March 18, 2015
Alberta professor: Look Hot While You Fight the Patriarchy
I had initially assumed that the meaning of figure competitions was obvious: they were designed to enforce gender conformity and contain women’s bodybuilding efforts. I was mostly wrong about that. I think that it is too easy to dismiss physique competitions, beauty contests and other forms of bodily display (including gym selfies) without ever having participated in them. I decided to challenge my beliefs and find out why many women are enabled and empowered by figure competitions. While I would never argue that these shows are positive for women in a straightforward manner, I would caution against dismissing them quickly in a way that denigrates the women who enter such shows.