There still exists within popular culture a divide between the scrutiny which female stars’ bodies and clothing come under and the lack of it which is afforded to men, despite the fact that, as a market, men’s fashion is growing rapidly. Given that modern society, particularly in the West, is so heavily concerned with physical image, it would seem incorrect to say that male celebrity image in the media does not matter.
It does seem, however, that celebrity women are judged or praised for their fashions whether on the red carpet or off-duty, whereas the leading men are afforded very little attention for their efforts by comparison. Traditionally, fashion was something with which women were associated, which could have caused this split – we expect men to wear clothes because they are functional, rather than exhibiting what is seen as a feminine interest in them.
Despite this difference, however, men have begun to take much more of an interest in their appearance in the last decade, meaning men’s fashion is more important. The whole idea of what is masculine has begun to shift – one way in which we see this is fashion. The fashion world – and media in general – went wild when footballer David Beckham wore a sarong in the early 2000s, yet he was highly praised from some quarters for pushing the boundaries of masculinity from his position of great influence.
Celebrities, male or female, are permanently being watched by the world. Because of this, they are seen as icons or role models for pop culture to follow in a similar way to that in which women emulate the styles of their favourite celebrities. This has been made possible by the growing acceptance for men to be as concerned with their appearance as women.
So it seems that, slowly but surely, what male celebrities are wearing is beginning to matter. It is now acceptable for our male celebrities to fly the flag for fashion as well as their female counterparts as they are in the public eye more and more. As trends begin to take note of what footballers, actors and singers are doing, the start of trends lead by celebrities has begun.