Body Rocked: The Sexual Exploitation of Lisa-Marie

For the longest time, I wanted to know what so many of my #FitBlog friends were talking about. Eventually, I decided to tune in and catch it. You see, normally, I’m up and about by 6:45 a.m., so by 7:15 a.m., I’m usually on Twitter seeing what everyone is doing for the morning. Many of my buds have tweets which give clear indication. They’ll be spending the next 12 or so minutes sweating it out to  BodyRock! Imagine a truly intense, at home workout that gets you going and gets those veins popping with minimal cost. So instead of the $140 you might spend for something like P90X, you pay almost nothing and get ripped out of your mind.

Body Rock has been sweeping the nation and the movement is something like a hurricane. These folks have a dedication to fitness and want to see everyone look better naked. And they are out to prove it. Almost quite literally.

While it’s no secret that there is a thin line in the fitness world between fitness modeling and overt sexuality, those lines are blurred quite regularly, not just on BodyRock but also in many fitness magazines, videos and especially all over youtube. Let’s be honest, here: Sex sells. Sex sells a lot. So of course a sexy woman working out and motivating you but making you think you will have even more sex with women just as sexy as her once you yourself get sexier… well…. that has some appeal.

The point is that the fitness industry is male dominated and often times, women are left in the place of not only having to have fit bodies but also having to present those bodies in sensual, erotic or sometimes outright sexual ways in order to attract the same notoriety and opportunities as a Phil Heath or a Jay Cutler. We want to see our men strong, with big round muscles. But we want the women to have strong muscle too, yet the same women then have to show they have maintained their femininity by posing and placing emphasis on their sexual prowess.

The case of Lisa Marie

Lisa Marie has been a Body Rocker for sometime. With her encouraging spirit, bright personality and never say die attitude, not to mention outrageously cute accent, she will push you to do your best, and then… do better. As far as trainers go, you couldn’t get anyone better, more attractive, fun or encouraging.

BodyRock wants you to know, you won’t find any better eye candy anywhere, either. When accessing the Bodyrock Facebook Page (the source for all the following images), this is what you get when it comes to images of Lisa Marie:

In some of those pics, she’s reduced to a headless / faceless body that only shows her breasts, abs and lower body in underwear.

Do these pictures push the boundaries of selling sex in a fitness industry designed to make one feel good about their own self?

I placed that last picture of her bent over the couch up there on purpose, because I think it really captures the slow change we are seeing from Body Rock. The message seems slowly to be going from “Get in shape so you are healthy” to “Get in shape so you are healthy, and outrageously sexy!” The problem though, is that this can also be interpreted as “Get in shape and be sexy, because if you’re a woman, all that really matters is your ability to sell sex!” Now, women ought to be sexy if that’s what makes them feel beautiful and special. But BodyRock seems to be stating that that should be their only motivation for any workout. Because of course, you want to attract the attention of a man… sexually… don’t you?

Here’s another example (you don’t need to watch the whole thing, maybe a few seconds to get the idea):

We have Lisa working out in what just a little less than shorts. Was this truly done for the females in the audience who wish to copy the moves to look like Lisa? Was it done to inspire the women to shoot for something more with their own bodies? Or was it done for males in the audience who will watch this vid, and whose clicks will increase this video’s ratings making it easier to find and promote on Youtube? Maybe both? Maybe reducing Lisa Marie to a sexpot works for marketing, since at the end of the day this is a business. BodyRock needs the views and they want you to buy the products sold on the site. Lisa Marie in a thong, jumping up and down and bending over multiple times will most certainly accomplish that.

Bigger than her Body Rock gives her credit for

It’s easy to discount all of this and just say, “Well, it doesn’t matter, she loves what she’s doing”, “I have no problem with it!”, “She’s happy and she’s just trying to help us look our best!”, and “You’re grasping at straws! She can control her sexuality anyway she wants to. Shut up, you’re just a man!!!”  To an extent, I concede that all of those statements are correct.

But let’s look deeper.

Lisa-Marie, is more than just the girl with the washboard stomach who can put your wife to shame in the looks department. It can get easy to get caught up with how her body oozes sex.

But she’s a human being. And she, like the rest of us has a story that goes beyond how long she can jump rope.

You only need to watch the 1st full minute of this vid.

Did you catch any of that? She’s crying. She’s lonely. She’s completely disconnected from her family. And despite how many of us are watching those vids, she finds it incredibly hard to make friends (i.e. people who see her as more than a possible sexual conquest and as a sexual object). You’ll also note that she is almost fully dressed in this vid. The problem with a fitness industry that constantly packages women as sex kittens is that we forget Lisa-Marie is a unique human being, as beautiful on the inside as she is fit on the outside (It’s Laura Michelle Prestin all over again). We forget that she goes through many of the same challenges that we do, just that she doesn’t get to talk about them that much to someone who will look her in the eye and listen… not stare at her chest and imagine. I think it can be tiring to only be seen as a sexual object day in and day out. To me this video proves that.

