• Meredith Nash
Part of the Genders and Sexualities in the Social Sciences book series (GSSS)


As I have been arguing throughout this book, pregnant bodies are subject to an inordinate amount of social scrutiny in the contemporary West; women must ‘work’ very hard to achieve a pregnant body that conforms to social expectations of good motherhood. This chapter further extends this theme by looking at the multiple ways in which a good and fit pregnant body with a taut, tight ‘bump’ is perceived to be an achievement. During the period of research, a ‘fit’ pregnancy was, and continues to be, culturally sanctioned and celebrated. This message was most prominently communicated in the media through the pregnancies of two internationally recognised elite athletes: Paula Radcliffe, a British marathoner, and Jana Rawlinson, an Australian hurdler. Throughout 2007, both of these women were upheld as ‘supermums’ by the media in light of their continued commitment to twice-daily track workouts until just days before giving birth (see Franck-Dumas, 2007, p. 349; Gullan, 2007, p. 118).1 These athletes were upheld as ideal models of ‘fit’ pregnancy, imbued with social and physical capital.2


Pregnant Woman Body Image Pregnancy Weight Gain Body Project Positive Body Image 
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Copyright information

© Meredith Nash 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Meredith Nash
    • 1
  1. 1.University of TasmaniaAustralia

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