Magic Mike XXL is the latest trend in a series of movies that objectify the male body and all it encompasses. Its predecessor, Magic Mike, was a labor of love for star Channing Tatum when it hit theatres in 2012, and now, with its sequel, men are celebrating what women have been subjected to for years: objectification.
With a hashtag like #comeagain strategically placed over Tatum’s groin, in addition to endless shots of Magic Mike XXL‘s stars grinding and dancing provocatively, it’s small wonder that hordes of women and some men are lining up in droves to see the film. Reviews have mentioned that Magic Mike XXL has a skimpy plot. To be honest, there will be people coming out of the film asking each other if they noticed Joe Manganiello stunning six-pack or the way Tatum moved while wearing almost nothing. Plot is secondary to Magic Mike XXL, and while reviewers will lament the lack of plot in the movie, it is important to acknowledge that Tatum and his pals know exactly what their purpose is in the film.
By objectifying themselves, they are handing a certain degree of power back to women, who have long been eye candy for the media and their fans. These men of Magic Mike XXL know they are saying to women, “Hey, it’s your turn to watch us look hot for a while. Grab a drink and let me serve you for once.”
Vogue magazine hails the film a trend which illustrates the male body as something for everyone to behold. The Globe and Mail notes that the film is a hypersexual without any actual sex onscreen and emphasizes the bromance between the main characters without showing what audiences everywhere have seen in the past: men getting aggressive after a few too many drinks and men effectively treating women as sexual objects for them to take advantage of.
The emphasis in Magic Mike XXL is the gorgeousness that are the hardbodies the audience sees onscreen and the genuine support they have for one another. There are some A-list women who also star: Amber Heard, Andie MacDowell and Jada Pinkett Smith (no slouch in the rock-hard abs department herself). However, the women are there to enhance the fairly limited story, and it’s clear that this is a show about the beauty of the male body, not how many women these hot men can sleep with.
There is a pressure on being ripped and well-muscled now that was never there before for men. Chris Pratt was lauded for getting in shape for his turn as Starlord in Guardians of the Galaxy, and Paul Rudd had to bulk up a bit for Ant-Man. The bottom line is, these male stars are showing audiences they understand there is a rise in male objectification like never before, and it is thanks, in part, to films like Magic Mike and Magic Mike XXL.
(Photo courtesy of SlashFilm.com)