The present article examines the transformations that have taken place in female bodybuilding in France from a sociological point of view. Adopting a comprehensive approach, we describe the contextual influences thought to be responsible for the decline of female bodybuilding. Starting from the premise that the extremely muscular female bodies seen in women’s bodybuilding are the reason for the downfall of the discipline, the analysis focuses on three subcultural influences: the appearance of Beverly Francis on the competition scene, the aesthetic criteria favored by the federations, and the use of nutritional supplements and doping substances.
P. Roussel, UFR APS, University Rennes II, Campus la Harpe, Avenue Charles Tillon, 35044 Rennes, France. J. Griffet, Faculty of sport sciences, University Aix-Marseille II, 163, Avenue de Luminy, CP 990, 13288 Marseille Cedex 09, France. P. Duret, CURAPS, University La Réunion, 117 rue du Général Ailleret, 97430 Tampon, La Réunion, France.