I have a piece at the Australian site Daily Life today, about the increasing amount of substantial male nudity in romantic comedies:
It comes as news to absolutely no one that the straight women viewers at whom rom coms are aimed enjoy looking at men in a state of undress. That’s not a headline, and hasn’t been since the good Dr. Kinsey wrote it decades ago. What the recent uptick in male nudity suggests, however, is that now, we’re allowed to enjoy looking at men in a state of undress. We’re allowed to enjoy it in public, at the movies. There’s a big difference between acknowledging that of course, women have these desires – and actually catering to them. It signals a shift from acknowledging to allowing, and even encouraging, those desires, that I think demands further discussion.
What’s fascinating is that there doesn’t seem to be an accompanying uptick in female nudity in the genre. With the exception of The Proposal, in which Reynolds’s co-star Sandra Bullock also appears nearly nude, there is a nudity imbalance in all of these movies. So it’s not simply hat the genre is becoming more raunchy across the board: this is just about men.
You can read the rest here.