Male Beauty: Postwar Masculinity in Theater, Film, and Physique Magazines

  • Publish Date: 2014-05-14
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Author: Kenneth Krauss

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In the decades that followed World War II, Americans searched for and often founds signs of a new masculinity that was younger, sensitive, and sexually ambivalent. Male Beauty examines the theater, film, and magazines of the time in order to illuminate how each one put forward a version of male gendering that deliberately contrasted, and often clashed with, previous constructs. This new postwar masculinity was in large part a product of the war itself. The need to include those males who fought the war as men--many of whom were far younger than what traditional male gender definitions would accept as manly --extended the range of what could and should be thought of as masculine. Kenneth Krauss adds to this analysis one of the first in-depth examinations of how males who were sexually attracted to other males discovered this emerging concept of manliness via physique magazines.

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