White Man's Muscles

907 words 4 pages
The White Man's Muscles

In today's society, the naked white male body is found everywhere. It can be seen in print ads, including clothing catalogues, TV commercials, and especially in movies, yet the prevalence of the naked white male body is something that has only been embraced since the 1980s. Prior to the 1980s, half naked white males were hardly ever seen in popular film because of the negative effects it would have on male self-esteem and masculinity.

People in our generation remember watching films such as Rocky, Rambo, and The Terminator, which showed incredibly built and tan white males in some type of extreme action role. However, people would be hard pressed to find a film in which a half naked white male was
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However, the new idea of what is appropriate is not better than in the past.

Although white men no longer have to have the largest muscles in order to be shown naked, in order to be taken seriously by society and in film they must be physically fit. In films directed strictly at a female or male audience the men portrayed play into the new ideal about what masculine men should act like. In She's the Man, buff men parade around shirtless for much of the movie. Men in this movie that are not built and athletic are portrayed as being nerds and creepy. This is similar to American Pie. Men who are more masculine and fit into society's stereotype of what being a man means are more attractive and muscular. You relate to the sensitive yet muscular Oz whose main goal is to lose his virginity. Men that are not muscular are portrayed as awkward like the character of Jim. He has the same goal as Oz yet while Oz is being viewed seriously, Jim is the source of much of the comedy in the film.

Although the ideal of white male muscles in our society has changed, it is more prevalent in our society than in the past. Before the movies that showcased white male muscles were only directed at certain audiences while today the stereotypical use of white male muscles can be found directed at every audience. There is a power that is associated with white male muscles and as a result of our society, it will never disappear,


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