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Jamieson%2C+2008%2C+Athletic+Fatness

Jamieson%2C+2008%2C+Athletic+Fatness - w—LW Branch Main...

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Unformatted text preview: _. . w—LW Branch Main Library Lending https://rapid2.library.colostate.edu/IllNierueue.aspx?ViewType=... Ra id #: -17592 Ariel IP: 165.230.139.63 3 Mill lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllil5 lllllllllllllllllll lllllllllllllllllllllilllll \ Status Rapid Code Branch Name Start Date Pending 805 Main Library 4/17/2008 8:05:06 AM CALL #: Current Periodicals LOCATION: BOS :: Main Library :: Mugar Library stacks TYPE: Article CC:CCG JOURNAL TITLE: Sociology of sport journal USER JOURNAL TITLE: Sociology of Sport 805 CATALOG TITLE: Sociology of sport journal ARTICLE TITLE: Athletic Fatness: Forgiving Corpulence in elite bodies ARTICLE AUTHOR: VOLUME: 25 ISSUE: 1 MONTH: YEAR: 2008 PAGES: 148-163 ISSN: 07414235 OCLC #: CROSS REFERENCE ID: 47890 VERIFIED: BORROWER: NJR :: Main Library PATRON: Gomes,Kimberly PATRON ID: ‘ PATRON ADDRESS: ' PATRON PHONE: ' PATRON FAX: - PATRON E-MAIL; [email protected] PATRON DEPT: - PATRON STATUS: Rutgers Graduat PATRON NOTES: ’ - This material may be protected by copyright law (Title 17 US. Code) ~' ' "-2’: “J'- System Date/Time: 4/17/2008 8:20:14 AM MST 3 OfS 4/17/2008 10:20 AM m. wwmmmmmnmh \ W w. sociology 0/ Sport Journal. 2008. 25 148463 © 2008 Human Kinetics. Inc. Athletic Fatness: Forgiving Corpulence in Elite Bodies Katherine M Jamieson, University of North Carolina-Greensboro Melissa Blair Andrews University of North Carolina- Greensboro Amy Stringer Elon University in crafting this analysis of professional golfers John Daly and Laura Davies. we were struck by the contradictions to corporeal rationality that elite. corpulent athletes might enact through their mere presence. as \\ ell as through their public ability to compete with idealized athletic bodies. That sport and dominant beliefs about sport contribute to disciplining bodies is not a point of contention for us. it is. however: unclear where the disciplining lines are drawn. and \\ hat happens \\ hen bodies that resist corporeal rationality refuse to disappear. \Vhat are the consequences of/for prrblicly successful. trndisciplined bodies operating instead in a corporeal irrationality”? Ofcourse this entire litre of qrrestionitrg strggests fissures in the disciplining systems of corporeal rationality outlined by several scholars rKirk. ZOO—l: Shilling. 2005). it is to when and where such disciplining systems come unhinged that we aim this analysis of John Daly and Laura Davies. Darts cette analyse des golfeurs professionnels John Daly et Laura Davies. nous e’tions frappe's par les contradictions de la rationalité corporelle des athletes d'e'lite corpulents et de leur habilete’ ptrblique a entrer en competition avec des corps sportif ide’alise’s. Nous rte contestons pas l‘idée que le sport et les croyances domi- nantes sur le sport contribuent a la discipline des corps. Les lignes disciplinaires ne sont cependant pas clairement e’tablies. Qu'arrive t-il donc lorsque les corps qui re‘sistent a la rationalité corporelle refusent de disparaitre 2’ Quelles sont les consequences des corps indiscipline’s mais vainqueurs et populaires‘ qtri operent plutot au sein d‘une irrationalité corporelle ‘.’ Bien .srfrr. ces questions suggerent des fissures aux systemes disciplinaires de la rationalite’ corporelle déct‘its par plusieurs auteurs (Kirk. 2004: Shilling. 2005). Cette analyse de John Daly et Laura Davies est centrée sur de tels systemes disciplinaircs ainsi que le moment et le lieu de leur cassure. \ Katherine M. .lamieson and Melissa Blair Andrews are with the University of North Carolina» GTE‘eltsboro. Department of Exercise and Sport Science. 2373 HHP Building. Greensboro. NC: Amy Stringer is with Elon University, Department ofHealth and Human Performance. Koury Athletic Center I43 F. 2525 Campus Box. Elon. NC. 148 Athletic Fatness 149 How did Daly and Davies come to occupy the space of elite athleticism? How have they each been able to maintain their right to this space that is typically inhabited by other kinds of bodies? Just what does their presence in professional golf illuminate in the way of their tactics of resistance. as well as their ability to negotiate ongoing currents of corporeal rationality"? Through these questions. we will intentionally locate fatness in the elite athleticism of Davies and Daly. thus recuperating corpulence as a complex aspect ofelite performance. not merely an anti- or postathletic subjectivity (Gilman. ZOO-l). Another frame for this inquiry focuses on what is exposed as fat athletes tf/athletes) experience and rise their bodies as sites of resistance. When does size matter. and to what extent do different figurations of body size produce different consequences? Borrowing from Pillow (1997). a key question here might also be how do f/athletes "enact. resist. and live with the increased