Masculinity in the Media
This part of the paper introduces the topic and explores the wider concept of media and its influence on behavior.
This is a broad section that contains the history of the magazine, the message it conveys to society on such issues as sex, race, beauty, money, power and family. This information is provided under the relevant sub-headings.
Effects on society
This is the impact that the XXL magazine has on the wider society. The impact is through the content it publishes.
These ones are made in light of the effects the magazine has on society
Has the concluding remark on the entire paper.
Masculinity in the Media
Media in the current society has a lot sets standards doe much of what we do. This is especially true for young people although the old have also not been spared from the media assault on independence of our minds and therefore our actions (Craig, et al.1). A number of forms of media are in existence in the world today and these include television, newspapers, magazines and journals. Different segments of society have been given certain images by the media. For example people who make it big in sports are considered celebrities and instead of being treated as outstanding people in their careers, the media puts them in a special class whereby all that they do in and out of their career engagements is reported even when it means so little to the general public. This same media has come out strongly to define the roles that are supposed to be played by men and women in society. In the process, masculinity has been given a particularly unique position. In this research paper, I will strive to bring out the image that the media has bestowed on masculinity or what it means to be a man. Our media for this purpose are the printed entertainment magazines and the particular magazine under consideration is XXL.
Published by Harris Publications, this magazine is one of the biggest in the hip hop industry. It is in line with others such as the Source and Vibe, both of which are dedicated to the reporting of all that goes on in the world of hip hop.XXL magazine pays much of its attention to hip hop musicians. It is therefore not by accident or design that you cannot get much of its space being dedicated to women musicians given that they are not so much into this genre of music. But nevertheless, there is a pattern in the kind of messages XXL sends to society as far as men and masculinity is concerned. This magazine paints a certain kind of image that makes us believe that being a man means coming out in the open and showing the world what you own. Through the flashy displays of the hip hop musicians, the society, especially young males are made to believe that as a man, you are the king of society. It also encourages them to pursue the agenda of conflict and struggle for supremacy through the continued conflicts that the hip hop musicians are always involved in.
The intention of the magazine just like the other magazines in the field is to create more influence for the content that is covered. The publishers and editors have the intention of glorifying the tradition of street violence, gangster life and showing off. This is the reason as to why they cover these stories. They promote the culture of being tough and living large once you manage to get rich. The culture of not fearing the law and abuse of drugs coupled with too much involvement in sex is part of the content and this is not the same for all genders. The man is supposed to be tough and on top and women are objects of sex.They are meant for the glory of men and anytime a girl misbehaves, the real man as projected by XXL is supposed to beat her up and kick her out of the house. The reason for this is hard to tell but the inherent fear of violence by women can be a nice speculation for exclusion from these roles.
Messages XXL sends to the society regarding beauty, family, money, race, power, sex happiness and culture.
Through the content of XXL, too little significance is paid to the family. Fellow musicians and gang members are the closest. They believe that once one has managed to get hold of money, all that remains to be done is spending it without necessarily thinking about what tomorrow has. The money goes to nice cars, clothes, alcohol, drugs and women and this makes them feel powerful. They believe that once you have managed to get money, you are a happy person and sex is something to be done for fun and leisure as well as the demonstration of the man in you. On race, it gets more complicated given that most of the musicians who are so much into hip hop are African Americans. This means that almost all the content in the magazine is about African Americans. It is therefore possible for one to think that the magazine glorifies the black race but all it does it glorify hip hop musicians. The few non-black hip hop and rap musicians such as Eminem are given coverage too and this means that the magazine is all about the glorification of not just masculinity but men in hip hop. The news reported by the magazine concerning the actions of the hip hop musicians together with what is reported by other form of media such as radio and television is sufficient to arrive at such conclusions.Gucci,a hip hop artist is said to have gotten into a conflict with another hip hop artist named Young Jeezy.After a moment of hunting out for each other, there are plans for reconciliation(XXL staff).This is just a tip of the iceberg in matters pertaining to being a man in the world of XXL. Ever present pictures of nude women are a show of their view on sex and women. Beauty is glorified and the ideal man is tall and strong. Overweight men and women are left out of the circle.
Impact on society
The influence of XXL’s message to society and more especially black America is enormous. Young men grow up knowing that they are supposed to be strong and violent. They know that women are sex objects and after a day of hard work, the income goes to merrymaking. This has indisputable led to violence in society as well the inability of most of these young men to make families (McEntire, para.1).
History, Changes and medium
XXL has not been in the market for long given that it came out in 1997.The content has remained virtually the same and one cannot help asking why they have not altered the content. Since it is a business, it must make profits if it is to remain in the market. This therefore means that the magazine is selling well thus making them comfortable with the content.XXL communicates by use of pictures and words. By words I mean the stories that are sometimes on their own or accompanying the pictures. Some of the pictures are of the musicians who are normally captured in their best form displaying their flashy wrist watches and cool cars. The main point here is to portray the hip hop world as a cool one. Other pictures are of scantily dressed women normally called eye candy and this is in line with their portrayal of women as sex objects who should be therefore just for the satisfaction of men. The written stories are all about the events that occur in the world of hip hop and the aim is to put the happenings into more detail as a way of getting their message across in order to get more influence.
Masculinity will continue to be viewed from this distorted point of view if the trend of XXL continues. Gender roles will be given an equally bent definition and women will continue to be seen as objects. In order for this to stop, the media that is responsible for the publication of such content should alter their content and give it a more balanced image.
From the research findings, it is evident that masculinity is viewed as something that calls for strength and rowdiness.XXL is part of the huge collection of media outlets that are sending this kind of message to society.Sex, beauty and lavish lifestyles are glorified together with financial irresponsibility and violence. This is something that can only change if the media begins publishing new content. Given the negative impact especially on young males, there is indeed need for the change of content.