Vulnerability or masculinity: Examining “Aesthetic Labor” from male fashion models’ perspective

Jie G. Fowler, Rongwei Chu, James W. Gentry, Himadri Roy Chaudhuri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


‘Masculinity’ is changing globally. We investigate the adjustments made by Chinese male models as they work in a domain that had previously belonged primarily to women. Using a liminal lens to view the models’ adjustments, the study discovered that they perceive themselves to be subordinated to other participants in the advertising industry: designers, makeup artists, directors, clients, and even female models. While the changing nature of ‘masculinity’ globally has created many more opportunities for male models, we found that the norms of the advertising industry require a major reinvention of the models’ self-perceptions of masculinity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)252-265
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Global Fashion Marketing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2016



  • Liminal theory
  • aesthetic labor
  • male fashion models
  • masculinity
  • vulnerability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Strategy and Management
  • Marketing
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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