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.These models internalize a normalizing gaze and, by use of individualized disciplinary practices, reproduce the “subjected and practiced bodies, ‘docile’ bodies.”8 Here, these models actively work on their bodies to achieve a look mandated by the cosmetic panopticon.They judge their bodies through fashion’s eyes and according to fashion’s criteria.When they fail, they experience a sense of shame and insecurity, similar to that of Caroline.While a group of plus-size models and I waited in the hallway for an open call with an agency, one freelance, size sixteen model, Caroline, anxiously asked the departing models if they had been measured by the agent during the interview.Once Caroline heard that the agent measured the other models “in over a dozen places no one would expect,” she turned to me in noticeable panic, explaining that her measurements had changed from the ones listed on her composite card—a model’s business card—since she had gained weight over the holidays.Caroline knew it was common practice for agents to measure models.The act of being measured, itself, did not trouble her.Rather, Caroline feared that the agent would chastise her for her failure to maintain her bodily measurements.Caroline believed that the agent would then perceive her as unprofessional and, therefore, refuse to work with her.Caroline depended on securing this agent’s representation to provide her with work opportunities.As a freelance model, she exhausted her existing contacts and needed new clients.This level of fear-laden bodily consciousness that Caroline exhibited is not only typical but also necessary for a plus-size model, who is subject to fashion’s gaze.Models, like Caroline, experience an overt, constant pressure to maintain their figures, since there is always someone, whether an agent or client, present with a tape measure.Little did I know that my decision to model had an effect on aspects of my life thought to be unfazed by fashion’s trends and preoccupation with appearance.For example, I reflected more on what I wore to the classroom to teach a class of college undergraduates.I utilized some of the tricks I learned from makeup artists and hair stylists and gained a newfound appreciation for Velcro rollers.I stuck to my six-day-a-week exercise routine of Pilates and cardio on the treadmill and, with due hypervigilance, counted calories and monitored portion sizes using smaller plates and mini snack bowls.Failure to do so would induce a pang of guilt and lead to stress, which would lead to breakouts, so I leaned on meditative prayer and flexibility training with its relaxing stretches as my stabilizing crutch after the time spent dwelling on my body and appearance.I had successfully internalized the self-surveillance and discipline required of models by a fashion institution.I, too, succumbed to the pressure of tracking my body’s measurements daily with a measuring tape, the prominent tool of institutionalized corporal discipline and regulation.Artful ManipulationsContrary to cultural perceptions of fat women, plus-size models are disciplined and engage in constant monitoring and management of their bodily capital.Sociologist Loïc Wacquant utilizes the case of the boxer to explain this concept of bodily capital:The successful pursuit of a career [in boxing].presupposes a rigorous management of the body, a meticulous maintenance of each one of its parts, an attention of every moment, in and out of the ring, to its proper functioning and protection.The pugilist’s body is at once the tool of his work—an offensive weapon and defensive shield—and the target of his opponent.9Here, the boxer’s body is a form of commodified physical capital, requiring monitoring and training in order to win a match.In this way, bodily capital becomes essential to the boxer’s habitus, a bodily state of being that is both a medium and outcome of social practice.Both Wacquant’s boxers and the plus-size models in this study convert their bodily capital, i.e., the shape and active capacity of a body, into economic capital.For the plus-size model, her body is her career.The condition of her body—the size, shape, and muscle tone—determines her chances for employment.Training the body increases its utility and capital.In their ethnographic study of aging ballet dancers, Steven P.Wainwright and Bryan S.Turner refine Bourdieu’s concept of bodily capital.To better describe the athletic nature of the professional dancer, Wainwright and Turner divide the concept of “athletic physical capital” into four criteria: speed, strength, stamina, and suppleness.All four aspects are present in athletes with differing levels of concentrated development.While a dancer may focus on increasing suppleness, a boxer will train to increase strength and speed.Modeling is similar to these fields, as well as to sex work and acting, which focus on engendered physical capital, where a worker commodifies her body.For example, both sex workers and fashion models modify their physical appearance to achieve a successful performance of the body.As sociologists Jennifer K.Wesely and Alexandra G.Murphy argue in their independent ethnographic studies, exotic dancers manipulate their bodies via numerous body technologies to prepare themselves for their public performance as sexualized bodies for male clients [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]