Drawing upon 62 participant-produced visual diaries and accompanying interview narratives, this paper explores the significance of everyday body work for people in mid-to-later life. Departing from previous work that has explored the intersections of gender and age in relation to a single embodied practice, this paper highlights the salience of a myriad of bodily practices for the everyday ways that gender and ageing identities are constituted, specifically: hair styling, beauty work, clothing, and dieting. We argue that women negotiate a gendered pressure to age well, which results in an in/visibility paradox, in which they are at one and the same time seen, but not seen. Consequently, we question whether women are thus forever ‘becoming’ – attempting to become embodied subjects, alongside subjecting to ‘becoming’ - aligning with normative discourses. The paper examines the competing ways that ageing and gendered bodies are constructed, together with participants’ embodied resistance to negative normalising discourses.
|Journal||Sociological research online|
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 19 Jan 2020|
- Everyday life
- visual methods
- body work