Bathing beauties, bodybuilders et surfeurs: L'émergence de cultures corporelles originales sur les plages de Los Angeles (années 1920-1930)

Elsa Devienne*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fascination with Los Angeles's beaches and their bodies started long before the series Baywatch. While the iconic figures of the pin-up, the body-builder, and the surfer may seem to be the products of the prosperous postwar period, they are actually rooted in much older bodily practices. These cultures of the body emerged on the city's beaches at the beginning of the century and flourished in the 1920s and 1930s, when Los Angeles reached one million residents and emerged as one of the great metropolises of the American West. This article traces the emergence of these icons-both on the city's beaches and in popular culture-and analyzes their role in the making of a specific beach culture in Southern California.

Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)24-39
Number of pages16
JournalRevue Francaise d'Etudes Americaines
Issue number142
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

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