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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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6. Consumption Bodies: Cult and Virtual Representation of Male Identity in Chile



Body worship is not a new or unique trend of today. Since antiquity, the pursuit of beauty or its “ideal” has been a constant. Each historical moment has had various ways of cultivating physical, psychological, or symbolic bodies. Although the body has occupied different places in different contexts and cultures, over the centuries it has been subject to mind and reason, and has often being regarded as a mere container of sensory or emotional experiences.1

However, the growing psychologization of daily life in the Western world has helped to create new forms of hedonism or narcissism in recent decades. These forms of worship have resulted in an increase in all kinds of physical activity2 and a hyper-concern for the self. It is precisely this focus on the subject and the “I-ness,” in part, which have placed the body at the center of numerous debates in the media regarding identity, sexuality, politics, and technology.3 In this sense, questions about the so-called masculinity or gender identity are necessarily related to the construction and physical and symbolic representation of the body in the private and public sphere. Therefore, the answers to the questions ‘what is man?’ Or, ‘what is masculinity?’ are more diffuse and difficult to reduce to a single statement.

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