Sexualization of men

Since the 1980s there has been an increased diversity of available masculinities in media and cultural representations. For example this included representations of the ‘new man’, who is interested in grooming and fashion. Naked men’s bodies were increasingly used in marketing, and by the 1990s the sexualization of the signs of masculinity had become commonplace, as in The Chippendales and Calvin Klein advertisements[198]. Gay visibility and a new climate of gay acceptance, coupled with the notion of the ‘new man’, gave rise to the idea of metrosexuality[199], in which masculine identity wasn’t defined by being homophobic or anti-feminine (as with David Beckham). Metrosexuality is linked to consumerism and bodily displays[200]. It has been argued that the increasing visibility of the male body and on improving the body means that men may increasingly feel similar pressures to women to be concerned about their appearance[201].

Breadth of representations of men

198. Nixon, S. (1996). Hard Looks: Masculinities, spectatorship and contemporary consumption. London. UCL Press.
199. Simpson, M. (1994). Here come the mirror men; Metrosexual men wear Paul Smith, use moisturizer, and know that vanity begins at home. The Independent, 15 November, 22.
200. Ervin, M. C. (2011). The Might of the Metrosexual: How a Mere Marketing Tool Challenges Hegemonic Masculinity in Watson, E. & Shaw, M.E. (Eds.) Performing American Masculinities: The Twenty-first-century Man in Popular Culture, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 58-75.
201. Pronger, B. (2002). Body Fascism: Salvation in the Technology of Physical Fitness. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Breadth of representations of men

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