The GAZE is a concept used for “analyzing visual culture & deals with how an audience views the people presented.”
The “Male Gaze” can be seen in films & Ads (basically anything visual) and maybe even books. The male gaze is the way men look at woman in society and how they (woman) are depicted in the media. For example, we can say that an Ad may contain the male gaze, meaning that the Ad shows the woman according the man’s perspective.
This has increased over the past years and has reached a point were the objects of the gaze – woman – become the object being sold rather than the product. That’s how sexual objectification affects men viewing the advertisement + this causes the men expect woman in their daily life to be like that. Furthermore, Ads aimed at women manipulate them to think that they are not beautiful because they don’t use that product +trigger thoughts about bad body image and so forth. This leads to buying the product to become more of what the model in the Ad is selling. In addition to the product being sold, advertisements sell lifestyles and ideas of what your life would/should be like if you buy that product. Also, sometimes woman end up objectifying themselves based on how they think men would like them to look and so forth. So according to Laura Mulvey, this affects both genders.
There are countless Ads, movies, comics, videos, etc. that contain the male gaze.
Here is one example
This is a Calvin Klein Jeans Ad:
Sexy is it not?
Let’s dive right in and say that the man is the dominant figure, he’s in power and he’s pleasuring her. Black and White forces you to look at the light parts which mostly her skin. Their position is the epitome of sexual objectification. This ad is initially to sell jeans, but its not JUST selling jeans, they’re selling the “idea” that if you buy these jeans you’ll have that pleasure OR it’s like you aren’t just buying jeans you’re buying pleasure…… something in that direction.
This Ad targets men & woman since it can be analyzed in both perspectives:
IF I BUY THESE JEANS I’LL LOOK SEXY AND GUYS WILL WANT ME AND I’LL LOOK GOOD AND AND IT’LL HELP MY SEX LIFE AND….. yeah. That’s basically it.
So with woman they target their insecurities and use it as leverage.
OMG LOOK AT THAT WOMANNNNN DAYYYYAM! I’M GONNA BUY THESE JEANS THEY’LL GET ME CHICKS! DEM THIGHS…. again, that’s basically it.
So with men they target their willingness to up their “game”, meaning anything that would boost and increases desirability is wanted.
I know I’m minimizing put the message is there, plain and simple. Sex sells. Due to competition in industry advertisers are trying to do controversial things to get the public’s attention. It’s simply a business selling “what people want”.