Document Type

Honors Project


My study analyzes the change in the portrayal of the male body in the public sphere. I examine whether this change is related to the appearance of the gay and feminist liberation movements in 1960s that reintroduced the gay subculture into the mainstream political and social realm. Furthermore, I explore the influence of these movements on the commercialization and objectification of the male body that are used as marketing tools to attract homosexual and metrosexual customers. I analyzed a random sample of 600 advertisements that contained a representation of the male body covering the time span from 1930 to 1990 from 60 different editions of the GQ magazine that were evenly distributed across each decade. The data demonstrate that, while there have been some constant trends in the portrayal of the male body such as: the type of environment in which the male model is positioned and his maturity level; significant changes were observed in physical posture and the extent of nudity. Thus, this study shows that although the male body and the portrayal of masculinity are being constantly reshaped in the public sphere, some remnants of their traditional discourse remain impervious to this liberalization of the society.

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