Sample Term Paper


In Bordo’s version of the developments in male body image projections within the media, men only gained fame because of the fashion trends that depicted their sexuality in carefully framed poses. What she concentrates on are women perceptions of males and possibly gay men and through her own personal experiences reviewing magazine ads has tried to relay what a woman with a potent sexual drive would feel and why.

Bordo’s perception of male beauty

It is important to consider the fact that Bordo chose to be incited by an ad that was initially targeted for men. The Calvin Klein ad in question was a showcase of men’s briefs but then again, it is a trait very common in men too, to ogle at women’s pictures that market clothing or apparel for women. Bordo mainly concentrates on describing what the trigger points are in the picture in question and the primary feelings they instigate in the mind of the female observer. The first picture she consults and has her students see is the picture of a Calvin Klein model who poses in an enticing way without being overtly posing. Bordo consults the picture meticulously pointing out what details provoke her sexual instincts. According to her, the subtle way in which the photograph presents the model, such as the way he is gracefully looking down away from the observer. To her the physique is a step away from the mainstream projection of enticing men in the media. The act of looking downwards itself contributes to a subtle erotic derivation women in general seem to succumb to as evidenced by the reaction Bordo received from the students in her class (p. 133). Moreover, the muscular nature of the man in question is not overwhelming as with others eloped with muscle mass. Bordo relates those men to Schwarzenegger who, although somewhat enticing, are not particularly sexual.

Bordo points out the overall physique and the way it hints at sexual vulgarity. The man is depicted in Calvin Klein briefs with an adequate display of muscle fitness. The chest is well chiseled but not over done along with the rest of him, from the abs through the thighs all the way down to the legs. Susan contemplates on finding the legs erotic, perhaps hinting at a sex drive greater than regular women. However, her students indicate the same, and the contour around the male model’s penis only invokes the feeling further. It is the most direct measure of inviting a sexual response at the hands of the female onlooker and in that particular case suggested either an erect penis or a large one. Using Jean Paul Sartre’s ideology, she describes how peering onto this picture of this man is all important in this bewildering display of eroticism. Sartre explains why this act of peering onto what is basically another woman’s man is an act of betrayal by a woman in her own right, an act that invites criticism from her man (p. 134). According to Sartre, if it were not for those judgmental eyes of others, an act that may be morally wrong is in some instances carried through in the belief that it is in the normal course of events.

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