||In recent years, the men's fashion magazine has become a new media genre that attracts lots of attention. The sales, advertisements, and publications of the men's fashion magazine have reached a remarkable performance. Most important of all, men's fashion magazines not only provide the male readers with content about appearance beauty but also mold the male readers into a new kind of masculinity called ‘New Man’. The ‘New Man’ masculinity means that men can feel more comfortable to take some gender practices to improve their appearance beauty, such as putting on make-up, applying skincare products and so on.|
Researches about men's fashion magazine in Taiwan mostly focus on market performance, and the notion and practice of male readers are ignored. This present study drawn on the audience in everyday life theory, also employed the masculinity theory based on the sociologist R. W. Connell and the view of fluid identity (multiple subjectivities) based on the poststructuralist feminists. This study applied a methodology of qualitative in-depth interview with 6 male participants, tried to find the relation between men’s fashion magazine and everyday gender practices of the readers.
The study found that when the male readers interpret the ‘New Man’ image in the men's fashion magazine, they do negotiate the mainstream masculinity discourse in their everyday life. Their negotiation involves their unequal investment in multiple subjectivities in everyday life. The study also found that men's fashion magazine is a text that can mediate the masculinity discourse, so the everyday gender practices of readers regarding the magazine text are their negotiation of masculinity as well. The male readers read men's fashion magazine and take ‘New Man’ gender practices (ex. applying skincare products, putting on make-up, and taking care of figure) to create their own unique masculinity which exclude from femininity.
In conclusion, the new version masculinity (New Man) does overlap the old one (mainstream or traditional masculinity), which not only shows the diversity of masculinity but also provide the male readers with some space to exert their agency and negotiate the meaning of ‘what it means to be a male’.