Bronzed, buffed and tattooed: the new brand of soldier shaped and shipped by popular culture

Gehrmann, Richard and Smith, Heather (2013) Bronzed, buffed and tattooed: the new brand of soldier shaped and shipped by popular culture. In: 4th Annual Popular Culture Association of Australia and New Zealand Conference (PopCAANZ 2013), 24-26 Jun 2013, Brisbane, Australia.

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Abstract

A new brand of soldier is emerging from today's popular culture milieu, and this challenges how we perceive, understand and define the modern-day professional soldier. Images of the sculpted physique,often tanned and stenciled, adorn the screen and page with increasing frequency from 'Command' in popular television show Biggest Loser
to the hyper-masculine characters in The Hurt Locker. This paper will examine the evolving 'brand' of the soldier and the parallel wave of bronzed, buffed and tattooed lookalikes. While a growing percentage of soldiers are female and while physical fitness is valued by female
soldiers and male soldiers, masculine images dominate the
representation of the soldier, and tensions arise when women appear to transgress this space. We explore examples of gender stereotypes and military branding in contemporary popular culture, including the response to the death of New Zealand soldier Jacinda Baker in 2012, and the public image of Australian Victoria Cross recipient Ben Roberts-Smith.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: c. Popular Culture Association of Australia and New Zealand.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Arts - School of Humanities and Communication
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2014 06:05
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2014 00:05
Uncontrolled Keywords: masculinity; military; female soldier; branding; Afghanistan War
Fields of Research : 21 History and Archaeology > 2103 Historical Studies > 210303 Australian History (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
21 History and Archaeology > 2103 Historical Studies > 210311 New Zealand History
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200299 Cultural Studies not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society
A Defence > 81 Defence > 8101 Defence > 810199 Defence not elsewhere classified
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/24436

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