Selling clothes with barely any clothes

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Nowadays it is not only women who are being targeted by ideal body images but also men. I contend arguments put forth by Bordo that it is far more important for women than men to be concerned with tightening up their figures.[1] Although men may not have a fixation with slenderness, advertisements such as this produced by Abercrombie and Fitch strongly push for an unrealistic muscular physique.[2] This photoshopped ideal informs audiences that masculinity is correlative to this image and thereby cements sexual desire for such a physique as a result.

Aimed at young adults such adverts may not push young males into eating disorders but may spur on equally harmful steroid and exercise abuse. This advertisement is meant to sell clothes, but one can hardly see any. Such reflects Jean Kilbourne’s argument that sex is depicted as the most important aspect of life, reserved for the young and beautiful.[3] The focus is on overt sexual imagery; his torso is so large that the logo cannot even be fully visualized. In essence, the advert placates to the heteronormative sexual desire for the “All-American man.”  Such advertisements also create a toxic environment for men like they do for women.[4]


[1] Susan Bordo’s “Unbearable Weist, “ Berkley: University of CA Press, 1993, 189-191.

[2] Bordo.

[3] Jean Kilbourne’s “Killing Us Softly 4: Advertising’s Image of Women,” Northampton, MA : Media Education Foundation, 2010.

[4] video

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