What do 300 and Troy have in common? Aside from being considered as two of the most buzz-worthy historical/epic films that showcase the best choreographed fight scenes in the history of the big screen, these movies showcase the most profitable trump card that a film could ever use to monopolize colossal viewership and box office success—featuring shirtless male celebrities on screen.
This proved to be a good move for these films considering the millions of dollars they earned during the first few weeks of release. But then again, these films don’t just boast of godly movie star bodies and bare chests. 300 and Troy are movies that really required the actors to act, train and be in the moment of being a thespian during the whole movie. Moreover, showing off their ripped muscles and abs are a necessity to make the films realistic.
In the recent years, the trend of including shirtless male celebrities in movie scenes has been used by producers and directors to make a movie sell. Consider it as a technique to populate movie houses with female hormones. For some, it might be considered as perfectly fine, but when searching for the necessity for these scenes come into question, can producers and directors actually answer for them?
Some Hollywood film producers and moviemakers are guilty of using sex as a means to entice viewers to watch a film, and if sales and box office records are concerned, this technique is surely working to their advantage. After all, in this day and age, sex sells in real or reel life.
In a way, this can be said to be an objectification of the male form. Although, the society might believe that only the female form is a target of objectification, the reality of 21st century Hollywood has extended that construct. Depending on how far the moviemakers are willing to go to in terms of obscenity, the sphere by which objectification of Hollywood male celebrities could go further.
This phenomenon is not only limited to the big screen. TV shows have been doing such for so long. Now, TV shows like Gossip Girl are already capitalizing on their bare-chested male mainstay in the show to increase ratings. If a smart viewer watches such shows and ask for the need to showcase shirtless male celebrities on the said scene, could TV producers give a logical reply?
The reality in all these is simple: Anyone would want to see what’s hidden and everyone wants to have a taste of what’s taboo. Nudity, full or partial is no different. Whether it is the teen idol, Zac Efron, or the film hotshot, Brad Pitt, fans are willing to cough off money for movie tickets and more so if that meant seeing these stars partially naked even only on screen.
Are producers, fans, and directors already objectifying their male stars? The answer depends really on how the boundaries between Hollywood capitalism and artistry are defined.
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