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Marketing muscular masculinity in Arnold: the education of a bodybuilder

Reflection of Article: Marketing muscular masculinity in Arnold: the education of a bodybuilder

Arnold Schwarzenegger is one worldwide most popular American who won the heart of the people through his charming personality, strongest and most muscular body, beguiling acting, and intellectual and strategic political practices. According to the article “Marketing muscular masculinity in Arnold: the education of a bodybuilder” written by Ellexis Boyle, it is stated that Arnold become a popular icon of Muscular masculinity where no other bodybuilder before of following him has been so successful.

In the article, the writer has highlighted those secrets that supported Arnold to become one of the most successful bodybuilder, a skillful actor and an intellectual politician. Arnold’s life history reflects the Arnold’s determination, his struggle and his broad vision.

According to article, the writer quoted Arnold’s own words from his autobiographical book as Arnold stated in “The education of a bodybuilder,” “I taught myself Discipline, the strictest kind of Discipline. How to be totally in control of my body, how to control each individual muscle, I could apply that discipline to everyday life.’

This story reflects the Arnold’s secret of success as he has not merely control on every muscle of his body, but his strict discipline made him to control his consciousness as well that directed all the acts and resulted as a world most successful muscle man, most successful actor and a politician. Arnold was a self-made person who made him to achieve what he want without any considerable support from family and friends.

Arnold life tells an inspiring story of a self-made man and his journey from “Rag-to-Riches” in which a poor Austrian boy travel through the obscurity to the top stratum of fame and power in United States through symbolizing the American Dream.

By referring towards the struggle of Arnold, the author claimed that Arnold’s personality is a symbol and his life struggle is an example and guidance for those who want to achieve power and want to control their bodies as well as their politics. It is because, Arnold is a flower that blown from a barren land where other cannot even imagine about the growth of fruitful plant. Because, he determined with his aim and focus on his struggle by ignoring the unfavorable circumstances.

Author admired Arnold’s personality and said that his uniqueness is not his body but what made him unique among billions of people is his individualism because, he follows discipline in his that enabled him to develop his body as well as his inner personality accordingly, which made him apart not from the common people but from the other personalities as well.

The writer admired the personality and way he moved towards the success as he set his focus on his goals and shine like a start in bodybuilding that achieved the matchless fame and admiration and directed the society towards a positive trend by adapting bodybuilding a part of culture. Instead of using his body like present day’s starts, models and other celebrities, he used his personality instead of his spectacular body to the economic and political success.

The author of this article well compare the Arnold’s personality as a bodybuilder to the other bodybuilders such as BernarrMacfadden and EugenSandow who achieved great success ad become celebrity but unlike Arnold they became a celebrity through self-promotion as a model  and as crakcports with apprehensive voluptuous proclivities.

More interestingly, the Writer has quoted that after Arnold, many of the bodybuilder break his record by building up more strong and huge muscles but no one reached to the level of success of Arnold, who was considered a unique celebrity not merely because of his spectacular body and for his muscular masculinity but also for an amazing combination of mindfulness and muscularity who holds physical as well as spiritual power.

In this contest that how Arnold managed to achieve the matchless success that no other bodybuilder did is answered as Arnold skillfully markets him by developing his strong relationship with the media and judges. In this regards the writer quoted Arnold’s own words as he said “I learned the power of the press, how they were the most potent vehicle to promote your image and marketability, and I never forgot it.

Arnold skillfully read the factors that are or that could have influence on his success and skillfully understanding the power of media is one of the example of Arnold’s mindfulness and his intelligence which he admired to enabled him to become a unique celebrity. In this aspect Arnold accept the role of media in his success as Arnold claimed in an interview in Flex in 2000 “The media became integral to everything I did. I used it to promote ‘Pumping Iron’ and to build a movie career.”

Moreover, the writer quoted that the alongside the Arnold’s individualism the other most prominent factor of Arnold’s personality was heteromasculinity. Further the write talks about the Arnold journey towards the globalize success and said that at first Arnold marketed him through model of heteronormative manhood in a contextual anxiety that was ongoing regarding he national power based on the apparent atrophy of white men’s body.

In addition Arnold concern about the effects of the infringing consumerism culture that support the ingesting of male bodies as objects. During the time when social evil started to penetrate in the American culture and an equal threat started to rise the scholars raise their voice about the fitness culture by concerning their responsibility and emphasize the good heath in context of moral constitution. Through these aspects, the stress was given to the idea of the relationship between the physical fitness and neo-liberal discourse as a moral responsibility in the setting of ebbing welfare state.

In the context of marketing muscle to mainstream culture, the Arnold’s own book “Arnold: the education of a bodybuilding” played a vital role and reflects the Arnold’s strategy towards the marketing muscle to mainstream culture. This book was based on the journey of Arnold’s bodybuilding through an inspiring story of a young boy of Austria who migrated to America and become the World’s most famous bodybuilder with a record seven consecutive Mr Olympia titles.

According to the narrative the Arnold’s book have three basic themes in it including the issues with homoeroticism and homophobia in bodybuilding, self-improvement big a virtue of muscular masculinity and whiteness. These themes resulted as a revolution in the bodybuilding as it exposed the reality of bodybuilding phobia and lighten the minds of the adult population and laid the foundation of a new culture.

Overall it is found that the Arnold’s success towards the muscle building to mainstream culture was dependent on Arnold’s image as a heteromasuline symbol of muscular American manhood. His determination eliminates the homophobia from the profession of bodybuilding and made bodybuilding a part of culture. It is admirable that his understanding of the media is appreciating and through his marketing strategy, he achieved success that has never seen for a bodybuilder before and after Arnold. His struggle to eliminate the penetrating social evils reflected the Arnold’s image as a good citizen.



Boyle, E. (2010). Marketing muscular masculinity inArnold: the education ofa bodybuilde. Journal of Gender Studies, 19(2), 153-166

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