How Masculine Identities Have Evolved Through Consumption And Representation Since The 1980 ' S

How Masculine Identities Have Evolved Through Consumption And Representation Since The 1980 ' S

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This essay approaches the statement above by arguing how masculine identities have evolved through consumption and representation since the 1980’s, exploring how masculine identities in fashion have evolved since the 80s, aiming to achieve evidence of this through research and referencing, by exploring the history of men and fashion since this time, exploring the ‘new man’, ‘new lad’ and the male gaze whilst providing evidence of the effect that media and ce-lebrity influences have had on shaping these identities till modern day in the context of eve-ryday life. Gender is a strong way in which we can actively assert to our social identities in every-day life. Class, social status and other cultural indicators is what form our individuali-ties further. “One of the richest areas of discussion of representation exists around gender identities” (G.Branston, R.Stafford “Media Students Book” 1999:125).
The 1980’s was a significant moment on the history of men’s fashion the time that changed the respectable male consumer who faced problematic discourse of fashionable masculinity, who demanded rigorous attention to structures of self-denial and social distinction which was difficult to maintain an arena of expanded consumer choice, (J.Entwistle “ The Fashioned Body Oxford: Polity” 2000:173). Men have historically played a more ‘feminine’ role in con-sumption, for example as dandies or aristocrats. From the late 80s was a contemporary exam-ple of a more historic gendered process where men no live up to their personal ideals. The past ten to fifteen years saw an interest in the practice of men’s fashion, particularly in the context of the media studies of the ‘New man’(T. Edwards “Men in the Mirror: Men’s Fash-ion, Masculinity and Consumer...


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...n’t necessarily challenge as valorise male power. The emergence of the new media after the ‘New Man’ and the changes of fashion and masculinity in the 1980s has complicated research on consumption and need more work. Research and examples have led to the conclusion that a female gaze does exist, however remains not to be an equiva-lent and therefore less powerful than to the male gaze, as a man’s desire to look good is aimed mostly for his own benefit and to be admired by the public audience instead of attracting fe-males, masculinity also became a lifestyle to be aspired to in lifestyle magazines and across media. Despite the potential for drastic shifts there remains to be many gender differences. This then concludes the importance of Seri cultural meanings in the reproduction of gender identities and the increasing acceptance of consumption as part of masculinity.

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