The Representation of Masculinity in Print Advertising

Essay by CrosUniversity, Bachelor'sA, November 2006

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In the modern world where media consumption is at an all time high and obtaining information and resources outside of that presented by the media is harder, we need to be aware of how media is constructing the reality of consumers. The well documented rise of the feminism movements during the nineteen-sixties and seventies has shaped a transformation in the roles and representations of women through the media. The nineteen nineties where hugely transformative years where there was a progressive and dramatic change in these representations. The woman was now being consistently represented as self-empowering, intelligent and fully independent. This was a noticeable shift away from the previous objectification that had so long been the main portrayal of women.

The representation of man has also changed dramatically. From the strong and rugged masculine image that created the Marlboro Man and the original James Bond, man is now presented in a lot of general media as being an accessory to the woman, or is objectified according to his looks and physique.

The dramatic growth in male grooming products alongside the new pressures to be an all-rounded and balanced person emotionally as well as intellectually are all being broadcasted through different sources in the media.

One such source is the marketing campaigns carried out by large companies. These companies benefit by creating and promoting new styles of masculinity. In this promotion lies a lifestyle package that the consumer buys into, and it is the marketer's job to create a dependency on the product and lifestyle. In an age where more and more confirmation of identity is sought through consumption, it is important to research the power of the image displayed in front of the product being presented through an advertisement.

The purpose in carrying out research on the topic of male...