What is it about?

This article is concerned with fragile masculinity and its tendency towards authoritarianism and violence by focusing on the characteristics of a specific social group/online community of men called incels (involuntary celibates). Incels are men who have no sexual encounters, blame women for their exclusion from sexual contact and create toxic online communities to share their violent and deadly misogyny. This article will detail their typical characteristics, including a discus- sion of their idealized body appearances. These toxic body politics are sampled by National Socialist aesthetics and charged with homoerotic looks and body styles. Like other right-wing groups, incels are driven by homophobia and racism. In their world-view, they also understand their own non-beauty-compliant appearance according to the mainstream normative of beauty as a reason for their sexless- ness. The article focuses on the strategy of the misogynistic online community to achieve ‘looksmaxxing’ through cosmetic surgery. Their idealized body images sampled from various set pieces, from pop culture to Nazi chic, display consistent body ideals which feed on ancient mythologies.

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Why is it important?

"The authors’ research paper takes a deep dive into the complexity of the extremist groups identified as “Incels”. Using various points of reference Held links cultural and physical ideals of Nazi’s, “Chads”, and right-wing cis gender white male groups to define how and why “Incels” have become so prevalent in today’s global society. A wonderful paper on the kaleidoscope of the fractured ideals of masculinity." [Peer Review feedback]


The article shows the entanglement of problematic und supremacist ideals of various male groups regarding old and renewed forms of the far-right, right-wing, and heteronormative conservatives to understand how different kinds of masculists intersect.

sarah held

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: incels://cheeks/jaws: On fragile masculinity, fatal body ideals, homophobic homoeroticism and National Socialist aesthetics revisited, Fashion Style & Popular Culture, March 2023, Intellect,
DOI: 10.1386/fspc_00142_1.
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