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  • Arts & Culture
  • Issue 36

Step in Time

Rewind to the celebrity workout video craze. Words by Stephanie d’Arc Taylor. Photograph by Gustav Almestål. Styling by Andreas Frienholt.

“I never loved aerobics,” says Cher, right before she launches into a step class involving swoops, kicks, jumps and a heart-rate check-in. The year is 1991. Cher is resplendent in sheer black tights, a black leotard with what looks like a painfully narrow crotch and a black tutu. On her feet are sneakers topped by scrunched-down black leg warmers.  

Cher’s exercise video constitutes just one in a wave of celebrity fitness videos, kick-started by Jane Fonda’s iconic 1982 VHS, Jane Fonda’s Workout. These videos are the banner product to emerge from a peculiar but perfect storm that hit in the final few decades of the last millennium: new interest in the details of celebrities’ lives and bodies, a surge of interest in cardiovascular activity and—that old chestnut—social pressure for women to look a certain way. In the videos,

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This story is from Kinfolk Issue Thirty-six

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