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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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3. Dominant (and Dominated) Bodies: The Corporal Representation of Masculine Domination in Advertising



Since the mid-twentieth century, researchers around the world have studied the representation of men and women in advertising discourse, often under the premise of their chauvinistic and discriminatory character. The momentum of these studies has coincided with the conquest of legal equality between genders, although this triumph varies considerably from country to country. In the case of Spain, for example, one had to wait for the restoration of democracy during the last quarter of the twentieth century, in order for both factors to meet, and above all else, in order for society to begin showing sensitivity toward discriminatory advertisements. This new social context determines that advertising, which is always adaptive, can incorporate new gender roles in which parity takes center stage. Thus, some traditional values of masculinity (such as strength) get transferred to the new advertising of femininity, and vice versa. This explains the current interest in the evolution and transformation of masculine and feminine qualities in contemporary advertising discourse, in which traditional representations of male dominance converge with others, in which women appear to be independent, or even superior to men. In both cases, the body is a key factor in its representation.

Posture, gesture, or displays of physical force, even aggression, all are common advertising resources in building relationships of domination and submission between genders. From the historical point of view, traditional advertising has used this resource of the body to depict male dominance over women, although...

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