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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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8. Combat Bodies: The Male Body in the Republican Posters of the Spanish Civil War



Looking at The Posters of the Spanish Civil War, the excellent collection preserved at the Ministry of Culture of Spain,1 the viewer quickly discerns that most of the men featured are strong and well built. Whether the posters depict soldiers or peasants, they exhibit a kind of power not exempt of beauty. Why do these posters project such handsome men if these posters were designed to recruit soldiers, to incite military action, or to promote solidarity? Why do these propaganda messages resort to the strong man type surrounded, at times, by an aura of beauty? In order to answer these questions, it is necessary to rely on concepts like body, symbol and masculinity, as these images, which suddenly took to the streets of Spain in 1936, are not just a set of lines and colors, but the embodiment of a collective imagery. Just as medieval emblems served to concentrate and to express the character of a family, so that by simply viewing them, a set of values and a reputation would be brought to mind, likewise Republican posters express the ideals of the Spanish Republic.2

Ink War

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