Date of Award
College of Liberal Arts
Type of Degree
This study examines the bodybuilding community by conducting interviews and watching the bodybuilding documentaries Pumping Iron, Pumping Iron II, and Generation Iron. Bodybuilders’ performance of the body is not solely acted just on stage for competitions. Rather, bodybuilders are continuously redefining limitations of what we determine a ‘normal’ body looks like. By using the concept of the gaze, I analyze bodybuilders’ bodies as an oddity on and off stage (Mulvey, 1989). The oddity of their body transforms the space it takes up into a stage for entertainment. I then examine gender performances of female and male bodybuilders within the traditionally masculine sport. I argue that although female bodybuilders are participating within a sport that is socially identified as masculine, they are not challenging femininity but representing a particular form of it. I also argue that female bodybuilders expose the fluidity of gender while reflecting various forms of feminine gender performance.
Bodybuilding for women.
Greaf, Caitlin, "Bodybuilding is an art and your body is the canvas: an examination of bodybuilders and the built body" (2016). Theses, Dissertations and Capstones. 1041.