Thursday, May 10, 2012

Bedroom Eyes and Scantily Clad Women

After all these posts about beauty and images of people in the media, my thoughts jumped immediately to models. Models in our culture represent the ideal human; after all what woman wouldn't want to have a male model of their own and vice versa? With this in mind, I wanted to see whether there was a difference between the portrayal of male models and female models in the media. So, what better way to find out than to search Google images for "male model" and "female model"? These images came up first. 

First, let's notice that the picture is entirely a close up of this man's face. This gives the image an intimate, emotional feel, and along with the suggestion of cloth in the background, we get the feeling that we are actually in bed with him. He gives the camera a smoldering look, like "Look at me. I'm so sexy. Don't you want me right now, ladies?" His casual position, with his arms behind his head, make his seem incredibly cocky and aware of his attractiveness, and confident that he can seduce whoever looks at him. In addition, his eyes are the most emphasized element in the photo, being light blue and basically outlined in eyeliner. So if we assume that this image is geared toward a female viewer, what does this say about the media's idea of the female viewer? Women clearly must want a cocky sexpot of a man, one that is confident in his hotness and leads them to bed with his smoldering eyes.

The first image of a "female model" is quite a bit different. Instead of just a face, we get her entire body. If we assume again that this picture is aimed at a male viewer, we get a very interesting portrayal of an "attractive woman". She wears a thin shirt, seemingly with nothing underneath, and kneels on the ground. Her attire seems dangerously ready to come off, and her position insinuates some sort of seductive, yet submissive attitude. Her expression adds to this. She definitely doesn't have the same confidently sexy look in her eyes as the male model. In fact, her eyes seem slightly emotionless, like she doesn't really enjoy what she's doing. I imagine her saying, "Whatever you want, it's all yours," almost like she knows what she needs to do to attract a man, but is not very interested. From a male's perspective, the image seems to show a submissive, barely dressed woman, ready to do whatever he wants. The male viewer doesn't care that she has no emotion in her eyes, just that she looks sexy and barely has clothing on.

Overall, I think the two images say a lot about what the media thinks men and women want to see. I find it interesting that both images are extremely seductive, revealing that the media believes both genders think constantly about sex when viewing attractive people. In addition, the differences between the photos show the perspective of a female versus that of a male. One could interpret that from the picture of the male model, women care more about emotional aspects, with the focus on the eyes and face, whereas men want the whole body. In addition, the emotion that each model exudes adds to the difference between the genders. The man exudes dominance, while the woman seems nonchalant and submissive. Do you think that this is just the way the media portrays the genders, or is this based in reality? Are these images sexist in their portrayal of the two genders?


  1. I think that your analysis might be based a little too much on just these two images. When looking through magazines or ads, you can definitely find that most of the ads which use male sex appeal include tan, chiseled, gorgeous men in briefs and either laying down or standing so as to emphasize their eyes, abs, and, well, their packages. It's exactly the same for female sex appeal, women in lingerie or bikinis with killer bodies, sultry eyes, and long, beachy waves in their hair. Sex appeal as the main emphasis in the entertainment industry banks on the use of gender stereotypes in order to appeal to the opposite sex. And it definitely has seemed to work up to this point. Sexism can certainly be exploited for profit.

  2. I agree with Valro entirely, however as a woman, I stopped and drooled at that mans eyes, so yeah-I love that look

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