Beyond the Perfect Body

  title={Beyond the Perfect Body},
  author={Pirkko Markula},
  journal={Journal of Sport \& Social Issues},
  pages={158 - 179}
  • P. Markula
  • Published 2001
  • Sociology
  • Journal of Sport & Social Issues
This article examines how fitness magazines address women’s body image distortion (BID). The discussion derives primarily from three articles published in Self, Shape, and The New Weekly. The author briefly outlines how these magazines characterize BID as a common illness and how they advise their readers to improve their “out of whack” body image. From a Foucauldian feminist perspective, the author analyzes why the magazines devote space to counseling women with body image problems but… Expand
A Critical Analysis of Media Images Depicting the New Athletic Body Ideal and One Woman's Experience with Them
The ideal body type for women in the United States is morphing into one that not only requires a thin physique, but visible muscle definition and fitness. The athletic body type must still possessesExpand
The Re-shaping of Bodies: A Discourse Analysis of Feminine Athleticism
The results and discussion indicate that the female athletic body is a result of a complex nexus of different discourses associated with the powers of economy, sex differences, institutions, and ideological forces. Expand
Exploring Women’s Experiences: Embodied Pathways and Influences for Exercise Participation
It has been well-documented that women face pressures to conform to a slim, toned, and athletic body, becoming “tyrannised” by beauty ideals. Under these contemporary ideologies of perfectionism,Expand
Fit for Two? A Critical Discourse Analysis of Oxygen Fitness Magazine
In this article, Foucault’s notions of disciplinary power and biopower are used in examining representations of pregnancy, fitness, and health in “Fit for Two,” a tips column for new and expectantExpand
See How She Runs: Feminists Rethink Fitness
This special issue of IJFAB starts from the premise that fitness is a feminist issue, and, more specifically, it is an issue that ought to be of concern to feminists interested in bioethics. While aExpand
Analysis of Social Work Practice: Foucault and Female Body Image in Therapy
The cultural discourse of the female body is riddled with language of management for the individual and the practitioner. Social work practice with body image concerns calls for a best practice ofExpand
Can-Fit-Pro, The Fit Body and The Field of Physical Fitness.
This thesis presents an examination of how the body is situated within the field of physical fitness: it examines how individuals learn what a ‘fit’ body looks and ‘performs’ like, and explores theExpand
Shapes of motherhood: exploring postnatal body image through photographs
This article contributes to, and extends, feminist and visual sociological scholarship by examining how a sample of pregnant women in Australia documented their postpartum experiences through digitalExpand
Musculinity: A Critical Visual Investigation of Male Body Culture
While a sizable body of research has focused on gender and fitness, few have explored the intersections of gender and fitness identity. Although a significant volume of research has been dedicated toExpand
Bodies, Narratives, Selves, and Autobiography
This article focuses on Lance Armstrong’s autobiography titled It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life. From a perspective informed by autobiographical studies and the sociology of the bodyExpand


Through the methodology of textual analysis, this study discusses how women's fitness magazine texts equate physical health with beauty and how this equation is achieved. Michel Foucault's ideas onExpand
This study demonstrates how the metaphor of the panopticon, a particular prison structure that renders prisoners self-monitoring, offers a useful way of understanding the mechanisms that inculcate anExpand
The Edible Woman
This article investigates the formation of the anorexic and bulimic body within popular women's magazines. Several readings are proposed: firstly, that contemporary femininity is strongly constructedExpand
Firm but Shapely, Fit but Sexy, Strong but Thin: The Postmodern Aerobicizing Female Bodies
This paper aims to reconstruct the cultural dialogue surrounding the female body image in aerobics. To do this I have used several methods: ethnographic fieldwork, interviews, and media analysis. IExpand
Cultural Expectations of Thinness in Women
This study attempts to document and quantify the shift toward a thinner ideal shape for females in the authors' culture over the last 20 years, including data from Playboy centerfolds and Miss America Pageant contestants and a significant increase in diet articles in six popular women's magazines. Expand
The spectacle of anorexia nervosa
Critical examinations of post‐industrial culture have identified the body as an important site of ideological labor. By questioning the existence of essences and the possibility of a subjectivityExpand
The Selling of HRT: Playing on the Fear Factor
For decades, women's health activists have been critical of the medical system's lack of interest in olderwomen's issues. Osteoporosis and heart disease were excellent examples of the problematicExpand
Between Voice and Discourse: Quilting Interviews on Anorexia
This article asks, “How can we be true to and respect the inner experiences of people and at the same time critically assess the cultural discourses that form the very stuff from which ourExpand
Healthism and the Medicalization of Everyday Life
  • R. Crawford
  • Sociology, Medicine
  • International journal of health services : planning, administration, evaluation
  • 1980
By elevating health to a super value, a metaphor for all that is good in life, healthism reinforces the privatization of the struggle for generalized well-being. Expand
The Premenstrual Syndrome “Dis-easing” the Female Cycle
This paper reflects on masculinist biases affecting scientific research on the Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). Masculinist bias is examined on the level of observation language and in the choice ofExpand