Masculinity Portrayal in the Media. The different theories under the effects theories extend a perspective on how the media influences human behavior. The theories pose the idea that the media plays a significant role in shaping the behavior of its audiences and this has been proven through research and analysis of the larger effects of the images portrayed by the media. In light of this, perception of what it means to be human, feminine, or masculine is either reinforced or distorted by the media. One of these aspects to be considered in this think piece is how the media has shaped the perception of masculinity. The artifact for analysis in this paper is Kindergarten Cop film that stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as John Kimble. In the film, there is reinforcement of the perception that masculinity is defined by having a muscular body and also aligning to certain professions.
Masculinity Portrayal in Media
Kindergarten Cop is a comedic film and its target audience can be considered as all groups. The film is largely around the life of John Kimble a police officer who thinks that teaching kindergarten cannot be as hectic as the apprehension of criminals. Kimble is filling in the position of his partner who has fallen ill and was a kindergarten teacher as an undercover cop. Much of the plot and the image of John Kimble relies on the past image portrayed of Arnold Schwarzenegger as a chiseled macho man figure who was a previous body builder. Such also informs his portrayal as a police officer, a profession associated with alpha males and the figure of a fit, muscular individual. The assertion of Kimble as a dominant figure is evident throughout the film as he goes on apprehending criminals. In one of the scenes, Kimble knocks down two members of a gang easily after which he turns to other member of the gang who offer to look after his car. Although Kimble is a police officer, this can be seen as a way through which the media portrays a hyper-masculine man as sometimes violent to assert his position. The social learning theory states that a specific behavior can be learned through the media and this film directs the perspective of assertive masculinity.