Beauty has extensively been implied as a concept most closely associated with women but recently that is slowly changing to include men as well. However, there are fundamental differences in the between male and female gazes that cannot be disputed. In this paper we argue aesthetic and gaze differences between men and women and how men are quickly turning to be the objects of beauty just as women have been over a very long time.
According to Koopman (2), aesthetics are biased on the gender and can be demonstrated through classic concepts such as fine art, genius, beauty, sublime and taste. This means that these concepts represent presuppositions on the desired qualities as well as duties attributed to men and women. Koopman argues that such gendered connotations of aesthetic concepts can be concentrated to a number of basic differences such as between mind and body, reasonableness, feelings, objectivity and subjectivity. Whereas the concepts of mind, rationality as well as objectivity are stereotypically related to male gender, body, feeling and subjectivity have traditionally been associated with female gender.
For example, the concept of genius has always been associated with men because the idea of the genius is created from the male artist. Men are perceived to be in a position to be considerate and are goal oriented. Furthermore, they are perceived to be protective over female gender. The male gender has dominated the masculine work industry that female were perceived to be weak (Koopman 2).
On the female side, the notion of beauty, which for a long time has been defined in terms of characteristics attributed to the female body like smallness, softness as well as gentleness in contour. The beauty of female has been an interest of male view. This exposure exerts sexual as well as social power over the subject exposed and the most outstanding example is female nudes. When it comes to music, women are used to generate beauty in music and create attraction to men (Koopman 2).
Historically, beauty has been associated with femininity and when applied to men it strikes us surprisingly. That is why the men gaze is towards a woman and the female gaze is towards male. The difference in terms of gaze depends on the gender viewing the other. The male gender will admire looking at the body of a female and as such referred to as male gaze. On the other hand, the female look at men will be referred to as female gaze. The male gaze has been in existence for a very long period which has given rise to feminine theories. This has made female gender to be very sensitive to the extent that they would like to be gazed at and appreciated by the male population (Davis & Lubovich 2).
However, men have no interest on the female gaze. They do not seek to be seen and appreciated by women in terms of beauty. Thus female gaze is given vary little attention by men. On the other hand men have been the developers of beauty by means of art and literature and are the beauty theorists. Men are pleased by beauty and they ensure its development since they are the gazers and the consumers of the beauty in women. While scholars have recognized that beauty is about men’s institutions and institutional power, they have tended to concentrate primarily on the importance of beauty on women rather than men. Scholars have made beauty culturally noticeable as it relates to women, but for the most part have ignored the relationship between men and beauty (Davis & Lubovich 2).
There has been development in relation to beauty of men as advanced by Susan Bordo in her book “beauty (re)discovers the male body”. She discusses the use of the male beauty in public advertising. This has increased the female gaze on men which become the target clientele of the advertisement. Bordo begins her book by elaborating her first encounter with a male body as a visual advertisement image. She details that the advertisement image was so amazing that it made her to spill out her drink of coffee (Bordo 169). She adds that the image was so pleasurable that she saved it as her screen saver in order to be able to look at it at any time she desired to gaze at the male image. In addition, she goes on to speak about how looking at one’s self can lead to addiction. She accepts that when she is complimented on her looks, her attitude can be transformed considerably.
She continues to explain that the sensation of someone gazing at her makes her feel sexy and that many women are addicted to this feeling. Furthermore, she elaborates the variations in styles between men and women. Traditionally, female gender was expected to be objects for concentration, and men are expected to be a moving target. This means that they are believed to be substance of desire. However, in current society men are being used as objects to gaze upon. Men are currently being utilized in public advertisement as sexual images, which attract female gender so that they gaze on the images of men.
In her book, Bordo is explains the development of advertisements. Men are currently being used as sexual items. She also discusses the development of advertisements which regard minorities. Therefore currently minorities are widely utilized in advertisements as well as different races which are used for varied reasons. Furthermore, it is evident that the media is adopting the images that are used in magazines and visual advertisements so that males and minorities are widely used to attract others to purchase several products being advertised by the images.
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The examples of how men have turned to be objects of leisure and advertisement are detailed in her book. In fact, she wrote that she was sure that gay men as well as some gay women were taken by surprise just as she was when she first encountered the male advertisement image (Bordo 170). She further stated that she did experiment the advert on classes and lectures by asking women what they thought of the male image. She further states that most of them began sweating as she unfolded the male image. The picture was bewitching for the women and they were enjoying having view of it and enjoyed (Bordo 171).
The masculine images of men that are appealing to a variety of consumers which include those who are straight, gay, male and female are easily created in our current culture because of the male body has been glorious aesthetic history. That is the reason that led Calvin Klein to identify and exploit the possibility its profitability through advertisement. Since then, many advertisers have taken advantage of masculine men image to attract various customers (Bordo 182& 183).
The gazes of men and that of women are different and it has resulted in creation of male images for advertisement which were not adopted earlier. This was because of the belief that beauty was only related to women and men were supposed to appreciate the beauty of women. However, recent developments, as clearly stated by Bondo in her interesting book, has led to the emergence of the male beauties which are used in advertisement images and as such closing the gap between the aesthetic and gaze differences in gender.
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