we create with our behaviors.