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[[alternative]]Shaping, Training, Loving—The Body Transition in Fashionized Fitness Center

By [[author]]曾美嘉, [[author]]Tseng mei-chia, 曾美嘉 and Tseng mei-chia


[[abstract]]Nowadays, after merging popularity, easiness, fun, and professional image into body exercising, mounting fitness centers have transformed simple ‘working-out’ into a ‘fashionized-exercise’. And furthermore, they have become symbols of upgrading living standards. Fitness centers, which are a kind of space for fashionized-exercise, have become not only places for simply exercising and obtaining health, but also a kind of space given multiple meanings by various aspects, such as ‘body-displaying’, ‘power-transferring’, and ‘social-identification’. According to some theorists’ critical viewpoints, these multiple meanings represent manifold restraints and indifference. This phenomenon results from consumers’ obeying social forms and their confined bodies; whereas, different (self-) interpretations are given by the consumers based on their own experiences. To find out the most valid voices of consumers, this research adopted the method of ethnography, which contains participating, observing, and interviewing. I examine how, in the views of the consumers, fashionable fitness centers gave new meanings to their everyday lives and how consumers were affected. This study, I find out that consumers go through three levels of ‘body transition’. In the first level, they often follow ‘exact rules’ inside the space. These rules are guides, and also a kind of ‘power’ implanted onto individuals, encouraging natural bodies to accept the regulations of the systematic structure. However, at the same time, the practice of ‘exercising’ itself brings true pleasure to consumers’ bodily experiences. These experiences lead their bodies and minds to a dilemma: ‘Joining the fitness center as a torture of ‘hard shaping’’ or ‘going to the gym as a tool for ‘body training’’. Later on, while becoming increasingly familiar with the space, consumers build up attachments with the community while exercising their body with enjoyment. And because consumers have the right to make their own choices, the strictness of ‘exact rules’ can be reversed. The reversion of exact rules agrees to a dynamic balance between consumers and the unconditional power of the rules, which allures devotion towards mutual empathy within the consumers’ community and evokes consumers to become deeply attached to the fitness center. Eventually, customers of fitness centers learn how to love themselves after disregarding restraints of the outer structure while being part of the community. And they also become willing to enjoy and appreciate their own lives. From ‘hard shaping’/ ‘body training’ to ‘body training’/ ‘being attached to the space (fitness center)’ and further on to ‘being attached’/ ‘loving one’s own body and self’, consumers begin with a submissive attitude, and then, following the supports from the community, they find a great way to evoke self-loving in fashionized fitness centers.

Topics: 鍊/練/戀, 身體過渡, 健身房, 時尚運動, Shape, train, love/attached, body transition, fitness center, fashionized-exercise, [[classification]]59
Year: 2010
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