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UAL Research Online

Refashioning the Male Body: Contemporary Media Representations of the Spornosexual and the Waif

McCauley Bowstead, Jay (2022) Refashioning the Male Body: Contemporary Media Representations of the Spornosexual and the Waif. In: The Male Body in Representation: Returning to Matter. Palgrave Studies in (Re)Presenting Gender . Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, Switzerland, pp. 99-122. ISBN 978-3-030-88604-2

Type of Research: Book Section
Creators: McCauley Bowstead, Jay

McCauley Bowstead’s contribution explores two divergent fashionable physiques – the so-called spornosexual and waif aesthetics – that have become prominent in contemporary fashion and lifestyle media. By investigating examples of these body styles in fashion imagery, McCauley Bowstead places shifting and contested ideals of masculinity in a broader social, cultural, economic, and class context. Though these differing corporeal ideals are associated with discrete markets, both point to the ‘spectacularization’ of the male physique in visual culture. In this way, the pressure to construct a desirable body is connected to notions of self-branding, self-fashioning, and the rhetoric of self-improvement common to contemporary (social) media. The article examines how dominant economic paradigms manifest themselves in image making and bodily practices, and how men navigate these forces by refashioning their physiques.

Official Website: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-88604-2_5
Additional Information (Publicly available):

E-book version ISBN 978-3-030-88604-2 (published 22nd of March 2022)
Printed version ISBN 978-3-030-88603-5 (published 25th of April 2022)

This international and multidisciplinary volume focuses on the male body and constructions of gender in a variety of cultural productions and formats. Locating the subject matter in relevant theoretical fields, it looks at representations of male bodies in various contexts through paranoid and reparative lenses. Organized into four major sections, the contributions assembled in this book feature engaging readings of ‘non/conforming bodies’, ‘fashionable bodies’, ‘passing bodies’, and ‘pioneering bodies’ that to different degrees foreground their critical and creative potentials. In its full scope, the book acknowledges the plurality of gendered experiences and the diversity of male bodies. The Male Body in Representation: Returning to Matter adds to Cultural Studies scholarship interested in the body and gender in general and contributes to the fields of Masculinity and Body Studies in particular.

Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: Masculinities, Embodiment, Male Body, Self-branding, Social Media, Spornosexual, Waif
Publisher/Broadcaster/Company: Palgrave Macmillan
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Fashion
Date: 22 March 2022
Digital Object Identifier: 10.1007/978-3-030-88604-2
Related Publications: 978-3-030-88603-5
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2022 15:26
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2022 15:26
Item ID: 18021
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/18021

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