The Gaze

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The concept of the 'gaze' came into play this week and presented a very interesting concept that I had noticed but never really thought of before. Sexual attraction clearly plays a significant role in the storytelling of many movies, and the gaze is one tactic that is implemented by movie studios in order to establish the notion of sexual prowess to a demographic that may or may not be sexually attracted to an individual on their own. From a cultural aspect, we decided that the gaze as examined in class set the stage for men being put in a position of power and objectifying women. While this is an understandable conclusion, I think we should also take into account the message that the gaze is trying to convey within a media itself. At least one of the movie clips we watched in class used the gaze to establish the woman being checked out as the one in a position of power. She was clearly being examined for her sexual attractiveness, but she was using it to her own advantage, improving the likelihood of her getting what it is she wants. If we are discussing a 'position of power' perspective on the use of the gaze, there is clearly some back and forth going on. The gaze has also been used to view men as sexual objects in films as well. Certain camera and lighting techniques are used to establish the male as object of sexual attraction, which can be seen in virtually every romantic comedy of all time, any movie Ryan Gosling is in, and music videos by Nicki Minaj.

2 Comments

First of all I want to commend your reference to Nicki Minaj. You are totally right in that the "gaze" does elicit some sexual feelings. After Halloween weekend I can think of hundreds of examples of women using their sexual nature. Right or wrong it does happen and whom does the blame fall upon, the man or the women? Why is necessarily wrong for a women to use her looks to her advantage. If someone can use their "brains" why cannot someone else use their beauty.

I couldn't agree more about sexual attraction being the plot driver in many forms of media, especially t.v. and cinema. It seems the directors use the "gaze" in order to symbolize their packaged response to the art form. Meaning that in many cases, showing the woman in a swimsuit that bares all and she is soaking wet, is supposed to invoke an idea that she is what we all strive for, both man and women. The man wants that women, or wants their women to look like that, while the woman wants to look like that because men look at this example as what they want in a woman.

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This page contains a single entry by gibb0164 published on October 25, 2012 11:52 PM.

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