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The rise of the 'revenge body'

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OPINION: Months after a public breakup with her husband, the politician Barnaby Joyce, Natalie Joyce made news when she displayed her “new” body in a bodybuilding competition. Joyce’s muscular appearance was described by some news organisations as a “revenge body”.

Two years earlier, after taking “revenge” on ex-husband Lamar Odom with her body transformation, Khloe Kardashian launched a reality TV show, Revenge Body. The show, in which she teams up with celebrity trainers, nutritionists, and stylists to help people build these bodies, began its third season this month.

For the uninitiated, a “revenge body” is an improved body (reduced fat and/or increased muscle) built in order to demonstrate to someone who hurt you how well you are doing without them.

Typically such bodies are built in order to make your ex-lover (who has cheated, or otherwise ruined or ended the relationship) want you back. But you’re too good for them now. You reject them and hurt them through the weapon of your body.

* How the 'bikini bridge' went from online prank to body obsession
* Manifesto: Instagram offers only a filtered reality for men
* Khloe Kardashian wants us to use revenge as motivation for getting in shape

There are over 100,000 posts on Instagram tagged “#revengebody”. Online, people come together to support each other in their quests to build one.

Revenge bodies are about gaining power, particularly the power to attract sexual interest. Perhaps more........

© Stuff