Aesthetic/affective norms of femininity: An obstacle to women’s performance of exercise

María Alejandra Energici, Nicolás Schöngut-Grollmus, Rodrigo Soto-Lagos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Aesthetic/affective norms around femininity could be an obstacle to women’s performance of exercise. Gender differences are significant: women are considerably more inactive than men. In this article we worked with the notion of body image and body affect, with the aim of reflecting on how aesthetic/affective norms around femininity could be an obstacle to women’s performance of exercise in Chile. To understand how these aesthetic/affective norms hinder physical activity, we analyzed media images using a qualitative methodology. The results show that there are four types of female body: extremely thin, thin, fat, and obese. This study explores how affectivity relates to the way in which exercise should be experienced: women must enjoy the actions in order to achieve the ideal body; indeed, they must experience them as pleasant. They should also be performed on a body that feels graceful, fragile, and small. We draw conclusions on the way in which images promote a body affect for the self and for others that becomes a barrier to the performance of female exercise.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Review for the Sociology of Sport
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • aesthetics
  • affect
  • body
  • exercise
  • gender
  • media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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