Exercising exclusions : Space, visibility, and monitoring of the exercising fat female body
Harjunen, H. (2019). Exercising exclusions : Space, visibility, and monitoring of the exercising fat female body. Fat Studies, 8 (2), 173-186. doi:10.1080/21604851.2019.1561101
Published inFat Studies
© 2019 Taylor & Francis
The author’s aim is to inspect the position of the fat (female) body in the field of exercise. Specifically, the author is interested in fat women’s experiences of their treatment while exercising in public, and argues that, in particular, public spaces for exercise, such as gyms and swimming pools, are currently discursively and concretely constructed as “exclusive” spaces for the normative bodied. Bodies that are deemed non-normative, such as fat bodies, are often made either invisible or intolerable in the discourse of physical activity and exercise. Consequently, public spaces for exercise such as gyms or swimming pools are seen as out of bounds for non-normative bodies and this is reflected in fat people’s experiences of their treatment doing exercise. Fat women in particular experience disrespectful treatment in such places: they are harassed, ridiculed, and commented on. As the material, the author uses a public discussion concerning fat people and exercise that took place in the Finnish media in the spring of 2015, and the author aims to show that to make physical activity and exercise more attractive to fat people, more attention should be paid to its discursive and practical construction as a space for all bodies. ...