Gendered Body of Turkish Bikini Fitness Athletes on Instagram


COMMUNICATION & SPORT, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume:
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/2167479520961370
  • Title of Journal : COMMUNICATION & SPORT


This study sought to understand how Turkish bikini fitness athletes discipline their bodies on Instagram by using Foucault's theorization of self-surveillance. We examined Instagram photos of 10 bikini fitness athletes and completed interviews with them. We analysed data by conducting quantitative and qualitative content analysis. The findings show that both bikini fitness and Instagram are modern forms of self-surveillance for Turkish female athletes. Bikini fitness dictates (hetero)normative femininity norms such as femininity, sexuality and heterosexual desirability with a feminine glance, silicone breast implants, make-up, long hair, jewelry, and so on. However, Turkish female athletes build a docile body image by confirming that they do not share sexually suggestive poses on Instagram, because of religious and patriarchal norms in Turkey. However, bikini fitness and Instagram are also considered to be potential tools of resistance against religious norms and patriarchal power for these athletes.