Queer visual pleasures and the policing of male sexuality in responses to images of David Beckham

Yeates, Amelia (2013) Queer visual pleasures and the policing of male sexuality in responses to images of David Beckham. Visual Studies, 28 (2). pp. 110-121. ISSN 1472-586X

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Since he stepped out in a sarong in 1998, David Beckham's sexuality and gendered image has been a popular topic of discussion in the media. He has also attracted academic attention for the expanded range of masculinities he seems to represent. Some academic studies of Beckham have employed ‘queer theory’ to analyse the destabilising of gender that his public presentations seem to embody but little attention has been paid to the specifically visual dynamics of images of Beckham. In this essay, I take Sam Taylor-Wood's David (2004) as a starting point to suggest the types of visual pleasure that images of Beckham might be seen to offer to both male and female audiences. For the remainder of the essay I focus on an Armani male underwear advertisement from the 2007–2008 campaign. Informed by discourse analysis and queer theory, I identify a set of ‘queer’ responses to the advertisement, suggesting they represent the ‘policing’ of male sexuality, which often accompanies potential signifiers of homoeroticism. I conclude by considering how and why Beckham has retained his status as a heteronormative masculine icon despite his continued appearance in homoerotic images.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: This is an Author's Original Manuscript of an article whose final and definitive form, the Version of Record, has been published in Visual Studies, 2013 [copyright Taylor & Francis], available online at http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1472586X.2013.801632
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
T Technology > TR Photography
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > Fine and Applied Art (up to 30th April 2018)
Depositing User: Susan Murray
Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2013 10:25
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2016 03:26
URI: https://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/123

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