Television and magazine audiences are well aware that the beautiful female faces we are enhanced with a slew of cosmetics. What audiences don't seem to take into account is is that the men's faces are also dolled up—the guys just often don't talk about it or sign ad deals with Revlon.
This creates the impression—that's both incorrect and damaging—that male celebrities and models don't undergo the rigorous beauty routines of their female colleagues. How utterly false.
My position right now is that it's crucial that as we work to produce ourselves and others as people with critical consciousness—especially in schools, and not just in Women's and Gender Studies classes—and that a feminist consciousness is a vital part of that for people of all genders and sexes. But all learning is a process, so I look forward to you challenging or complicating my views!
Oh "light" beverages. When will you stop freaking out and shoving your unnecessarily constructed masculinity in our faces? The latest in this long line of I'm-so-manly-it's-sexist diet drinks (predecessors include Miller Lite, Pepsi Max, and Coke Zero) is none other than Dr. Pepper 10, with a new ad campaign that screams IT'S NOT FOR WOMEN.
What makes a calorie manly? A tiny patch of chest hair and a miniature disdain for womanly calories? Read on to find out!
But the short stigma is even more pervasive—if subtle—in everyday life. For while studies and surveys about women's perceived attractiveness and height result in a muddled mix of preferences for statures diminutive and statuesque, things aren't so fluid for men. Research repeatedly indicates that, statistically speaking, tall men enjoy certain benefits. And for that reason, I'd argue that height is physical trait, a beauty standard of a sort, which affects men more acutely than women.
Earlier this year, personal care product brand Nivea pulled a men's skincare ad and issued a public apology for its blatantly racist undertones. As reported on over at GOOD magazine, the ad in question "features a preppy, groomed black man holding the head of his former self, who's sporting a beard, an afro, and a pissed-off expression." The tag line? "Re-civilize yourself." As in, "Hey, black men, get with white mainstream culture and get rid of that 'uncivilized' African hair!"
Before I got too much farther in "Isn't He Lovely," I figured it would be a good idea to chat with a male about this whole "male beauty" business. Hugo Schwyzer is a proud feminist, the Gender and Sexuality Editor over at The Good Men Project, and a professor of history and gender studies at Pasadena City College. Schwyzer fielded questions about how the beauty myth applies to young men these days, how body image standards affect non-white and non-straight men, the intersection of male grooming and dress, and the modern male's latent fear of developing "man boobs."
While I'm dubious that the Western female body ideal can be reliably found within in the pages of Playboy, a similar evolution has occurred in the sister (?) publication, Playgirl. A team of psychologists calculated the body mass index (BMI) and fat-free mass index (FFMI) of 115 Playgirl centerfolds and found that, lo and behold, the supposed male body ideal has changed as well. But instead of getting thinner, the boys have bulked up.
Pop culture's image ideals for men come with their own complications and double standards, which are worth addressing as thoroughly as those leveled toward women. Just as Western female beauty ideals are modeled around straight, white women, Western male beauty standards worship at the altar of the straight, white, six-pack ab-toting man. And both are equally problematic.
Today I'm calling on other male-identified Bitch supporters to do their part. Bitch, like feminism in general, is not and cannot just be for women.
Let's face it—men are underrepresented in their support for the feminist movement. A lot of men believe that feminism is just for women, or at least that they don't have a constructive role to play. I'm here to tell you that's a bunch of hooey, and to thank all the men out there who speak up about sexism's impacts.
I'm asking every guy reading this today to put your money where your mouth is. If you support keeping one of the strongest, wittiest and most consistent voices in feminist media in print now is the time to show it.
MTV has been long dead as a go-to for watching music videos. That doesn't mean they've stopped being made! Or being awesome! Click through for four new videos by stellar artists that are as fun to watch as they are to listen to...