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Masculinity in Advertising

            The media is undoubtedly a powerful mechanism in shaping the minds of society and framing the "perfect" male physique. Throughout today's society, men and boys are being pressured to be muscular and built to fit in, and dramatically this is what is tearing up our society. This can be evident through visual techniques that will be analyzed in visual texts, influential film, TV and famous sporting icons. .
             The stereotype of masculinity is effectively portrayed throughout the Calvin Klein (advertisement 1) male perfume advertisement which is targeted towards males. When the audience is introduced to the image, they are confronted with the epitome of masculinity conveyed through the perfectly structured male. The first thing that is noticed is the subjects muscular body due to the subject's position of high salience. This advertisement has employed salience to project an ideal image of a male which thus places pressure of male audiences to look like the male subject. Additionally, the combination of light and dark shadows creates a contrasting effect, drawing the viewers attention to the subject's fit and stereotypically masculine body. The contrast on his face also further illustrates that the subject perhaps has a "dark side," giving him the stereotypically masculine "bad boy" look. This therefore supports the stereotype of masculine men being fit, strong and being bad. Additionally, this advertisement conveys the technique of male gaze. Some objects on the page demand that you look at them, whilst others are only offered, meaning you don't have to look at them and you will sometimes miss them. This subject is demanding that we look at him and the product that is being advertised. This ad conveys masculinity due to its supporting the stereotype of real men.
             Masculinity has been strongly illustrated throughout the Old Spice body wash (advertisement 2). The first thing that responders see is a topless, built and confident male.

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