Ownership and decoding of the healthy and beautiful body senses: personal trainers perceptions

Human body; Beauty; Health; Perceptions; Power

This work is the final product of a dissertation and it is about the body as a subject of perception, essential in the experience of being, highlighting two fundamental aspects for discussions about contemporary body practices: beauty and health. We assume that personalized training is increasing in body culture, attracting new professionals, enthusiasts and practices; thus creating a new niche market targeted by media. Despite its effervescence, this field is still little discussed among national publications, particularly rare when it comes to establishing dialogue with humanities. Considering relevant the mentioned points, this study investigates the perception of healthy and beautiful body in trained professionals in physical education that act as Personal Trainers (PT).

Considering as background the own body, media and biopolitical devices, this research aims to raise discussion in order to fill a knowledge gap that hinders the understanding of social processes involving body and PT in the current scenario.

This research is qualitative, and the method was a phenomenological view. The analytical corpus consists of 25 individual narratives, who act as PTs in João Pessoa - PB. The instrument used was a semi-structured interview, whose script is from a previous exploratory research, conducted through participant observation and field notes. The customized training was studied to the concepts of lived body (Merleau-Ponty) and habitus (Bourdieu). From these, the reports were analyzed and contrasted, resulting in categories of analysis. It was observed by going to the field that to increase workouts - giving them novelty character - and especially personal marketing, many professionals are using their own body as a kind of “laboratory” for new experiences and practices.

As a result, PTs are marked by the use of the body as the main tool of work, investment and research; increasing the need for self-monitoring and self-care. In this context, we realize that the lived body is the first interaction and expression of the Personal form while being in the world, but it is also a place for professional practice construction and habitus Personal Trainer, reinventing day after day their perception through performing movements. Knowledge is necessary, but do - workouts - gives conditions for exhibiting the body, which in turn draws contractors. Regarding health, all narratives point to the difficulty of verbally expressing and/or organizing ideas on the subject. It has predominated the reproductions of speeches next to standardized and/or sense quantification. With regard to aesthetics, it was observed that subjects had similar or equal perception, pointing to an interface between beauty and health.

In conclusion, it is expected that the Human and Health Sciences are articulated in an attempt to educate and provide opportunities for professionals and students develop perceptions of beautiful and healthy body based on the subjective experience of lived body and not the reproduction of speeches and objectifying standards.

Isabelle Sena Gomes
Dissertação (Mestrado), 2013
Programa Associado de Pós-Graduação em Educação Física, UPE/UFPB

Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    Apr-Jun 2014


  • Received
    01 Mar 2014
  • Accepted
    06 Mar 2014
UNESP Botucatu - SP - Brazil
E-mail: intface@fmb.unesp.br