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Nostalgic Physique: Displaying Foucauldian Muscles and Celebrating the Male Body in Beefcake

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Abstract

The male body, and the gay male body in particular, as exposed in magazines, Internet websites, posters, postcards, dance clubs, and shows, is directly involved in a political field. Beyond its erotic, stimulating, and consumerist character, the physique image, as an art and business of self-expression, of striving for beauty, and as a common field of interest for gay men, is interrelated with radical body politics. Michel Foucault notes in Discipline and Punish that power relations have an immediate hold upon the body; they invest it, mark it, train it, torture it, force it to carry out tasks, to perform ceremonies, to emit signs. The importance of erotic and sexed body imageries to the constitution and construction of queer countercultures, in particular, has been theorized by many scholars (Mills and Russ; Waugh’s Hard to Imagine and “Athletic Model Guild”; Dyer’s “Don’t Look Now” and “Idol Thoughts”; Champagne’s The Ethics of Marginality and “Pornography”; Hooven; Jackson; Cooper; Weiermair; Leddick; Gross and Woods; Pronger’s Arena of Masculinity and “Physical Culture”).

Keywords

  • Male Body
  • Garland Publishing
  • Physical Culture
  • Dance Club
  • Court Sequence

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© 2014 Gilad Padva

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Padva, G. (2014). Nostalgic Physique: Displaying Foucauldian Muscles and Celebrating the Male Body in Beefcake. In: Queer Nostalgia in Cinema and Pop Culture. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137266347_3

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