Embodied Masculinities: Men’s Body Projects

  • Brendan Gough


This chapter concerns men’s discourse and practice around appearance, drawing on qualitative research studies featuring men’s accounts of their body projects, including weight management and cosmetic use. This work is first contextualised with reference to relevant theoretical literature (e.g. sociology of the body; men and body image) and previous studies of male body dissatisfaction and ‘metrosexual masculinities’. The data presented largely derive from online spaces where men talk to each other about practices such as diet, grooming, substance use, and make-up application, and highlight how men’s accounts are simultaneously influenced by traditional and modern masculinity norms. While more men are engaging in conventionally feminised behaviours, it is clear that such behaviours are often reconstructed in ‘masculine terms’. Implications for improving men’s body image are discussed.


Appearance Body image Muscularity Metrosexual Body projects 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brendan Gough
    • 1
  1. 1.Leeds Beckett UniversityLeedsUK

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