I’ve been thinking a lot about this, since I first discussed double standards over the buzz on Magic Mike. I find myself getting more and more bothered with the way gossip websites and
women’s magazines treat certain male celebrities; namely, the more handsome, muscular men who grace our movie and T.V. screens. “Seriously, Kathleen? You’re worried about them? Why? They’re handsome, fit, date/marry women who look like Barbie and get paid to undress on screen without anything negative being said about it.” Okay, this may be true, but my concern is that these men are being sexualized the same way women are, and it’s really not okay. I’ve said it before — just because men do it to us doesn’t mean we should do it to them. There’s more to these men than just their physiques, although all the gossip websites try to convince us otherwise.
The most recent example of this is the buzz surrounding Joe Manganiello’s interview for the March 2012 issue of Out magazine. The entertainment gossip websites love it, giving his sound bytes headlines such as:
“Joe Manganiello Covers Out Magazine; Talks About Magic Mike and Taking Off His Clothes” (Celebuzz)
“Joe Manganiello Talks Necessary Nudity; Destructive Male Strippers” (The Advocate)
“Joe Manganiello Comfortable With True Blood Nudity: ‘It’s Realistic!’” (Access Hollywood)
“Does Joe Manganiello Stuff his G-String in Magic Mike?” (Us Weekly)
And those are just the beginning. I know that Magic Mike is about male strippers, and that was part of the reason Out interviewed him. I’m also aware True Blood contains (a lot of) nudity, so of course these things are going to be discussed, especially as our society is so weird when it comes to nudity/sex. But these aren’t the only things he touched on. He talked about life in the rave scene, how he felt like he didn’t fit in anywhere until he started True Blood; items that would have been more interesting to hear about, really. While it is mentioned that he graduated from Carnegie Mellon University (home of one of the most prestigious drama programs in the country,) in this and other interviews, it’s almost an after thought: “he’s hot, look at his pecs, mmm yummy, oh yeah, he went to CMU, but damn, look at that ass!” seems to be the idea behind promoting this man, and it’s not fair.
Frankly, I don’t think any of his co-stars will be going on Howard Stern to discuss his weight and why he shouldn’t be wearing tight clothes. And as a commenter pointed out on the Out website, if he were a woman, he’d be more than half naked (have you seen this month’s cover of GQ? Paul Rudd is in a suit while Jennifer Aniston is in a bra? Really?) What I am saying is, here’s a smart, interesting actor who is reduced to a piece of man candy, as the February 2012 issue of Glamour dubbed him and other men with similar builds. The way these sites treat him is objectification, and again, just because men do it to women doesn’t mean women should do it to men.
So, LivLunatics, do you have any solutions to stop objectification towards men AND women? Am I overreacting here?