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Weltzien, Friedrich: "Masque-ulinities. Changing Dress as a Display of Masculinity in the Superhero Genre." In: Fashion Theory 9 (2005), S. 229–250.
|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Weltzien2005
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Keywords: Gender, Maske, Superheld
Collection: Fashion Theory
Dress is an important resource in defining gender as a social dimension. This article questions to what extent gender is constructed by the act of changing dress – the difference between two alternative costumes and the circumstances under which the change is performed. Weltzien employs the gender studies theory which defines masculinity as a masquerade, and focuses on the popular genre of the superhero comic book as an example of the construction of masculinity through the transformation from casual wear to a masked costume and back. Weltzien relates superheroes to historical and theoretical models in which dress changes men, with the aim to dismantle the mechanics of gender construction of dress in the second half of the twentieth century. The article concludes that the metamorphosis of the superhero is not a linear movement, it is an endless circle without ever attaining a final goal. It is a steady doing and undoing of two separate identities, which restlessly constructs masculinity within the act of changing costume. The echoes of ancient and renaissance models of the warrior constitute a sort of masquerade, but the concealment of superpowers behind a camouflage of casual wear is a masquerade too – changing role models in the sense of the “Larve”.
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