The Female Gaze?

This above article discusses that The Price Is Right will have its first male model on the show for a one-week stint. The models on the show actually have no job except as eye candy and the show has never pretended like there was any other reason. They embrace that the models are there to be beautiful, with the host sometimes joking that the model does not come with the prize they’re showing. So what does it say that the show will be having a male model?
It first seems to point to a “female gaze,” wherein (heterosexual) women view men as sexual objects, just as society has a “male gaze” where men do the same (look at the Victoria’s Secret catalogue; do women even look at those?). I feel as sexuality becomes more accepted, we also accept that women too can be sexual consumers. Sex sales, but we are starting to realize that sex can sell to women; women can desire sex. Look at the popularity of Magic Mike, the movie this summer about male strippers. I can’t recall any male friend of mine going to see that movie, but I know plenty of females who did. It’s not so taboo for women to desire men and act on those desires (by, perhaps, buying a ticket to a raunchy movie, or turning on The Price is Right to check out Rob Wilson).
While this does seem to be a trend, it’s still only a tiny footstep in society’s acceptance of equal sexual desires for both men and women. Wilson will be modeling for only one week, and it’s not like he was hired when he was competing against other models for the gig  — the show held exclusive “Male Model” auditions. I can’t imagine them hiring a male just because. And no one should be objectified, even men, and even if it “evens out the score.” Regardless, it’s a step in the right direction towards acknowledging that women can be sexual and appreciate someone’s body.

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One Response to The Female Gaze?

  1. monicamrocha says:

    people who identify as females can sexualize other people (or other things for that matter), no objection. But I feel that the “Male Gaze” is written about more extensively because it is always the default framework for media and accepted ideas of how women and men should be acting.
    Needless to say, the female gaze does have a hold on men who may strive to be strong and stoic. The biggest danger is that by assuming the man as the autonomous being that isn’t used to just appearing, is to assume that he is acting, not reacting, to societal standards placed on him to repress his feelings and create a literal barrier between him and the outside world. Men feel pressured to essentially be these superheros, as men’s roles have been entrenched as long as mine, yours, or anyone’s has.
    I have to admit that as a teenager I felt so comfortable staring at my poster of sexy male rockstars. I felt like I was gazing right back at them, and they couldn’t do that to me (given they were posters).

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