Daniel Silva’s Embodying Modernity: Global Fitness Culture and Building the Brazilian Body (U Pittsburgh Press, 2022) examines the current boom of fitness culture in Brazil in the context of the white patriarchal notions of race, gender, and sexuality through which fitness practice, commodities, and cultural products traffic. The book traces the imperial meanings and orders of power conveyed through “fit” bodies and their different configurations of muscularity, beauty, strength, and health within mainstream visual media and national and global public spheres. Drawing from a wide range of Brazilian visual media sources including fitness magazines, television programs, film, and social media, Daniel F. Silva theorizes concepts and renderings of modern corporality, its racialized and gendered underpinnings, and its complex relationship to white patriarchal power and capital. This study works to define the ubiquitous parameters of fitness culture and argues that its growth is part of a longer collective nationalist project of modernity tied to whiteness, capitalist ideals, and historical exceptionalism.
Patricio Simonetto a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at the Institute of the Americas (University College London).
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