Racial Interpretation: Objectification

Racial Interpretation: Objectification

The sexualization of the male figure receives considerably less review than that of the sexualization of the female figure (for quite obvious reasons like the substantial amount of imagery we see in the media and the power association of this imagery), however when combined with issues of racial prejudice the power issue is shifted.
The myth being utilized within this photo that I have taken of a Magazine cover is not that of a gender issue; this basketball player is most likely not being examined so explicitly because he is a male, he would be seen as being objectified due to his African-American ethnicity.
This again relates to the eroticization of the exotic and draws upon the stereotype (myth), that black men have large penises. In this picture the focus is being shifted from the player’s achievement as a basketball player, to the objectification of his body. Other’s may argue that this is ESPN’s “body issue” and that this is not objectification but rather examination and therefore validated, however if we were to replace the person on the cover for a ‘white’ or Asian, basketball player posing naked it would most likely be considered perverse or wrong. This seems to point to how entrenched the eroticized African-American has become within the media.


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