For several years in the mid-1980s, NBC broadcast coverage of the Ms. Olympia contest on their Sportsworld program. The taped footage was telecast months after the contest, and was usually used as secondary material to fill out programs featuring events such as boxing. Typically, the broadcasts included only the top several women. Nevertheless, Rachel McLish and some of her leading competitors were receiving national TV coverage. McLish authored two New York Times best-selling books - "Flex Appeal" (1984) and "Perfect Parts" (1987) – and was also starring in action films. The popularity was growing and women were being empowered and inspired to train. In 1983, the top prize money for the women bodybuilding was $50,000, equal to that of male bodybuilding.
In 2005, Joanna was featured in a one-hour documentary called Supersize She, which was also broadcast in the US on The Learning Channel. The show followed her training leading up to the 2004 Ms. Olympia contest. The documentary talks about her life, her parents' feelings about her decision to become a bodybuilder and nude model, her physical changes, dieting requirements, and her passion for bodybuilding as well as all the sacrifices she made to become a professional bodybuilder. The documentary was a huge success in the UK and in the US.