A new submission is a nice addition to this old post. The newest iteration of this gender-bending game — men in pin-up poses — can be found in the middle of this collection.
Dmitriy T.M. sent in this month’s cover of GQ featuring Sasha Baron Cohen, in Bruno character. Cohen adopts a pose often used to showcase women’s bodies. The contrast between the meaning of the pose (sexy and feminine) with the fact that he’s male draws attention to how powerfully gendered the pose is. His facial expression highlights the ridiculousness of such a powerful gender binary (women look sexy when they pose like this, men look stupid when they do).
Commenter MB noted that GQ has some news stands have decided to cover the cover (as if it were porn):
The interesting question might be: When we pose women like men, does it look ridiculous or badass? And, if it looks badass, what does that say about the way we expect women to look and move?
Here’s another example from artist Rion Sabean, sent in by @SH_lelabo, Tom Megginson, Jesse W., Christie W., Robin D., Stian H., Erin A., Lev H., Kelsey P., Peter S., Rachel S., Lizzy F., Jennifer G., Katrin, Kathrin, Arielle S., and Arielle S. (yes a “Katrin” and a “Kathrin” who both prefer no last initial and, yes, TWO “Arielle S.”s!):
Lots more “men-ups” at Sabean’s website.
And there’s more (after the jump):
Phoebe S. sent in a set of photographs trying to make a similar point about sexy ladies and cars:
Does it work? Is the effect of these images to draw into question gendered bodies and gendered embodiment? Or do you think some people just feel validated in thinking that men are NOTsexy? Or that only men can appreciate a sexy display?
UPDATE: One of the critiques of this post was that it was hard to gauge my argument because these men all actually meant to be funny. They simply didn’t mean it.
Elizabeth T. made this same argument and sent in this video of men who seem to be more honest in their representation. At least some of them (she admits some do a better job than others) are trying, honestly, to vamp it up and be sexy. What do you think? Do they pull it off? Given the social context, could they pull it off?
For a similar project, see Yolanda Dominquez’s photos of “regular” women in “fashion” poses.