Real Men Are Tough

 The media is telling young boys (teens) that they aren’t real men unless they are tough and strong along with other characteristics. If we look at media we are more likely going to see a male character as being buff, violent, independent, strong, ect. We hardly ever see them crying, working with others, accept help, ect. Why? Because if a man shows emotion or any of the listed characteristics he is not a real man. Basically the Media is stereotyping what a real man consists of and if they do not meet these expectations they aren’t a real man. Mark Nickerson tells us that, “Media stereotypes have extra impact because they create images based on these assumptions, helping to shape men’s own views about how they should act and how successful they are as men.” The media is helping shape what boys, young men (teens), and men all think about themselves and how they should act to meet the man requirements.

The media has always portrayed men in a macho kind of way but let’s look at the drastic changes it has gone through in history. We can start off with the original James Bond who was a tall skinny Shaun Connery who held a .32 caliber Walther PPK (small pistol). Later we then have Clint Eastwood who is also a slim fitted guy in good shape and he held a 45 Magnum (very large hand gun). Next is where we have a huge jump for the image of what is masculine. Sylvester Stallone as Rambo who is in very good shape with large muscles and has many large guns and explosives. He shows off his muscles with hardly ever wearing a shirt. Last we can take a look at Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator who is a crazy huge body builder, has tons of weapons but now his body is also the weapon. What do we see from the history? All the men get larger built and the gun size increases. As history has progressed the imaged media is saying what is manly has also grown. Teen boys are seeing this image and think that they need to be a real man like many of these media figures and be crazy buff, seek out adventure, be independent, be violent and not afraid of danger, ect. Realistically not many teens can be these characters from the media but does it make them any less of a man? No!

Further Reading

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3exzMPT4nGI

http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/issues/stereotyping/men_and_masculinity/masculinity_defining.cfm

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