Magic Mike is the new film by eclectic director Steven Soderbergh (Traffic, Contagion, Ocean’s 11, Haywire, Sex Lies and Videotape) which stars Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey and collection of other fine male specimens as a group of ambitious strippers working in a Tampa, Florida nightclub. If you read our Magic Mike review, you’ll hear us break down why the movie (while not perfect) is certainly more than the implications of its initial premise – a premise which gives the impression that this film is strictly for the “girls night out” crowd.
In actuality, Magic Mike offers as much fun for guys as it does those who want to ogle some pretty boys. Of course, resistance amongst the “XY” chromosome camp has been quite pronounced and persistent, and after doing a quick survey of all the negative responses amongst guys (who have yet to actually watch the movie), we’ve come up with three of the main reasons why men don’t want to see Mike work his magic. Sure, they’ll say “I had no interest in this whatsoever” because it’s an easy out – but in our opinion, the reasoning behind that sentiment goes much deeper…
The male ego is a fragile thing. Like a budding flower it needs constant attention, watering and exposure to light (read: public display) to properly grow – and it can be easily trampled. A couple of months back, I was complaining to my wife about a new billboard featuring soccer star David Beckham in nothing but some revealing underwear – to which my wife sharply responded with an observation that girls, with much higher frequency, are psychologically challenged by advertisements featuring scantly-clad women with impossibly perfect bodies. And she was right (don’t tell her that, though).
In the case of the ‘Beckham incident’ I was forced to put aside my imperial male ego and let ladies have their fun, ogling a beloved sex symbol. Such is the task facing any man who goes to see Magic Mike in the company of a female companion. The simple fact is this: there are still many guys whose egos will not allow them to sit in full acknowledgement that their lady is looking (lustfully) at another man – even some fantasy creation of a man that will never enter the picture of real life. Many men like to believe that their lady only has eyes (and desire) for them – and Magic Mike is a direct rebuttal to this particularly fallacy.
Even more harmful to the ego than the thought that your lady wants one (or more) of those ripped guys onstage shaking it, is the fear that when the lights come on in the theater, all she’ll have to take home is… you. The male ego has no word for “consolation prize,” and a lot of men will be damned if they let Magic Mike force them to come up with one, or force them into the same body image issues women have been dealing with since… forever?