The purpose of this study is to investigate how female officers’ body sizes are depicted on the TV show, “Police Women of Broward County.” Little literature examines the media’s depiction of bodies belonging to women who are involved in traditionally masculine professions. However, feminist and masculinist literature, along with biophysical literature, tends to suggest that women are smaller and weaker than men or are perceived that way in society. It stands to reason that media may portray female officers this way or portray women attempting to overcome this stigma personally and professionally to appeal to viewers or as a reflection of mainstream attitudes or ideas. Using a record-review case study methodology, the researcher examined free snippets and numerous online episodes of the TLC Network show, “Police Women of Broward County.” The show, which includes fieldwork and interviews, contained quotations about size, and scenarios in which size appeared to be relevant to policing. Overcoming the stigma was a recurring theme, but it was not the only theme. Some comments were positively associated with female officers’ sizes insofar as police seemed tenaciously motivated by their smaller stature. However, some comments that connected size, gender, and professionalism seemed to be negative or to suggest diminution. Some comments discussed size differences within the female police population but the comments were neither negative nor positive because they were merely factual or informational.
Case Study, TLC, Broward County, Police Women, Size, Body Composition
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Recommended APA Citation
Cusack, C. M. (2014). Does Size Matter in the Field?: Female Police Bodies in Online Television. The Qualitative Report, 19(18), 1-18. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2014.1234