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Working-class masculinity and fashion: David Beckham, Del Boy and the representation of taste

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This article uses a comedy sketch Only Fools and Horses: Beckham in Peckham (2014) as a point of departure to discuss ideas around the designation, embodiment and treatment of contemporary working-class masculinity. It uses this sketch to explore the relationship between working-class masculinity and fashion in the age of the metrosexual. The article considers the importance of the body to this relationship – the ways in which the middle-class eye of the mainstream media manages and maintains this classification via judgements of value and taste. Within the United Kingdom the class structure is susceptible to shifting patterns of classification, but with regard to masculinity and fashion, this article argues, media representations continue to be reductive and work to actively reinforce established stereotypes.
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Keywords: class; costume; embodiment; masculinity; representation; stereotypes; taste; television

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of the Arts London

Publication date: December 1, 2014

More about this publication?
  • Film, Fashion & Consumption is a peer-reviewed journal designed to provide an arena for the discussion of research, methods and practice within and between the fields of film, fashion, design, history, art history and heritage. The journal seeks to stimulate ongoing research on these topics and to attract contributions not only from scholars researching in these areas but also from practitioners, who are traditionally excluded from academic debate. The journal thus aims to unite and enlarge a community of researchers and practitioners in film, fashion, consumption and related fields, whilst also introducing a wider audience to new work, particularly to interdisciplinary research which looks at the intersections between film, fashion and consumption.
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