Female bodybuilding is the female component of competitive bodybuilding. It began in the late s when women began to take part in bodybuilding competitions . Female bodybuilding originally developed as an outgrowth of not only the late nineteenth-century European vaudeville and circus strongwomen acts, Bernarr Macfadden 's turn of the century women's physique competitions, and the weightlifting of Abbye "Pudgy" Stockton , but also as an outgrowth of the men's bodybuilding. The contest formats of men's events during the s to the mids had often been supplemented with either a women's beauty contest or bikini show. These shows "had little to do with women's bodybuilding as we know it today, but they did serve as beginning or, perhaps more properly, as a doormat for the development of future bodybuilding shows. Prior to , bodybuilding had been considered strictly a male-oriented sport.