New article published | Reversal, normalization and self-care – three logics of countering body shame through fitness activities among young Danes

Carsten Stage & Stinne Bach Nielsen

Vol. 14 2023, pages 53–74
Published March 27, 2023


This article explores the relationship between body shame and fitness through interviews with 20 young Danes (age 15-24) who use a fitness centre at least twice a week as part of a process of self-defined bodily transformation. The analysis shows that body shame is a well-known feeling for a vast majority of the informants and that fitness is used by the informants to counter body shame in three ways: through a logic of ‘reversal’, where body shame is transgressed by spectacularly reversing the body – from e.g., being small to pumped or large to slender – with the goal of embodying culturally praised ideals; ‘normalization’, where fitness is used to avoid the negative  … Read more!