As we get closer to the end of the finals, we bring you hunky dudes. More specifically, we bring you an examination of the future outlook of hunky dudes in cinema. (Is there anything academic analysis can’t un-sexify?)
Flavorwire‘s Lara Zarum wrote an insightful post about the changing representation of masculinity in movies. As the film industry pushes for better, more substantive roles for women on-screen, many have noticed an odd corollary of more movies with, to use the article’s term, beefcake. Magic Mike is an obvious example of the more sexualized appearances of men, but even Daniel Craig’s James Bond is, to quote CBC’s Rachel Giese, “both Bond and a Bond girl at the same time.”
But as Zarum notices, rather than just being walking abs, these sexualized male characters often remain the subjects and have to deal with their changing relationship with women. She cites Jamie Fraser on Outlander as an example: he’s a dreamboat, but he deals with the expectations of his relationship and abuse.
The article is unsure whether these new, more conscientious male character archetypes have a net positive effect, considering they still go hand-in-hand with objectification. But they at least reveal areas that can be explored with closer consideration of gender portrayal.
In the meantime, hunks.