Male Body Image

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Lynne Luciano essay entitled “Male Body Image in America” is a very interesting article on the male cosmetic, beauty, and image industries. In her essay she states that in 1997 the men grooming aids were $3 billion dollars alone. Professor Luciano’s essay is one of the first scholarly works on this subject. She encompasses the psychological, social, cultural, and economic effects on how this industry was created. She states that “the new cult” of the male body image is mainly post World War 2 because prior to that the male image was more athletic than imagery. One of the major factors Luciano list is the Feminist Movement’s sexual revolution. The sexual revolution was important because of the female economic freedom has started to make women more independent and career minded, thus, making them able to choose men more for casual sex than marriage. Luciano credits the popularity of psychological self help books for boosting the image of what advertising agency’s we trying to post as the perfect male image. With this she ends her essay with, “everyone has become an object to be seen.” Unlike last week’s assignment on the female image, Lucino was more balance and fact driven. This reading was not biased in its writing. This read more like a history accounting of what the male image has become. Luciano gave very good facts, and built her arguments solidly with empirical data. Being a person born at the end on the Baby Boomer era I was able to relate to most of her examples. Namely my father was a “man’s man”; he went to work, came home and wore the same thing around the house like it was a uniform. Me on the other hand going though many of the transitions that Luciano spoke about could see the metamorphosis of the male image. When I was young the biggest male cosmetic surgery was buying a “rug”, a toupee. Now there is everything from men only day spa’s and men hair coloring to chest implants and male collagen treatments. I saw how Cosmopolitan, Playgirl and Playboy...
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