Women's “beach body” in Australian women's magazines

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Journal Article
Annals of Tourism Research, 2017, 63 pp. 23 - 33
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© 2016 Representations of tourism subjects, both people and places, extend beyond specifically tourism media. This paper explores the presummer images of swimwear and beach bodies in Australian women's lifestyle magazines. A content analysis of swimwear images confirmed British findings that there was a general uniformity in the characteristics of the women modelling the swimsuits: young, slim, white ethnicity (but tanned) and able-bodied. Critical Discourse Analysis highlighted that the beach body discourse is in many ways contested. On the one hand the beach is a place of abandonment, but women need to work hard to achieve the required normative image. Women's agency and choice is questioned due to the narrow normative image and the neo-liberal, consumerist systems underlying the discourse.
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