interest and control their [fat] bodies incite in others?" (p. 353 i. it is in pondering such matters that we arrive at this analysis of two high—performing. large bodies—John Daly and Laura Davies. Daly and Davies as Body Projects These days Davies and Daly do not regularly defeat their more lit competitors. but each has managed to remain competitive in a field of overly disciplined bodies. Interestingly. corptrlence is not all the two share in common» they are both also known as outspoken. bold. antiestablishment professionals who lea\ c their fans desiring more of their familiar. everyman or rev ery woman) way of being in the world. Both came from working-class lxrckgrounds. and ncithcr completed a college degree. Daly and Davies are known as long—ball hitters. making their nav igation of the very space ofgolfdifferent from that ofother tour players. They are both garri— blers. equally undesirous of a coach. and dislike practicing at golfevents. althottgh both have practice facilities at their homes. Daly himself is clear to suggest that one "warms up at events. One does not really practice" (Daly & Waggoner. 2006. p. l63). Toward this end. the straightforward analysis of this dynamic duo lays in their apparent appeal to a dominant media that insists on echoing the mediealized rhetoric about obesity. lives ofexcess. individual responsibility for health risk man~ agement. and belief in progress through corporeal discipline. Both of these bodies are readily used to prop up a moral discourse and ideology that would lead many to wonder why Daly and Davies would choose to live in these bodies. Yet. these physically competent. publicly productive. f/athletes seem differently complicated. and might have a different experience in the social world as compared with less publicly productive persons who also live fat. Laura Davies Laura Davies was born in Coventry. England. on October 5. l963. Her professional golfing career began in 1985 at age 22. Davies. who had worked stocking shelves at Sainsbury"s. borrowed money from her mother to play in the British Curtis Cup in l984. Two years later she won the women‘s British Open. and in the following year she became first British woman to capture the us Women‘s Open as an amateur. Daviesjoined the LPGA Tour in 1988. a rookie season that included two wins. Among her 20 LPGA career victories are four majors. Davies has amassed 150 Jamieson. Stringer, and Andrews 67 total professional wins. 46 international victories. and earned the Rolex Player of the Year award. John Daly John Daly was born in northern California. one of 3 children. and was raised in Arkansas until the family moved to Virginia to accommodate his father's employ— ment (Daly 8; Waggoner. 2006). Daly began playing golf at the age of four. and prematurely ended his collegiate career at the University ofArkansas to "go pro" in l987. Failing to qualify for the PGA tour. hejoined the Sunshine tour in South Africa for 2 years. then played the Hogan Tour (now known as the Nationwide tour). In [990. Daly earned his PGA Tour card for the l99l season (Daly 8; Waggoner. 2006) and won that year‘s PGA championship after a last-minute call up as 9th alternate. To date Daly has amassed l2 wins. including 5 PGA wins and 2 majors. Sizing up the body The intellectual focus on corpulencc and athleticism might be linked with a revi- sionist moment that some scholars refer to as the mum/iv turn an intellectual moment where the body has gained the attention of social scientists and is at the core of many scholarly analyses of (postlidentity and subjectivity (Kuhlrnan 8: Babitsch. 2002: Williams. I996). That is. social scientists of all stripes and hues have expressed renewed interest in the body as both natural and cultural phenom— enon ( Blrrrn. 2002; Gremillion. 2005: Joyce. 2005: Reislrer & Koo. 2004: Wolputte. 200-1). In large part. social scientists are calling for several core analytic priorities. including ( l ) dismantling of dualisms: the nature vs. culture debate (Grosz. I994; Hoogland. 2002): (2) recognition that biology is not constant: an acknowledgment of the ways bodies and bodily systems are always in flux (Corbin. 2003; Grosz. I994: Hoogland. 2002: Kelly & Field. 1996: Williams. I996): and (3) analytic distinction between analyses of the socially constructed selfas expressed through the body vs. a sociological analysis of the body (Williams. I996). Getting outside ofa nature—culture dualism. recognizing how biology matters. and attending to the disarray that is biology are key to any scholarly analysis ofthe body that "attempts to unite the physiological. psychological, and social realms of bodily being" (Wil— liams, I996. p. 703). Accordingly. both natural (prediscursive) and cultural (discursive) analytic positions are problematic on their own. because neither offers an innocent analysis of the body. Gremillion (2001 ) suggests that in failures to properly theorize the “lived mate- riality of bodily experience" the problem is not that the material body is ignored. but rather when the body is considered. it is often treated as though it exists in some unitary way. reflective of some agreed upon set of functions (p. 383). In reality. the body is always in transition. both biologically and culturally. thus the need to theorize bodies as in process. Fat bodies are indeed always in process and subject to the discourses avail- able to them in any given politco-historical moment. For example. in August of 2000. 