Discipline and push-up: Female bodies, femininity, and sexuality in popular representations of sports bras

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

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 representations sexualize sports bras and the women who wear them. In addition, these representations homogenize and normalize ideals of femininity, which are considered achievable through technologies of disciplined body management, and reproduce the traditional gender order.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-205
Number of pages21
JournalSociology of Sport Journal
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Sociology and Political Science

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