Friday, 15 October 2010

The Male Gaze

The Male gaze is the idea that all aspects of media are from the perspective from a hetrosexual man. This picture of Barack Obama gives a good representation of the male gaze. It re-inforces that 'men look', and that men deliberatley re-presentate the media in from that perspective, the concept is of the male gaze is one that deals with how an audience views the people presented.
The film audience have to 'view' characters from the perspective of a hetrosexual male.

The features of the male gaze;
The camera lingers on the curves of the female body, and events which occur to women are presented largely in the context of a mans reactions to these events.
It almost relegates women to the status of objects or possessions. The female viewer must view from a males point of view.

For feminists, it can be thought of in 3 ways;
- How men look at women
- How women look at themselves
- How women look at other women.

From the concept of the male gaze it demonstrates that the way women are portrayed, men look at women more for their body or what they could potentially offer in ultimatley a sexual way.

It makes women look at themselves and compare them to photoshopped models, and maybe have lower self esteem as they aspire to be like the women in underwear adverts or catwalk models.

Naturally, women compare or judge other women, but look at them in a completely different way to 'stereotypical' man. If i look at another girl e.g in the street I am usually looking at how they style their hair or what they are wearing and compare them to what I am wearing.

The way women are portrayed ( men checking them out) can be used to their advantage, such as flicking their hair or sitting in a certain way to get male attention.

We watched the music video of ' She's so lovely - Scouting for Girls '

Mr Smith then asked us questions,
What colour was the boy and girls top?
What number lane were they at?
What colour belt were they both wearing?
What shoes were they both wearing?
What colour eyes did they have?

Predictibally the girls got way more right than the boys, as the girl in this video would be 'eye candy' and distract them from noticing other things. This is a typical example of the male gaze.

Marjorie Ferguson (1980)'s
The chocolate box;
half lips/ full smile
lips together/slightly parted
teeth barely visable
full/three quaters of face to the camera.

Looks like a typical girl next door, quite sweet, blandly pleasing, uninformity of beauty and devoid of uniqueness. Gwyneth Paltrow looks sweet and innocent on this cover of vogue, despite having heavy eye make up she looks like 'the girl next door', she also is looking above the camera which could be interpereted as being flirty, as when girls flutter their eyelids they look up.


Emphasis on the eyes
Mouth shut with a hint of smile
Head to one side or looking back to the camera

Sugestive of mischeif or mystery, hint of contact rather than sexual promise. Keira Knightley has her arm on her head and her mouth slightly open, making eye contact with the camera which shows she has confidence, but her facial expression isn't giving too much away.

Super Smiler

Full face
Wide open, toothy smile
Head thrusts forword or chin thrown back
Hair often wind blown or big

Agressive, look at me smile, unaproachable and maybe a bit attention seeking and over-confident. Sienna miller has backcombed messy hair wich shows confidence, her outfit is quite outgoing which matches her expression, which is layed back but shows she's confident and happy.

Romantic or Sexual

Includes male/female 'two somes'
Heavy Lidded
Overtly sunsual/sexual

Possibly or definatley available, gives off the signal that she is easier to get than other girls and maybe not up for anything serious. The model in this is making eye contact with the camera, with one hand on her hip and standing in a 'powerful' way with her legs open, could indicate a sexual message to males.

Trevor Millum (1990's)

Similar to cool/level
Eyes less wide
Expression is less reserved but still self confident

Cheryl Cole on this cover gives the impression that she's independant and powerful and knows exactly how to get a man to look at her.

Nymph like
Outdoor girl
Often smiling/grinning

The model on this cover looks healthy as she has good complexion, teeth and healthy natural hair. She looks the type as if you met her you could imagine to live a busy lifestyle, it looks to me as if you could imagine her playing tennis and being a bit ditzy.

Engaged in business in hand
Mouth closed
Eyes object directed
Sometimes a slight frown
Hair often tied back or in short smile

This woman looks as if shes stressed by work, she may be unnaproachable and quite driven and indipendant.


Deliberatley ridiculous
Acting the fool
Pulling faces

Agyness Deyn is a classic example of Milliums view of a ' comic ' she pulls a variety of different facial expressions and often seems like shes having a laugh and not being entirely serious like most stereotypical supermodels.


A neutral look as of a dummy, artificial, mannequin, wax like
Features may be in any position, but most likely to be with eyes open wide and a smile
Looks remain vacant and empty with peronality removed.

Uma Thurman isn't really pulling a specific face, it looks like it is in a neutral position. The picture doesn't really infer anything so no message is given.

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