Since 2008 there has been an empirically observable rise in young British men sharing images of their worked-out bodies on social media platforms. This article draws on interviews with men who engage in this popular cultural practice to suggest that it is an embodied and mediated response to the precarious structures of feeling produced by neoliberal austerity. It begins by arguing that as young men’s traditional breadwinning capacities are being eroded in a post-financial crisis austerity economy, increasing numbers of them are turning to sharing images of their worked out bodies as a way of feeling valuable. Moreover, by speaking to men who engage in this practice, it becomes possible to map the affective contradictions of inhabiting the precarious spaces of austerity culture. The article concludes by suggesting that within these affective contradictions lies the potential of resistance to neoliberalism’s ongoing territorialisation of everyday life.
- male body
- social networking sites