In this paper, I conduct a feminist multimodal critical discourse analysis (FMCDA) of the Lorna Jane (LJ) retail website (www.lornajane.com.au), an Australian fitness fashion company, to examine the discursive strategies used by the company to authorize a particular notion of “active living” for women. Specifically, I shall examine how the semiotic choices on the LJ website signify key discourses and themes related to health and fitness and how they are used to place the responsibility for fitness and health onto individual women. In particular, I focus on the discourses inscribed through the technologies, styles, fabrics, colors, cuts, and sizing of LJ clothing items. I am also interested in the underlying choices, assumptions, and biases of these constructions and the power relationships underpinning them. I conclude that “empowerment” for women on the LJ website is imagined in a limited, individualistic way.
The author is with the Department of Sociology, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.