Lean light fit and tight: Fitblr blogs and the postfeminist transformation imperative

Sarah Riley, Adrienne Evans

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In this chapter we develop a central component of postfeminist sensibility, the transformation imperative, to analyse Fitblr content. “Fitblrs” have emerged as a recognisable element of social media blogging application Tumblr, with text and images intended to motivate followers in their exercise and dietary regimes. Research on postfeminist sensibility in traditional media has shown how transformation is represented as prescriptive, easy and pleasurable, for example in “before” and “after” photography or the reveal of the cosmetic surgery reality TV show. In focusing on user driven content emerging on Fitblr, this chapter demonstrates a shift in the discourse of transformation in which transformative work is constructed as difficult, replete with failure, and requiring physical and psychological hard work. We interpret the reference to hard work, pain and failure as part of the temporal components of health discourses in digital media, and suggest that these components represent new lines of inquiry for feminist research on exercise, health and postfeminist sensibility.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Sporting Femininities
Subtitle of host publicationEmbodied Politics in Postfeminist Times
EditorsKim Toffoletti, Holly Thorpe, Jessica Francombe-Webb
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan UK
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-72481-2
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-72480-5
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2018

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