giovanni cantor

Art History

Giovanni Cantor is graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from the University of Colorado Denver. Before coming to CU Denver, Giovanni attended CU Boulder and received an Associate of Art degree in Studio Art from the Community College of Denver. In addition to his studies, he has been interning at the Emmanuel Art Gallery as a gallery assistant. At the gallery, he has gained extensive experience in research, curating, art installation and handling, as well as work directly with artists. Upon graduation, Giovanni plans to take some time off before continuing his studies in graduate school.



The Objectification and Commodification of the Male Figure in Contemporary Mass Media

Contemporary mass media is responsible for the objectification and commodification of the male figure. The idealized figure of a male body creates unrealistic expectations for young males who try to achieve this specific look. While a robust body of scholarship examines the objectification of the female figure in visual culture, relatively few scholars have examined the portrayal of the male figure.

The idealized and perfect male figure can be dated back to the ancient Greeks, whose paintings and sculptures featured male figures with athletic and muscular builds have set the standard of representation of men through the centuries. Commercial advertisements have adapted this idealized figure and distributed its image in mass media in order to sell products to the general populous. These marketable images mislead consumers into thinking they can achieve this look by purchasing the advertised products. It is difficult to ignore these advertisements in consumer culture, and they are effectively perpetuating an unrealistic body image of males that has been greatly overlooked in mass media.

These theories of the objectification of the male body will be explored through the analysis of advertisements from major brands such Versace and Calvin Klein. Versace employs muscular male models for their cologne ads and Calvin Klein is known for their peculiar underwear ads. The analysis of these advertisements will prove the fact that they are creating images that can be toxic towards the expectations of males in our society.