Are you ripped? Do you need to work on your abs? Do you know
your ideal body weight? Your body fat index? Increasingly,
Americans are being sold on a fitness ideal -- not just thin but
toned, not just muscular but cut -- that is harder and harder to
reach. In Body Panic, Shari L. Dworkin and Faye Linda Wachs ask
why. How did these particular body types come to be "fit"? And how
is it that having an unfit, or "bad," body gets conflated with
being an unfit, or "bad," citizen?
Dworkin and Wachs head to the newsstand for this study,
examining ten years worth of men's and women's health and fitness
magazines to determine the ways in which bodies are "made" in
today's culture. They dissect the images, the workouts, and the
ideology being sold, as well as the contemporary links among
health, morality, citizenship, and identity that can be read on
these pages. While women and body image are often studied together,
Body Panic considers both women's and men's bodies side-by-side and
over time in order to offer a more in-depth understanding of this
pervasive cultural trend.
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