<The Gender ADs Project>

 

Male Normalization

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<Background: Michel Foucault's emphasis is particularly relevant in addressing gender and the body in popular culture. A common misunderstanding of the analysis of gender and popular culture is that normalization is limited to female bodies. In fact, as the ads below illustrate, normalization is present in male bodies. Like the imagery of females, males are presented in "perfected" forms and are told that there are ways to improve their bodies.  The Ads: Image 4 presents normalization as a choice that men must make-the consequence of not choosing a normalized body is presented in the front and rear bodies. Image 8 presents a similar theme in the body and the language ("candy ass"). Ads 6, 7, 12 offer a common site of male normalization, that of the bodily improvement remedy.  Discussion Questions: (1) Compare the male normalization ads with the section on female normalization ads. What differences exist in the portrayal of men and women in normalized contexts? What are some similarities? (2) In terms of their bodies, are men asked to maintain certain images of the body? What are the models >

 

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<presented by Scott A. Lukas, Ph.D.>