Objectification is not only applicable to the representation of the female body. In sports, the male body is on view and prized for its physical virtues. The same is now true in videos and print ads.


An example of male objectification is Matthew Barney’s Cremaster 5: Her Giant, 1997. Barney was an athlete, a gymnast. Later as an admirer of Houdini, he took up magic. In this photo still from one of his videos, Barney self-objectifies, presenting his own body for the gaze of the viewer. With white make-up (simulating the high value coloration of the flesh of Botticelli’s Venus) and his musculature and body proportions, he has recreated himself in the manner of a Neoplatonic ideal. Rooted in a magical landscape with doves perched on his arms, he morphs into a virtual reality, another dimension.