Saturday, March 3, 2007

"The Girls Next Door"- concepts of masculinity and femininity Part I

"The Girls Next Door" is a reality TV show that depicts the everyday life of billionaire Hugh Hefner and his girlfriends who live and play in the infamous Playboy Mansion. In the first season's episode, "80 is the New 40" Hef is turning the big 8-0 and the girls are determined to make it his best yet. The show demonstrates many concepts of masculinity and femininity to its viewers through Hef and his three favorite Playboy bunnies.

What is masculinity and femininity? Masculinity is what makes a man a "man". It means being physically and emotionally strong, powerful, successful, and of course, experienced sexually. Femininity on the other hand is usually represented in the media as being one that is weak, gentle and powerless. One that is "ditzy", attention-craving and thus of great sexuality.
On the show, Hef is the only male figure present, and with this is portrayed as the epitome of masculinity. At the age of 80, he maintains a high fitness level and his appearance as a result of aging does not limit him from getting what he wants- the ladies, the ladies one-forth his age. With his exceptionally active sex life and his ability to shamelessly have three girlfriends, Hef is considered the "ultimate'" man. Hef is shown as highly interpersonal, constantly throwing parties, building relationships, and dominating his girlfriends and his endless billion dollar Playboy Industry. And when it seems he can't get any more "masculine", his success, ambition, and fame prove he is the subject of every man's envy.


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