Some federations ( list here ) such as the NPC or a show promoter (the person running the show) will allow you to cross over and compete in different classes within a show. For example, you may be able to compete in figure and bikini divisions or figure and physique in the same show. Other shows or federations do not allow that. You must check all the rules for that federation and specific show before registering. Most federation sites will have a list of shows for the year with the show promoters email so you can contact them ahead of time if need be for planning purposes.
For several years in the mid-1980s, NBC broadcast coverage of the Ms. Olympia contest on their Sportsworld program. The taped footage was telecast months after the contest, and was usually used as secondary material to fill out programs featuring events such as boxing. Typically, the broadcasts included only the top several women. Nevertheless, Rachel McLish and some of her leading competitors were receiving national TV coverage. McLish authored two New York Times best-selling books - "Flex Appeal" (1984) and "Perfect Parts" (1987) – and was also starring in action films. The popularity was growing and women were being empowered and inspired to train. In 1983, the top prize money for the women bodybuilding was $50,000, equal to that of male bodybuilding.