Media Watch: Men-Ups

May

Gay Guy, 

Check out Florida photographer Rion Sabean's Flickr stream for a project he's calling "Men-ups." Obviously it's a commentary on gender, and the ridiculousness of the iconic Vargas style pin-up. 

Or, maybe you think this is hot, too. 

I think it's interesting and humorous. But I'm not ready to indict the visual norms he is trying to spoof and undermine. They work for a reason. It's often a thin line between seduction and objectification. 

When Marilyn Monroe's skirt blows up, it's iconic in the same overly-stylized way. I didn't know until recently that the scene didn't even make it into the original release of "The Seven Year Itch." Too titillating for the time. But the image was simply too powerful to be ignored, and is now her most lasting visual. (Though this might take it too far.) 

I guess my take is that visual objectification isn't going anywhere, and the best we can do is to be thoughtful about what it means and how we consume it. That's a big step for a straight guy, right? 

Sabean is hoping to release these images in a 2012 calendar. I hope he does, and makes a ton of money. 

--Straight Guy

4 comments:

Peter said...

It's about time 'Vargas' men on the rise!

Betsy said...

As a woman, I am not offended by Vargas-style objectification (in fact I have a calender of Elvgren pinups in my bathroom) and don't understand why other women are. I guess I'm not feminist enough. I am, though, feminine....and the classic pinups, to me, are a celebration of the classic female form. I don't feel that it dumbs women down or makes men see us as stupid any more than beefcake photos makes women see men as stupid.

Anonymous said...

There is a stark divide between men and women when it comes to "erotic photography. I would hardly term Vargas's photo's as overtly "erotic" more so than I would term them "satiric". However, (generally) when women see women objectified, they take it to heart and are offended. When men see men objectified, they think, eh its not me and therefore not a big deal!

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