Women and Fitness in American Culture explores and explodes common representations and experiences of American fitness. This book takes women's experiences as the centre of inquiry toward an understanding of the function of fitness in our lives and in our culture-at-large. Ranging from 1968 to present day, from Jane Fonda to WiiFit, from revolution to institutionalisation, from personal to political, and beyond, this book considers a broad range of topics from an interdisciplinary perspective including; generations, cultural appropriation, community development, art choreography, methodology, healing, and social justice. Drawing on her experience as a cultural theorist, educator, and fitness instructor, the author offers critical and creative approaches that reveal the limitations and possibilities of fitness. This work asks us to think about our own relationship to fitness as well as the more abstract meanings of this term and ultimately argues that a multidimensional idea of fitness has some potential to transform ourselves and our worlds...if we're willing to do the work(out).
Sarah Hentges is an assistant professor of American studies at Minnesota State University Moorhead. She splits her time between Moorhead and Pullman, Washington.