What we see in the fitness industry is merely a reflection of our society. In this video, she’s sad, yet in the comments section, the statements from viewers range from flirtatious to down right vulgar in reference to imaginary romantic romps with her.

It’s a mighty fine line between fitness and sex, since of course being fit IS sexy. But let’s not forget that our fitness and bikini models in the Bodybuilding and fitness industry are more than objects to satisfy our lusts. They are valuable women, many of them wives and mothers. BodyRockTV should remember that it’s okay for Lisa-Marie to workout in clothes that the average woman at Planet Fitness would wear. We will still love her just the same, and I guarantee still try our own best to get and stay fit.

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Comments

  1. Oh that is just sad! I mean, especially that last pic, it looks more like a picture from an adult movie than a fitness workout. As a woman that sort of thing just turns me off. She should be wearing leggings, not underwear. A fit body can look very sexy fully covered, you don’t need to strip down to look good.

    • Lisa Marie wears considerably more than the fitness divas of the 1990′s like Cory Everson.
      Its true that you don’t need to strip down to look good, but what she wears (or doesn’t) isn’t the issue.
      What I don’t like is the pointless plastic surgery this woman has had done as her body was fine before & also how recently they are pushing the use of more fitness equipment in their workouts.

  2. This could have not been said any better. Thank you, because I was starting to feel like I am the only one who thinks that her boyfriend/boss is a pervert.

    • I am actually working on another post about Zuzka Light, his wife who helped create BodyRock. As the story goes, they created it together, then got a separation. W/in 5 mos. of that separation he started dating Lisa Marie. For both of those women, the whole point is to pose in as many sexual position as possible while working out. It’s ridiculous.

  3. Ok, so I totally just read this based on your reference from your post on 4/28- and I couldn’t agree more! This was actually a huge turn off for me about bodyrock.tv. In fact, I was actually surprised people loved it so much (naive, I know). But it was definitely something I knew I didn’t want to emulate in my fitness blog.

  4. What a great article. I love how you addressed this issue without attacking people or overt negativity! People are not one dimensional…we all have depth.

  5. skblackwidow@gmail.com says:

    Wowie! I find that being a woman these days is like fending off a double edged sword. U have 2 attract men/women sexualy before u can b friends with them and if ur a strong independent women, ur gona die of loneliness… U cant be too powerful, u can’t be too suplicant, u can’t wear too much make up, u can’t wear none, can’t wear too long a dress u can’t wear too short a dress…u can’t sell anything unless ur practically naked and people wanna sleep with u. Best thing to do I guess is not to listen to the worlds demands of u. And if u can’t totally ignore them then don’t run into a panic to please the world so directly! It sucks!

  6. the idea of bodyrock is awesome, working out from home and having a community and this awesome spirited trainer, but have you seen Lisa lately? She’s turned into a LA mutant. Big fake tits, always showing them off in pics, the abs, the nose job, the plump lips. its like shes a total comformist to mens gaze-I like what body rock stood for but now this chic is giving out another type of look/lifestype with plastic surgeries every other month-bodyrock looks more like a porno set than a workout. When you “buy” her a coffee on the site feels like youre just paying for more botox and collagen.

  7. I’m divided, I think the whole issue of women looking “too sexual” in fitness is understood predominately through a male gaze. As a women when Lisa-Marie or Zuzana show that their lean, muscular bodies are beautiful and then give me modifications so I can start the journey to being lean and muscular myself – I think it’s great. I feel that my ‘gaze’ here is different from that of a heterosexual male, it sends a different message to me and it is motivating.

    That said, this DOES raise the issue of whether the over-sexualisation of fitness encourages women to value themselves based on sex appeal (as opposed to health/fitness etc). But I feel this too might be influenced by male gaze because it is the perspective through which we are taught (male and female alike) what is valuable. This means that in Society (including the fitness industry) women ARE VALUED for their attractiveness. It isn’t just men buying the sexy-fitness – but women as well. unfortunately simply ‘covering up’ doesn’t really hit the problem and to an extent ‘sexy-fitness’ doesn’t change the problem.

    Thus I think the coffee-talk and pre-workout chatting that bodyrock hosts do is great because it shows us that they are human. I think sexy-fitness is great but it’s really up to the viewer’s perspective – if you, as a viewer, watch the workout for T&A you are part of the problem. On the other hand if the sexy-ness of bodyrock is more in-line with ‘girl-power’ and ‘lean/muscular women are not monsters!’, ‘Time to shape up and look good’ and ‘there is a strong women who can do this, so can i!” – then those confidence-boosting and positive messages toward your physique and fitness goals are empowering, so long as you understand that attractive-ness is just one-part of the whole-you.

  8. I’m divided, I think the whole issue of women looking “too sexual” in fitness is understood predominately through a male gaze. As a women when Lisa-Marie or Zuzana show that their lean, muscular bodies are beautiful and then give me modifications so I can start the journey to being lean and muscular myself – I think it’s great. I feel that my ‘gaze’ here is different from that of a heterosexual male, it sends a different message to me and it is motivating.

