Everyday Distortions

Youth sport and body images

Authored by: Michael Gard

Routledge Handbook of Youth Sport

Print publication date:  January  2016
Online publication date:  January  2016

Print ISBN: 9780415840033
eBook ISBN: 9780203795002
Adobe ISBN: 9781134469932


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I have hundreds, perhaps thousands of bodies. There is the body that confronts me at close quarters in the bathroom mirror first thing in the morning and, miraculously changed, last thing at night. There is the altogether more pleasing body that appears in softer lighting and at a slightly greater distance. My body appears to me as a different thing depending on whether it is dressed, half-dressed or naked and different again when clothed in each of the combinations that my wardrobe allows. All of the bodies I have been – thinner, fatter, younger, older, darker, more pale, sick, healthy – still live with me too. In fact, the memories of my body are utterly present in my life; in my mind, my photographs, the clothes that no longer fit. My body can change radically from moment to moment; pleasingly proportioned when I approach my reflection with deliberate forethought, unsettlingly unfamiliar when I catch a glimpse of it unexpectedly.

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