4—year old Anamarie Regino was removed from her parents because her body size was deemed dangerous to her health. For Regino. biology and culture Athletic Fatness 151 came together to situate both her and her parents (deemed negligent) as dangerous bodies. despite the fact that. at the time of her abduction by the state. there was no evidence that Regino’s health was in danger—it was her size that mattered. Campos (2004b) notes that the state's actions were motivated by a racialized narrative of the Regino family. largely based on the fact that her father was born in Mexico. A state-sponsored narrative of the family as uneducated and culturally deficient lead to a number of sanctions and surveillance routines all aimed at weight loss for Anamarie. The Regino case reveals the emergence of dangerous social sanc- tions as motivational tools for failed bodies. especially “when the war on obesity. the war on poverty. and the war against immigration all converge on one body" (Herndon. 2005. p. 139). ' Moreover. Her'ndon (2002) suggests that in the absence ofa standard for defin— ing what is “fat” in Western society. an impression ofcultural fatness gets imposed to stigmatize individuals. especially women. marking them not only fat but also immoral (p. 132). Echoing this. Longhurst (2005 ) argues the wordfiir is in the very least incendiary and. at its core. may be rhetor'ically violent in Western society. especially because it typifies an “immoral dirty-tress." or “a moral and physical decay" (p. 249). Yet. John Daly and Laura Davies move in and out ofcr'itiques of their corpulcnce. Although their corpulence does show up in the media as a problem. it also gets articulated as a crucial aspect of individuality It seems corpulence is somewhat forgiven in these publicly productive bodies. We remain curious about the basis ofsuch cultural forgiveness and try to ascertain its grounding throughout this analysis. As well. we are interested in the ways fatness gets taken up differently in these two athletic bodies. including howfiu could become a rhetorical device for articulating other categories of difference. In the Rough:The Loss of the “Pure” Golfing Body Negotiating questions of fat identity involves a fluid. alternating pattern of invocation and refusal of mainstream tropes of health. nature. and beauty. (LeBesco. 2004. p. l23) ln golf. history and nostalgia are on the side ofcorpulence. In fact. it seems a more "real" and maybe even “pure” golfing body has been snatched from existence and replaced with machine-like. fitness—trailerjunkies—not golfers as rntrch as fitness experts who also excel at golf. In the face ofthis shift. some argue for the original golfing body as a desirable, nostalgic. pure body. One newspaper reported: Golf is the game where guys who can barely get their backswing past their bellybuttons can make a ball land on a green like a butterfly with tired feet. You can be pint-sized, ponsified. or. like Laura Davies. resemble a linebacker in drag. There is no cookie cutter for great golfers. just that stroke of magic. that golden touch. (Harris. 2004. (II 3) Another suggested: It seems like only yesterday that professional golfers were known for puffing on cigarettes between shots and peering over their beer bellies to find their FootJoys. But golf has moved to the mainstream of sports. where time spent MN 152 Jamieson. Stringer, and Andrews conditioning has becomejust as important as time spent on the putting greens. Some exceptions exist—Tim Herron and John Daly seem intent on landing Twrnkie endorsements. (Sheeley. I999. (ll l—2) Moreover. some suggest that fatness might actually be preferred over the glamorous. hard body physiques that many younger members of both men‘s and women‘s golf now perform. I think [the Americans loss of the Ryder Cup] has something to do with the European fatties being more comfortable inside their natural skins than America's golf supermodels. Golf. after all. is the world‘s last. great. soft- muscle sport. What the Americans needed was talented flab. the likes ofJohn Daly. (Harris. 2004. “ll l2) With that bodily diversity seemed to come a purity of intention as well. In this regard. Daly was quoted as saying: "Fur/y (Zoeller) tells me I should have played in the old days. with him and Tom Watson and Lee Trevino and those guys." Daly says. "They never worked out. All they cared about was winning. not the money. Trophies. that‘s all that has ever mattered to me. l never cared about the money" (Osler. 