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Pillow (bodybuilder)

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Pillow
Bodybuilder
Personal info
NicknameShe-Beast
Born (1956-04-17) April 17, 1956 (age 65)
USA
Professional career
Best winGold's Classic, 1983

Theresa Jean Bell (born April 17, 1956), better known as Pillow, also known as The She-Beast, was a United States bodybuilder in the early 1980s. While competing in bodybuilding, she was also an exotic dancer in Alaska.[1] She was crowned Miss Exotic World 1995. "Pillow" is her legal name.[2]

Biography[edit]

Pillow became an exotic dancer in San Francisco in 1976.[2] Pillow was among the first muscular female bodybuilders. She won the 1983 Gold's Classic as a heavyweight, beating lightweight winner Lori Okami, middleweight Alison Brundage and other weight class entrants Reggie Bennett and Sue Ann McKean. She is sometimes confused with a later and less notable female bodybuilder who used the same name.[citation needed]

Pillow was also a performer in the classic burlesque tradition, predating the rise of neo-burlesque and influencing its development. She supported the early days of the Miss Exotic World Pageant and The Burlesque Hall of Fame Museum, winning the title of Miss Exotic World in 1995 and being formally honored for her work the next year.

Pillow appeared on the cover of Women's Physique World September–October 1983 issue,[3] and was featured in, among others, Muscle & Fitness (June 1982 and February 1984) and Flex (January and March 1984).

She appeared in the documentary Pumping Iron II: The Women and she was the subject of the GMV Productions DVD Pillow, The She-Beast. She also produced, directed and starred in a documentary about her experiences at Exotic World and The Burlesque Hall of Fame called Miss Exotic World 1995. She also made a documentary film of her experiences as a dancer and performer, titled Pillow At P. J.'s.

Pillow retired from women's competitive bodybuilding in the mid-1980s. She retired from dancing in 2000, performing her farewell performance at the annual Miss Exotic World Pageant, where she danced in make-up and costume as a Klingon, complete with bat'leth.[citation needed]

Contest history[edit]

  • 1981 AFWB American Championships (HeavyWeight) - 4th
  • 1983 NPC Nationals (Heavyweight) - 5th
  • 1983 Gold's Classic - 1st
  • 1995 Miss Exotic World
  • 1996 Special Honorary Award from The Burlesque Hall of Fame

References[edit]

  1. "Pillow - The She-Beast". GMV Productions. Retrieved 2008-08-05.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Legendary burlesque performer Pillow in Vancouver for festival". CBC News. 2019-04-06. Retrieved 2021-04-24.
  3. "Women's Physique World Online Issue #15". Retrieved 2008-08-05.


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