Elements of a sensibility : fitness blogs and postfeminist media culture
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This thesis applies a feminist theoretical perspective to interrogate discourses of postfeminism, as well as the position of the female body, fitness, and resistance within contemporary American culture. I argue that women’s fitness blogs are a vehicle for the production of Rosalind Gill’s “postfeminist sensibility,” focusing specifically on fitness bloggers’ use of self-surveillance and monitoring, personal transformation or “makeovers”, and intensified consumerism. Using ideological textual analysis of several fitness blogs as case studies, I examine the ways in which women publicly negotiate their relationships with their body through the documentation and disclosure of their food and exercise lifestyles. This thesis also acknowledges the feminist potential of fitness blogs as spaces in which women may strive towards body positivity and recovery from eating disorders, as well as challenge cultural expectations regarding female body and appetite.