Sample Psychology Essay Paper on Beauty rediscovers the male body by Susan Bordo

Beauty rediscovers the male body by Susan Bordo

In this article, Bordo presents an analysis on how the male body is being presently used in advertising. Contrary to the female body which is regularly used as a sign of arousal, the male body is not regularly used in a sexual framework. In accordance with Bordo human existence is personified, biological and historical, and this embodied being often confronts the exceptional phallus law. Twenty years back, the naked male body was hardly used for advertising purposes and it was thought to be offensive for the public. However people’s perceptions on what is improper are shifting and so are their opinions regarding male and female nakedness. New things are being experienced in men’s fashion and some of these changes are replicated in the advertisements viewed in television. A single advertisement image is capable of sending a message that draws both men and women’s attention and hence convincing them to retain information or to purchase a certain product. Nowadays, more companies are using partially nude male models in their advertising activities. Bordo admits that some communities still regard male nudity as a taboo, but as a buyer. However, she thinks that using attractive models in ads makes them more attractive irrespective of the gender.

The three quotations that I found to be my favorite are as follows:

  1. “passively dependent on the gaze of another person for one’s sense of self-worth is incompatible with being a real man” (Bordo, 1999 p.172, L1).
  2. “Images that will do double (or triple or quadruple) duty with a variety of consumers, straight and gay, male and female, are not difficult to crate in a culture like ours” (Bordo, 1999 p.181, L2).
  3.  “In the doggie world, size doesn’t matter; it’s the power of the gaze – which indicates the power to stand one’ ground – that counts” (Bordo, 1999 p.188, L2).

One of the issues that can be raised from the article is the whether it is appropriate or rather morally upright to utilize the male’s nude body for advertising. Also does exposing the nude body undermine the power of a man? Does bordo’s method of reading the male’s body vulnerability justifiable?


Bordo, S. (1999). Beauty (re) discovers the male body. THE MALE BODY: A New Look at Men in Private and in Public. Macmillan: UK, 168-225.