Discipline+and+Pushups - Sociology of Sport Journal, 2004,...

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Sociology of Sport Journal, 2004 , 21 , 185-205 © 2004 Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc. Discipline and Push-Up: Female Bodies, Femininity, and Sexuality in Popular Representations of Sports Bras Jaime Schultz The invention of the commercial sports bra in 1977 was a significant advancement for physically active women. Despite its humble origins as an enabling technology, the sports bra has since been invested with new and varied cultural meanings and currencies. In this article I critically read popular representations of sports bras, specifically advertisements and “iconic sports bra moments” that circulate around Brandi Chastain’s celebration of the U.S. women’s soccer team’s victory in the 1999 World Cup. I argue that such representa- tions sexualize sports bras and the women who wear them. In addition, these representa- tions homogenize and normalize ideals of femininity, which are considered achievable through technologies of disciplined body management, and reproduce the traditional gen- der order. L’invention du soutien-gorge sportif commercial en 1977 a constitué un avancement significatif pour les femmes physiquement actives. En dépit de ses humbles origines en tant que technologie habilitante, le soutien-gorge sportif a depuis été investi de significations culturelles variées et nouvelles. Dans cet article, j’apporte une lecture critique des représentations populaires du soutien-gorge sportif et, plus spécifiquement, des publicités et des moments clés du soutien-gorge sportif qui ont circulé après la célébration par Brandi Chastain de la victoire en Coupe du monde 1999 de l’équipe de soccer féminin des États- Unis. Je suggère que ces représentations sexualisent le soutien-gorge sportif et les femmes qui le portent. De plus, ces représentations homogénéisent et normalisent les idéaux de féminité ; des idéaux considérés réalisables par le biais de technologies de gestion du corps discipliné, des idéaux qui reproduisent les relations traditionnelles de genre. Is it true that a clue to a woman’s view of her femininity might be found in On July 10, 1999, over 90,000 people gathered in the Pasadena, California, Rose Bowl to watch the U.S. women’s soccer team play China in the final game of the World Cup. It was the largest crowd that ever gathered to watch a women’s sporting event. An estimated 40 million television viewers tuned in as well, mak- ing it the most watched soccer game, men’s or women’s, in U.S. history (Longman, 1999, p. D1). The peak 18.8 Nielsen rating of the Women’s World Cup final more than doubled the previous high for a televised soccer match in the US, the 1994 men’s World Cup match between the United States and Brazil, which registered a 9.3 rating (Kimball, 1999).
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Discipline+and+Pushups - Sociology of Sport Journal, 2004,...

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