Summary Bordo

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Bordo Summary
In “Beauty (Re)discovers the Male Body” Susan Bordo discusses the image of the male body. She starts by talking about how “the naked and near naked female body became an object of mainstream consumption” (168) while the male body has been gone with fashion. She tells about her first time seeing an ad using the male body. It was an underwear ad for Calvin Klein underwear. Bordo explains how this ad was different from other ads in the way the guy posed. In other ads the guys pose would say “Yeah, this is an underwear ad and I’m half naked. But I’m still the one in charge here. Who’s gonna look away first?” (170) In the ad she saw the guy “offers himself non aggressively to the gaze of another” (170). Bordo talks about how guys are not often portrayed like that as more passive and seductive.

Later Bordo talks about the British film The Full Monty in which a group of unemployed metalworkers start a strip show and how the guys would be judged by women. Normally it is the other way around with the men judging the women for their looks. The film showed the judgment that women will get when they are clothed or not. Bordo talks about how the naked male body is just undressed while the nude female body is natural.

She then talks briefly about how some advertisements are made in a way to appeal to both heterosexual and gay consumers. In the ad she uses as an example she says that heterosexuals will think that “the vanity…of the man selling the product is ‘just a joke’” (181) while the gay consumers will interpret it as being for them.

Next Bordo goes on to talk about rocks and leaners. Those are two types of poses that men in ads may have. Bordo defines rocks as “models [that] stare coldly at the viewer, defying the observer to view them in any way other than how they have chosen to present themselves: as powerful, armored, emotionally impenetrable” (182). On the other side there are the leaners that are more passive or feminine. They stand there...
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