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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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1. Mythical Bodies: Masculine Archetypes of Classical Mythology in Advertising



Media discourses reproduce and reenact, on a massive scale, archetypes and motifs that have been present in the cultural tradition for centuries and whose source is classical mythology. Advertising evinces a close connection with mythical language, due to its narrative and persuasive nature. Taking this into consideration along with the influence of classical mythology in Western culture, it is not surprising that these elements are referenced when building effective messages that connect with the target audience.

The representation of the male body and figure in advertising refers to mythical constructions since, on the one hand, the models of masculinity that already appear in the stories of antiquity are replicated and, on the other, the models are recovered. Thus, the body of the models is shown as an object of admiration, represented in an idealized form, as if it were a hero or a god. This chapter examines the way in which the representation of the male body and figure in advertising communication is a reference, or an evolution, with respect to the male models that comprise the Olympic pantheon. In doing so, a number of categories can be set according to archetypes already present in classical mythology and their advertising equivalent today.

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