Disempowering Vs Exercise Culture Essay

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Exercise Culture can be both empowering and disempowering. Brace-Govan discusses how aerobics can be empowering if used to focus on physical performance of the body instead of the appearance (Brace-Govan, 2002). If women use exercise in order to make their body represent that social norm then it can be disempowering. However, exercise culture should encourage the performance aspect of fitness. Two ways to rearrange aerobics class to empower women would be to involve more aspects of strength training, and more freedom of expression. The first breaks the social norm of women being weak and the latter the idea that women should be passive.

There are many institutions that exemplify what an ideal woman’s body should look like. Media being the most prominent, as a result many women exercise in order to make their bodies fit this ideal. Consequently, exercise culture can be viewed as disempowering because it suppresses freedom of expression by mandating that one’s body look a certain way. On the other hand, Collins argues that exercise culture can actually be empowering to women by
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In order to accomplish this aerobics classes can be reconfigured to better suit this need. The major norm is the idea that men’s bodies need to represent strength and women’s bodies show weakness. As of today, it is typical for classes such as Zumba, yoga, and other aerobics to make the body slender through solely engaging is cardio intensive exercises. However, aerobics classes could introduce more strength training exercises in order to produce a body more focused on performance than appearance. An ideal body for performance and health is one that combines all aspects of fitness, which means having muscle and cardiovascular endurance. Going along with Collins strategy of asserting agency, classes should encourage freedom of expression. Ways in which this could be enacted could include student led activities and free style

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