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The Male Body as Advertisement

Masculinities in Hispanic Media


Juan Rey

The Male Body as Advertisement: Masculinities in Hispanic Media offers a multidisciplinary view of the body of men, of its practices and attributes, of its features, and, most importantly, of its use as a persuasive and expressive resource. Just as it occurred with the female body, the male body has become an object of desire in some instances and an object of expression in others.
This collection of essays represents several developments in the field of communication studies. It is the first time that a study on the body of men in the Hispanic media has been carried out using film, television, internet, billboards, and so forth. This book also equates men to women in the media world. Lacking its own tradition, the male body has followed in the footsteps of the female body. It has been objectified, stylized, and transformed into a weapon of persuasion to reach the modern man.
The Male Body as Advertisement can be useful for students of communication, anthropology, sociology, gender studies, and cultural studies. It will serve graduate students as a bibliographic reference for research on the male body as well as undergraduate students whose programs address issues related to gender studies. This work is also written to reach a wider audience beyond the university.
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Much more than Bodies



In developed societies, the human body has become an object charged with meaning, a mere support of man, which, as if it were a hanger, allows man to hang values, desires, aspirations, and dreams upon it. In this process of iconization, technological advances also play a role. Man needed to be able to contemplate himself from the outside, to be able to transform his body into an image alien to himself. Until the early twentieth century, man could contemplate himself in a portrait, to which only the affluent elite had access, or by looking at himself in a mirror, a device that had a limited social scope and also, which was usually very small. Man could not see his entire body, but only fragments that the mirror reflected. The birth of photography allowed man to acknowledge his body as an object alien to himself, for photography returned it as if it were someone else’s body. Film followed, and then came video, mobile phones, tablets, internet, WhatsApp, etc. The democratization of technological objects allowed man to contemplate his own body as if it were that of a stranger. During the last century, the body has become a commodity through which man exchanges values and symbols. While Western man has always used the human body as a symbolic representation (e.g. the Greek canon, Catholic imagery, or the American movie star system), it has been during modern times that this process has reached its...

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