    That said, this DOES raise the issue of whether the over-sexualisation of fitness encourages women to value themselves based on sex appeal (as opposed to health/fitness etc). But I feel this too might be influenced by male gaze because it is the perspective through which we are taught (male and female alike) what is valuable. This means that in Society (including the fitness industry) women ARE VALUED for their attractiveness. It isn’t just men buying the sexy-fitness – but women as well. unfortunately simply ‘covering up’ doesn’t really hit the problem and to an extent ‘sexy-fitness’ doesn’t change the problem.

    Thus I think the coffee-talk and pre-workout chatting that bodyrock hosts do is great because it shows us that they are human. I think sexy-fitness is great but it’s really up to the viewer’s perspective – if you, as a viewer, watch the workout for T&A you are part of the problem. On the other hand if the sexy-ness of bodyrock is more in-line with ‘girl-power’ and ‘lean/muscular women are not monsters!’, ‘Time to shape up and look good’ and ‘there is a strong women who can do this, so can i!” – then those confidence-boosting and positive messages toward your physique and fitness goals are empowering, so long as you understand that attractive-ness is just one-part of the whole-you.

  9. I say that. it isnt a matter of degrading a woman to show her body while she works out. you take it sexually because your mind is twisted that way. Most women want to be sexy for themselves. not a man. Sexiness makes women feel good about themselves. I cannot believe someones so narrow minded to spread such nonsense about a woman and a company who is trying to do good for the Human race. Obesity is a huge problem. and most exercise shows show women in leotards or bikinis for just the same reason. so you can see how the body reacts to the movement. Jealousy is a huge HUGE sin. Im thinking that the reason you would post such a forum is due to pure jealousy. Im all for Body Rock and love Lisas pics and videos. and I am a 42 year old Married woman..

    My advice to you is Live and let LIVE!

    • I absolutely love this comment. I take it sexually because my mind is “twisted that way”. I’m also “narrow minded”, a “sinner” and “jealous”. Seems you had a lot of steam you had to let off today. I am pleased my site offered you the opportunity to do so.

      • Yeah, Judi didn’t quite articulate her thoughts as well as she could have (and the “sin” part has no place in the discussion), but she may be onto something with the thrust of her argument. Granted she seems to have skipped her women’s studies classes in college, but your article doesn’t exactly reflect that you absorbed much past the introductory lectures on Gloria Steinem either. Just sayin’.

  10. Your Conscience says:

    Jealous much?

  11. I don’t like that guy Freddy at all. Honestly I was surprised to find out he was supposedly in a relationship with a woman because he struck me as homosexual immediately. A lot of porn makers are and bodyrock always felt more like porn than a workout. I find it inappropriate and most of the comments on the videos aren’t fitness related if you know what I mean. It kind of shows how far gone and distorted we are as a society that this stuff can even be mistaken as fitness especially and most pathetically by women. It’s seen more realistically by men and you can see that by the comments.

  12. Also wanted to add another reason I don’t trust Freddy is that no man with a good heart and love for a woman wants to sexually exploit her. Meaning that a man in a relationship with a beautiful woman jealously guards her from the desirous gaze of other men not films her sweating and breathing heavily zooming in on her private areas and at provocative extreme angles. Anyone who argues otherwise is deluding themselves.

  13. Everyone gets down from time to time. Anyone who works out as much as Lisa Marie clearly needs the work out, by this I am referencing the mental bennit it’s which fitness provides. I have long suffered from bouts of depression, it runs in my family, but instead of going to a doctor and taking something synthetic to cope I too choose to work it out through exercise. Now I wouldn’t suggest that this is a cure all for everyone, but it works for many who put in the time and effort. Does Lisa Marie show off her body in these pictures and videos? Sure! Who wouldn’t if you looked that good! Let’s be clear here, she is a very successful woman who has brought free fitness options to the masses on a scale which I don’t think has been duplicated. Fitness options that truely work. No one is exploiting her, she is exploiting the over use of gyms and long workout programs which are too time consuming to be realistic long term options for most people. When i see her body I see inspiration. It makes me want to work out and push harder. May I suggest you try busting your ass on her workouts too and stop trying to work an angle over on someone you know nothing about.

  14. I don’t see how you are any different than Lisa Marie. You posted 8 picture and 2 videos of HER body in a post that is promoted on your blog. Sex sells readership, too.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Not only is she remarkably strong and beautiful, she’s clear proof that in the fitness realm, women can go beyond mere fitness, bikini models. They can go beyond gratuitous sexuality. [...]

  2. [...] Day in and day out, the most popular post on this site consistently is the one I did some time ago on Body Rock, and their blatant use of Sexual innuendo in order to gain viewership. [...]

  3. [...] get in some type of workout, I’ve been looking at some of the online workouts like ZWOW, and BodyRock. Those are HARD, but fun. And of course, I’ve gone back to the old [...]

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