300531127). ' Thus. Daly's insistence that golfis about the quality ofthe game. not about the pay -off locates him among the "old—school" golfers rather than among his cohort ofeconomically elite peers. Despite his own rhetoric. he fits in both groups. seem» ingly having enjoyed elite competition and also having earned significant economic reward for his talent. On the LPGA tour. the pure golfing body seemed more about intent rather than a license to inhabit a fat body. That is. certain members of the LPGA have been described as “throwbacks” to a more pure game of golf (Maty szczyk. l993)~a time of love for high—quality performance. not compensation for said performance. “Johnson. Davies. and Alfredsson like to live a little. They are throwbacks to the days before golfers played to earn rather than to win. They play for love first. money second. They play for a win. not a place" (Matyszczyk. (ll l3). These nostalgic remarks loeate golfing bodies as previously liberated and unencumbered by a healthism metric. whereas today's golfing bodies are measured by an expert—certified fitness standard. Interestingly. the PGA had no formal corn- mitnrent to Tour members” fitness before the year 2000. although the Tour regularly made an injury rehabilitation trailer available to Tour players (Rothman. 2005). The success of extremely fit golfers Annika Sorenstam. Tiger Woods. and Vijay Singh. in concert with a general commodfication ofexercise and individualization of health risk management. surely paved the way for the PGA and LPGA to commit to fitness trailers at every tour event location.2 Rothman suggests that "as many :ds half the competitors each week spend significant time working out instead of Just working out the kinks" (i 2). In a conversation with Michael Ryan, a strength and conditioning expert for the PGA, Rothman asserts that the technically trained golfing body will translate into a lower scoring golfing body. This is clearly a move from a natural, pure golfing body to a highly disciplined. technically advanced golfing body that pushes the limits of human performance. Ironically, the same klnd of mechanistic logic about physical performance of fit bodies explains a good Athletic Fatness 153 amount of the strengths of Davies‘ and Daly‘s games in spite of their seemingly problematic large bodies.‘ In a contradictory twist. the 3006 Women‘s Open championship featured an l8—hole play—off (an extra day of play) between the machine—like fitness junkie. Annika Sorenstam. and the “rotund” Pat Hurst (Wiederer. 2007. ‘ll 48). In the end. Sorenstam was victorious. but the refusal of Hurst‘s fat body to go away or give in illuminates the limits of corporeal rationality (Shilling. 2005). Yet. corporeal rationality is clearly powerful in golf. despite the presence of resistant bodies. For example. even with a fit and healthy appearance when. because of a disability. Casey Martin was unable walk the entire l8 hole course for the duration of the tournament. he was disqualified by the PGA (Mass & Hasbrook. 200] ). The Martin case further reveals the layers of corporeal rationality that privilege some bodies and literally disallow others. Thus. even as both tours make fitness trailers available at each tour event. (Harper. 2005). and many tour players ha\e their own physical trainers (Harper: Wiederer. 2007). there remain many contradictions in w hat counts as athletic. tit. fat. and productive (Gilman. 2004). Moreover. a rotttantlci/cd era of hanging out in the clubhouse after l8 holes ofgolf has been replaced with a technologi/ed era of hanging out in the fitness trailer'. In the case of Laura Davies and John Daly. two athletic and fat bodies. a linear progression ofbody projects sccms inadequate. because they each continue to be productive in their differently contoured bodies. Moreover. their bodies have changed (r\ cr time. in back and forth directions. rather that) a linear. progression toward an externally directed body project. Lying in Weight? The act of livitrg fat is itself an act of defiance. an eschewal of discursive modes of bodily being. . . . In order to be accorded personhood. [the fat body I is expected to engage in a continual process of transforrnation. of becoming. and indeed ofunbecoming. (Murray. 2005. p. l55) Samantha l\'Iurray‘s (2005) conceptualization of the necessary impermanerrce of the fat body is especially relevant here. Despite the apparent comfort. wellness. and ability in these corpulent bodies. both Daly and Davies often became markers of failed body projects. primarily through unmet weight loss and visible health management goals. Moreover. media texts offer weight loss as the sole reason for increasing success for' Davies and Daly. Adding another layer to Murray‘s concept ofthe necessary impermanence of fat bodies. Corbin (2003 ,) found that people with chronic illness have varied. problematic. and even nostalgic relationships w ith their bodies. She posits being healthy as marked by “feeling good once again." "feeling like my ol...
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