While initially believed to be targeted towards the homosexual middle aged man, since after all the photographs did market underwear, Bordo explains how these men were objects of desire not just for gay males but also females. As the frequency of such ads increased, the onslaught of “face-off” ads expanded the target audience even further. She observes how men were then used as marketing tools for women who were out shopping for their male counter-parts; for a woman like herself these pictures attracted more attention causing her to come up with labels for their different types. She referred to the depictions as involving the power of the gaze, which challenged onlookers in an erotic way so as to be locked in a judgmental battle with model in the picture and themselves; the lean, which involved a model leaning against a prop much akin to similar female ads; the leaner, which takes the lean a step further making actions like slouching desirable All of these sentiments of hers point towards a suggestive flirtatious nature of the man depicted, who almost always gets accompanied by a sensual label underneath. Take Me, Escape, and Eternity are a few of them. When women like her view pictures such as these, they succumb to a passive erotic arousal typical of men.
In today’s world, there is even wider acceptance of such portrayals. As such, the hints are even more prominent and that stern expression and intense concentration on the model’s face suggest feelings of sexual climax or a call to engage in adventurous affairs. Such notions appeal to women as profoundly as gay men, all thanks to Calvin Klein.
First person subject position
In her derivation of these reactions, Bordo consults pictures from various magazines. The first one was a Calvin Klein brief model (p. 132) describing who put her subject position as that of a fantasy driven sexually aroused woman. As such, her position differs from mine in so much that the contour of the male penis is too vulgar for my taste. The same feature only complemented Susan’s arousal. Even though such pictures have become common place around billboards and ads today, it is still hard to digest a man’s most basic attribute being showcased so wildly. It instigates those age-old sentiments that keep straight men from admiring what is seemingly targeted at the homosexual individual. However, the physique itself is something to be aspired to and admired. Since keeping fit and healthy has become widely acknowledged phenomena, those pursuing a healthy lifestyle find such perfect bodies as something to be desired, regardless of their sexuality. Though my response cannot necessarily be deemed erotic, it certainly is moved by the chiseled pecs and the prominent abs. His downward gaze can easily be deemed sensual, however, as shyness can be an erotic tool to complement beauty.
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