The definition of masculinity is changing. As normal, most commercials appeal to men by showing attractive women promoting a product. The problem is they show distinctly how men should behave according to women’s standards. This alters foundations of today’s masculinity because women represent the deciding factors of what is acceptable. This alters perceptions on who is in charge. By men appealing to women’s standards we have no option but to comply due to sexual implications. The subtle messages expose what is considered socially acceptable.

In recent commercials companies such as Axe and Gillette influence men to smell good and shave clean to meet women’s standards of masculine and attractive. The Journal of Adolescent Health Care states “It provides a framework for a psychological approach to men and masculinity that questions traditional norms of the male role.”(Science Direct) By setting a new male standard, these commercials influence the minds of adolescent males on conforming to the “attractive” stereotype set by women.

The repetition of such messages creates an impact on our children, our neighbors, and our community. Although focused on teens, the commercial connects to all ages through laughter and entertainment. Through this humor we accept the standards shown in the commercial. Similarly, Robert Levant of the Harvard Medical School states “Children tend to identify with specific television characters; the notion of counter-stereotypical portrayals; and the cultivation of gender-role attitudes in both adults and children.”(New Psychology of Men) This sacrifices the independence of men to the idea of sex. As shown in these commercials, women use sex to manipulate men to standards they deem acceptable. Instead of defining masculinity as stability, independence, and courage, the new stereotype focuses masculinity on the appeals of attractive women.

These new ideologies are projected at today’s youth mainly consisting of teenagers and adolescents. Between hormones and growing up teens have a lot of questions that need to be answered. Axe and Gillette cannot provide all these answers, but can provide a connection by overtly hinting their product will make you more attractive.

Works Cited:
ignorielli, Nancy. "ScienceDirect - Journal of Adolescent Health Care : Children, Television, and Gender Roles : : Messages and Impact." ScienceDirect - Home. University of Delaware, Department of Communication, Jan. 1990. Web. 03 Dec. 2010. <>.

Levant, Ronald F. "The New Psychology of Men." Harvard Medical School, 1996. Web. 23 Oct. 2010. <>.