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An obsession with the boyish figure

Fashion designers share an obsession with Catholic priestsWas this magazine ad for Calvin Klein’s OBSESSION FOR MEN controversial because it featured an underage Kate Moss disrobed, or because it winked at the greater fashion culture fixation masquerading as the androgynous waif look: the sexualized, pure, although suggestively available, almost shapeless, pretty, prepubescent boy?

11 thoughts on “An obsession with the boyish figure

  1. I noticed the title was “Altar Boy”. Of course, you realize that all the truly serious things posted this past week are going to be overlooked with the raging shitstorm the picture is sure to generate.

    I gather that it already has generated such a storm.

    Gay porn in advertising is nothing new, some of it the rednecks don’t even consciously realize what it is. Like the “That thing got a Hemi? Sweeeeet!” campaign.

    You notice who the Dodge Ram and etc. drivers in the commercials are striving to impress right? Certainly not the ladies.

    In a couple of them, like the one where the driver is being followed by bikers in tricked out leathers, they morph into … prepubescent boys riding bicycles, with the “that thing got a Hemi?” tag line.

    Just thought I should mention that, ’cause on account of the ‘necks are gonna be up in arms over the “convicted by their own conscience” routine AND I just thought I should put in another little dig at their hypocrisy.

  2. we live in a patriarchal society that is either led by closeted gays or prefer women to look like prepubescent boys, because the smaller you are the less threatening you are.

  3. this was the quintessence of the hot nymphet.

    it’s called Lolita; the androgy is just a bonus, lol.

    this is probably one of the most erotic poses in the history of art.

    as for you ugly/PC/feminist women out there who will always bitterly complain about ANY form of beauty: jealous much?

  4. Damn, she looks unbelievably sexy in that picture. I love girls and that is a perfect body. And trust me most straight men would cream in their pants over that picture.

  5. The feminist people who complain about this magazine ad have a valid argument; there are a lot of things wrong with it. In patriarchal society, there are really only two ways that men can be eroticized–as macho men or as women. The fact that they used a female model to portray a prepubescent boy is a clear indicator of this.

  6. (Sorry, somehow hit enter by mistake.)

    There’s really too much to argue against this ad in a comment field but the thinking that it’s only feminists and “ugly” women who are jealous of beauty who are affected negatively by it is a flawed assumption. Patriarchal society harms men just as much as it harms women, only men aren’t taught to acknowledge that.

    This ad teaches us that the only kind of men who aren’t manly men are boys–and that boys share the same quality of being less valued as women. This occurs frequently in gay culture. As a young gay guy, I know completely what it’s like to be cast in the hetero-normative female role for my youth and boyishness. Portraying boys as feminine objects makes it okay for straight men to lust after them and makes it okay for gay men who act macho to treat them the same way a typical staight male treats his wife: with dominance and control.

    Men who are weaker and are bullied by women are not seen as “real men”–they are seen as pathetic individuals because real men do not communicate on a deep and interpersonal level; they are taught to lie and cover up their feelings in order to maintain order and control because it’s riskier for men to open themselves up to others around them, women especially. Women also feel this lack of a connection so instead of trying to remedy it, it’s easier to put their focus into non-threatening, non-manly types who they feel they can better connect to–hence the motivation for a lot of fag hags, I’m sure. This perpetrates the idea that men and women are distinctly different from one another when that’s not the case; after all, there are men who, despite being born with male privalege, grow up to be in touch with their feelings (and, of course, there are occasions of women growing up to hide theirs).

    The point, however, is that this image of an alter boy being portrayed as androgynous, waiflike (and most importantly portrayed by an adult woman) causes the fad of “real men” and woman simply being hard-wired differently and being incapable of really getting along. In the long run, it’s damaging to everyone–not just the “ugly” feminists who are jealous of beauty. It also sets up a very unrealistic standard of beauty for young men (not so sure about young heterosexual men but certainly young gay men)–the standard of waifish, boyish androgyny has gotten so out of control that now it takes a female model in order to satisfy it.

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