Valerie Cannon Graduated with an MA in 2013.
I received my BA in Anthropology with minors in Spanish and Women's Studies from the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College of Florida Atlantic University. As part of this program I completed a thesis project entitled "If You Can't Play Nice, Play Roller Derby: Investigating Gender Performativity in Women's Flat Track Roller Derby". My dissertation will be a continuation of my interest in the complexities of gender in the context of women's sports.Specifically I'm interested in female bodybuilding as strength oriented fitness/health regime with the potential to counter hegemonic feminine ideals. I see this athletic endeavor as an arena in which women both counter (through sculpting strong, muscular bodies) and reinforce (through judging, getting rid of bodybuilding as a category of competition for women, and the sexualization of competitors through string bikinis, heels, fake nails, or an emphasized femininity) gendered norms of appropriate bodies and health. Additionally my preliminary assessment is that there is a central paradox of health in the practice of competitive bodybuilding in that practitioners emphasize strength regimes and strict diets to achieve the pinnacle of healthy bodies, but these efforts are seemingly contradicted by the use of steroids (by some) and dehydration/extreme dieting to display muscular striation for competition.