The relations between women's bodies and images have long interested and occupied feminist theoretical and empirical work. Recently, much feminist research has focused on the relations between girls' and young women's bodies and images in “the media.” Underpinning much of this research, I argue, is an oppositional model of subject/object onto which bodies and images are mapped. Developing Deleuze's concept of becoming and exploring my own research with a small number of white British teenage girls, I develop an alternative model of the relations between bodies and images. I suggest that while the subject/object model relies upon a notion of media effects, an understanding of bodies as becoming opens up feminist research to consider the ways in which bodies are not separate to images but rather are known, understood and experienced through images. If feminist research takes seriously this conception of bodies as becoming, its task is to account for how bodies become through their relations with images; what becomings of bodies do images limit or extend?
The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Feminist Media Studies, 8 (2), 2008, © Informa Plc