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The Appealing Nature of Hyper-masculinity to Males

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How Hypermasculinity Appeals to Males

Louis Michael from “huffingtonpost.co.uk” states that “From a young age, rather than celebrating individuality and encouraging uniqueness in whatever form it may present itself, the boy who veers off the path of machismo is the target of concept, isolated from his peers from his peers for insufficient levels of testosterone”. Michael is stating that if you were not at least trying to portray the ideal “masculine behavior” than you do not belong with the other male peers and you are considered low testosterone. Hypermasculinity is a term used to describe extreme form of machismo in the stereotypical male behavior. According to a study by Donald Mosher, hypermasculinity is comprised of three traits; “callous sexual attitudes toward women, the belief that violence is manly, and the experience of danger is exciting”. (Healthline) Males are easily impressionable by advertisements containing hypermasculinity as they are appealing to the male’s egoistic nature for the need of sex, to aggress, and the need to dominate.

Men are highly susceptible to the sexually appealing beautiful women, that appear on advertisements. This appeal directly addresses men’s needs to for sex as the women portrayed in these advertisements are often scantily dressed, revealing skin and curvatures. As you can see in the ad I chose, the man is surrounded by two beautiful women, scantily dressed, positioned in a way that seems to be “submitting” to the male. Further analysis reveals that this could be seen as women submitting to this man is a status symbol of dominance, which subtly hints to the viewer that if you were to purchase this product, you would become alpha male with women submitting to you. In a rant made by Dr.NerdLove he states that, “Women, on the other hand, are things. They are to be desired, yes, but not as partners or equal participants in life; they are trophies, proof’s of one’s superior masculinity.” (www.doctornerdlove.com) Which brings me to my next point, that males are highly competitive creatures when it comes to dominance and would do anything to aggress for that status.

My next point is that hypermasculinity advertisements portray the appeals of aggressiveness to men through the acts of violence. As Jib Fowles stated in his article: Advertising’s Fifteen Basic Appeals, “The pressures of the real world create strong retaliatory feelings in every functional human being. Since these impulses can come forth as bursts of anger or violence, their display is normally tabooed.” (7) Men can often relate to these hyper masculine commercials because they have bottled up anger from everyday life and they believe that the commercial can resonate with them. We can see this appeal in our advertisement, one of the beautiful women are dual wielding pistols, from what we can see is a very angry Russian unloading his machine gun, and a swarm of helicopters causing explosions in the background. From my analysis the colors of explosions, and machine guns fires are personifications of the modern day man’s frustrations with life, and seeing these products, he can resonate with them well. This part of the advertisement can very well appeal to Experiencers. Twitchell has noted in his article: What we are to advertisers, that experiencers are; “Here life on the edge–enthusiastic, impulsive, and even reckless.” (2) A lot of young men can relate to this, as there is violence everywhere you look in the 21st Century. Everywhere you look, video games, movies, and even the news, violence in the media have trickled down to the notion of it being a regular common theme. America has been numbed to violence, and we can see the effects of it in the upcoming generations, as newly young men are exposed to these. Exposing these young brains to violence will bring nothing positive as the younger generation will resonate violence as being “manly”. In a article written by Marina Ali, she states that “On top of that, men are constantly told to garner respect and be a leader. If he loses respect and is omega in anything, then he’s just not manly enough. In this way, violence is thought of as a suitable mode to regain lost masculinity.” (www.browngirlmagazine.com) Violence is not the only form of gaining masculinity, which brings us to our next point of how men seek to gain masculinity, which is in the form of dominance.

Last but not least, marketers use hypermasculinity advertisements to create the feelings for men to feed their egoistic nature to gain dominance. Dominance can come in many forms like; being a leader, having women, or being the most powerful guy. What these all have in common is one central theme; that the man who is truly dominant are masters of their own environment. Advertisers use this knowledge by creating ads that make the stereotypical male feel like they are experiencing danger, that they are the ones who are controlling their environments. According to Brian Krans author of: Hypermasculinity in Advertising: Selling Manly Men to Regular Men, he states “Men with limited social and economic power are more likely to adopt a tough persona and to use violence to gain respect. These kinds of advertisements send a message that these traits are acceptable”. This quote is directed at younger men that are highly susceptible to these ads due to their low self-esteem of having no power or any strong financial influence, instead these young men seek their power and respect with the use of violence. As we can see in this advertisement, our protagonist I assume, is the male wearing the tuxedo in between the two women. In the advertisement, we can see that he seems very calm and collected even when it seems there’s a war going behind him. He seems to be very in control of his environment, and it subtly hints to the viewer that to reach that dominant alpha status, you must be very in control of your situation. My analysis comes into a conclusion that these young men are what Twitchell describes as “strivers”. According to Twitchell, strivers are one rank below an achiever. They are usually young promising and are close to achieving success. Strivers define their success by owning material items that elevate their status. Even if an striver does not have any money, they will try to own items that make them feel as though they have a certain high status, which in turn ties into the idea of males trying to “dominate” or control their environment.

Michael’s quote may have some truth in it, as a young boy we are very impressionable and we want to fit into how society views masculinity. We may have developed deep insecurities of our masculine identities created by the mass media due to their exaggeration of what it really means to be a man. Is being a man mean that you have to have an abundance of women, to use aggression or violence to gain power, or even to control and dominate every environment or position you are in life? In all honesty, I believe that the media has turn our ethics and shifted our views on what it means to be a man. The manliest men are the fathers, hard workers, and the one with the most responsibilities. Hopefully all young men do not truly believe in the hypermasculinity that the media portrayed. In short, advertisers created this extreme macho personality that does not apply or even resonate with the average stereotypical male by exuding that these men in advertisements have strong appeals to having the need for sex, to aggress, and the need to dominate.

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The Appealing Nature of Hyper-masculinity to Males. (2019, January 03). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 26, 2022, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-appealing-nature-of-hyper-masculinity-to-males/
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The Appealing Nature of Hyper-masculinity to Males [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Jan 03 [cited 2022 Jan 26]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-appealing-nature-of-hyper-masculinity-to-males/
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