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Man-mercials May 13, 2007

Posted by ajaramillo in bodies, commercials, football, gender, general considerations, humor, ideology, imagery, NFL, objectification of men, relationships with men, sports, stereotypes.
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    We’ve been looking at many commercials that have strange twists on girl power and examining what they are projecting as the ideal women. But we have been completely ignoring the man-mercials out there! It seems like most of the new macho-resurgence commercials drill into our heads what a “man” is supposed to be… which can be pretty damaging to those men out there that do not live up to the image portrayed in the media. I’m putting up two of my favorites; Old Spice Manly Test, and a Full Throttle Energy Drink ad. Both of them suggest that real men have to do certain things, such as have hairy chests, “do recon work”, and drive monster trucks through suburbia.

These ridiculous expectations for what constitutes a man probably ensure that plenty of guys out there are taking a hit to their self-esteem. This is especially true because most of these commercials run during sports games, where athletes that are often the pinnacle of “male perfection” are on display in front of average joes. It is no small wonder why these manly ads run most often during the SuperBowl or other testosterone-fueled events; ad companies are relying on average, everyday men who feel threatened by the portrayal of perfect male specimens on their screen to look towards their products as a way of boosting their own manliness.

Romance Novel Covers April 23, 2007

Posted by lindamc in America's Next Top Model, Christine Feehan, Fabio, magazines/photography, objectification of men, romance novels, sex sells, tv.
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I can’t remember the season, but in one episode of America’s Next Top Model, the girls had a fashion shoot where they posed with Fabio in order to grace the cover of a romance novel (it was on reruns this weekend if anyone saw it:) I have always had this thing about romance novels: I think they are really trashy and a sad excuse for literature…but I find an absurd amount of pleasure reading them…

I had a conversation with a friend of mine the other day and actually my sister about our obsession with romance novels. They both said to me that they don’t just pick up the occasionaly book in the airport when they travel, but they follow authors and plot lines at such a disgusting rate (according to myself) that they treat the books (in my opinion) like fine literature. They are both Amherst grads who live in big cities and have successful careers. I was at a loss for how they could be not just using the novels as secret pleasure (like, for example certain TV shows are for some people: I love NY or The OC), but a very much out their discussion about what the great romance novelists are writing. I know it could just be a personal thing for them, but I find it fascinating that these two women are so obsessed with books that paint romance in such an unrealistic and unattainable light (especially my sister’s favorites which are placed in historical settings: on a Southern plantation in the 1840s, or in London England during the Revolutionary War). I love them for being sooo bad, but my sister and friend are against me, and say they are an extremely good form of entertainment…and I don’t mean to get too sexual here, but that’s what they say.

Sorry for that tangent, anyway, the real point of this post is to, like the America’s next top model episode, discuss the covers of romance novels. In a recent blog post on ReadersRead.com, a major romance publisher’s ad for new male models was discussed:

Harlequin’s Looking For a Few Good-Looking Men
Book cover of Dark Secret by Christine Feehan Book publisher Harlequin is looking for a few good-looking men to grace the covers of its romance novels. So what, you might ask, is wrong with the male models that traditionally grace the covers? Apparently, they’re too small in the pec department, for one thing (more…)