Action Chicks pp 181-206 | Cite as

No Cage Can Hold Her Rage? Gender, Transgression, and the World Wrestling Federation’s Chyna

  • Dawn Heinecken


The November 2000 issue of Playboy features a muscular woman dressed in black leather, standing with hands on hips, glaring out at the reader. She is not the typical cover girl. Her aggressive stance, her confident and direct gaze out at the reader, and her muscular body do not conform to the ideal of femininity usually promoted by Playboy. The woman is Joanie Laurer, otherwise known as World Wrestling Federation superstar Chyna. Since her first appearance on the WWF in February 1997, Chyna made the transition from an oddity in the traveling freak show of the WWF to a household name. As professional wrestling moved from alternative entertainment to the mainstream during the last few years, she also traveled from the fringes to the center, appearing on mainstream magazine covers, prime-time TV series like Third Rock from the Sun, and even The Tonight Show. Her best-selling autobiography, If They Only Knew, was published in 2001.1 Chyna, like other “powerful” women in the media such as Xena and Buffy, is “cool.”


Female Manager Sexual Object Sexual Appeal Feminine Behavior Feminine Norm 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Sherrie A. Inness 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dawn Heinecken

There are no affiliations available

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