Monday, November 30, 2009

Taylor Lautner Redirects the Gaze

The Sturken and Cartwright chapter titled, Modernity: Spectatorship, Power, and Knowledge, focuses on the concept of “gaze.” Gaze is defined as, “a field”, or “a world of meaning” (103). These gazes, Sturken and Cartwright explain, adhere and reinforce dominant ideologies and hegemonies. However, more recently, these gazes have been challenged and have been turned on their head.

The original concept of gaze is built upon the notion of the women as “objects of the male gaze” (123). However, like in the movie, Thelma & Louis, females have become more and more in control of the camera, “belying the dominant view that women are objects, not subjects, of the gaze” (130).

This Thelma & Louis structured gaze is also evident in the newly released movie, New Moon. The movie features Taylor Lautner (Jacob Black) as an extremely buff werewolf with a nasty six-pack. Prior to the opening on the movie, tabloids and entertainment shows hyped up the actor’s body so much, that it became a major reason for viewers (mainly teenage girls) to buy tickets. By doing this, Summit Entertainment effectively challenges the old idea of a male-dominated gaze and reinvents it to attract its female viewers.

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