Victoria Stockwell

All Articles by Victoria Stockwell

Victoria Stockwell is an academic, former Pro Bikini Competitor and eating disorder recovery warrior. Having developed anorexia nervosa aged 11, she has 26 years’ personal experience with body dysmorphia and eating disorders. Victoria has written extensively on these subjects, beginning with her PhD research on the medicalisation of self-starvation in the nineteenth century; and its presentation in contemporary literature and culture. In her late 20s, Victoria became a bikini competitor and fitness model and subsequently directed her research towards eating disorders and body dysmorphia within the aesthetics-driven world of fitness competitions. Victoria hopes that by sharing her academic writing and personal experiences, she can provide support for others in their journey towards developing a better relationship with food and their bodies.

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  • The perfect body illusion

    The perfect body illusion

    Do you wish to look like the girl in the magazine? I will let you in on a secret… the girl in the magazine doesn’t even look like that.  I know: I have been that girl.  Representations of the ‘perfect’ female body are pervasive throughout modern society, consolidated and perpetuated by an omnipresent mass media...

  • Hanging up the bikini: why I quit fitness competitions

    Hanging up the bikini: why I quit fitness competitions

    In October 2014, at age 31, I achieved the award that marked the pinnacle of my fitness competition career: the coveted Bikini Athlete Pro Card. Standing onstage in a Hertfordshire theatre, smiling for the winner’s photographs, I appeared the epitome of health and fitness. But, in reality, I was suffering from serious physical and mental..