The Male Gaze is a term from Gaze theory that describes the tendency of works to assume a (straight) male viewpoint even when they do not have a specific narrative Point of View, and in particular the tendency of works to present female characters as subjects of implicitly male visual appreciation.
One of the most obvious results of Male Gaze is the way a (usually male) director/cameraman's interest in women informs his shots, leading to a focus on breasts, legs, asses and other jiggly bits even when the film isn't necessarily supposed to be a T&A-fest. For example, a sex scene between a man and a woman may show more of her body than it does of his, or focus more on her reactions than his (see Right Through His Pants). Alternatively, it could appear in shows that aren't overtly sexual - for example, scenes of bikini-clad female characters talking that emphasize their bodies rather than showing just their heads.
A subtle psychological effect of this is that, in visual media, audiences are primed to sympathise with, or at least respect, characters if the first prominent shot of them concentrates on their face. If it shows another body part the audience is more likely to see the character as a threat, or an object of desire. It isn't difficult to override this later, but the audience will usually experience it at least subconsciously as a twist.
The term also applies in other mediums, such as video games and comic books. During the Dark Age, comic books were often perfect examples of the male gaze, with scenes being framed to show off a female character's "assets" over everything else. The trend continues at a lower level today.
If the female in question is aware of the Fourth Wall, she'll likely snap "Ahem, eyes are up here!" at the camera/artist.
The concept was popularized in Laura Mulvey's 1973 essay "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema," quite likely the most cited essay in all of Film Studies.
See also Fanservice, Jiggle Physics, Gainaxing. Not to be confused with Male Gays. Contrast Longing Look and Female Gaze.
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A recent Coke commercial featured a trio of guys at a party with a trio of girls. The viewer does not see any of the girls' faces, and the camera focuses solely on their tight clothing.
The Brazilian Butt Lift Commercials are full of this. Not surprising considering the title.
Justified since the ad is for a butt work out, and you have to show off the product, i.e., the results if you want to sell it.
Evony's banner ads feature little more than a pair of gigantic boobs accompanied by the words "Play now, my lord!" or "Save your lover the Queen!" or "One click for a Roman Orgy!". Evony is a Civilization-esque strategy game.
The lack of any visible shine on her pupils, the rather copious amounts of makeup and somewhat obvious photoshopping of the face make it more creepy than it is hot.
The ad for Rappelz starts with a close up of a female upper chest with the caption 'like what you see?'. Even when it zooms out a little, the focus is still there. The fact that she's wearing a Breast Plate doesn't help its cause.
The banner ads for Claymore on this very wiki. The vertical one is well ok, showing a full body shot of one of the female characters decked out for battle. What does the horizontal view do? It starts out showing only her chest. It then moves further up her body as the ad continues, but the shot of her breasts does its job at catching your eye. Feel free to make the comparison yourself.
Similarly for the Dragonaut: The Resonance ad. It doesn't seem to focus on anything, but the text makes it clear what you're supposed to be looking at 'Real dragons have curves'. Ironically they chose the least noticeable female dragon to portray.
The ads for "Part 2" are similar; the vertical one is okay, but the horizontal one starts out with a shameless ass shot. Funi certainly knows how to attract the show's target audience.
For the record: The ad is a pleasantly-constructed young woman in short shorts expounding on the virtues of the shoes in question, and the cameraman taking notice of the effect the shoes have on her legs and butt. Naturally, her response is an unamused "eyes up here" gesture.
Their ads are ostensibly aimed at women. Maybe gay/bi women are a huge target audience for Reebok?
An advertisement for It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia played with this trope, showing the male gaze until the camera pans up revealing the woman in question to be the hideous (under the makeup, the actress is rather attractive) Margaret McPoyle.
Played with in a recent Jean-Paul Gautier perfume campaign. The ad for the male perfume is typical male-gaze: a sailor leaves a woman after a night of passion; she's shown half naked, writhing in the sheets. The ad for the female perfume is exactly the same, except it's the woman leaving and the sailor writhing half naked in the sheets.
In Killing Us Softly: Advertising's View of Women, her major lecture series, Jean Kilbourne argues that the male gaze is so pervasive in modern culture, particularly advertising, that it has changed the way that women look at each other - that even heterosexual women look at other women in the way that a heterosexual man would.
Done with a surprising amount of subtlety for an Axe hair gel commercial: A walking messy mop of hair is trying to get the attention of a pair of breasts that works with him. It's not until he uses the product in question that both he and woman see each other as complete people. This is followed by the caption: "Hair, it's what women see first" So what does that say about men?
A relatively old advert for a South African fast food chain stated that they could tell where you'd be looking at and prove it by showing a video. Cue the first part of the advert showing a X going onto woman's breasts and the like and the second part showing it going more onto the burger video on the other side than onto the girls (although it tried to cut back to them).
Anime & Manga
This trope is used to the point of parody in Kangoku Gakuen when involving Meiko. A lot of panels, most noticeable the ones where she's talking to another character and having an inner monologue, are focused squarely on her butt, breasts, and crotch with her face not even in view.
When Faye Valentine's top is cut open in the Cowboy Bebopmovie, the camera shows nothing above or below her breasts. The TV series also has several lingering shots of Faye's legs and breasts.
Parodied in Excel♥Saga: When Misaki first appears, the camera begins to pan up her body. It then does a Jump Cut to her rear before resuming the pan and stopping again at her chest. She then asks why the camera keeps stopping. When the camera attempts this again later, she grabs the camera and demands that it cease. Cut to a written apology from the director.
When Gohan, Krillin and Bulma land on a strange spaceship in Dragon Ball Z, they want to go explore it. Bulma is apparently so excited to traverse the ship that she forgets to put on pants. She spends the next several episodes in her eponymous underwear for no reason.
Although some may not go as far as calling that particularoutfit "underwear" and in any event we rarely get any closeup shots of her in the Invisible Spaceship.
That's because her outfit was changed in the original dub. In the Japanese version and redub, the trope applies.
Then there's Maron, Krillin's ex-girlfriend. Might be Playing with a Trope, since the camera leers along with the male characters... an explicitly "male gaze."
Mazinger Z: Often the camera lingered on Sayaka's behind, specially when she wore skirts. It also lingered on women when they were wearing one towel after one shower or changing clothes. It also happened in the sequels (Great Mazinger and UFO Robo Grendizer). Given than Mazinger's creator introduced Fanservice in the anime, it was to be expected. But to be fair, there also were plenty instances of Female Gaze in the series.
In Persona 4: The Animation Chie gets quite a few closeups of her thighs in Episode 2. In Episode 9 they switch into Yosuke's point of view while he momentarily gazes at Chie's thighs. Episode 15 also has a closeup of her backside as she's about to sit in Yu's lap.
In Suzumiya Haruhi, Kyon is the cameraman for the Brigade's movie; with the buxom and beautiful Mikuru the main character of said movie, the camera's view... dips... on occasion. In chronology, the first thing we see of Haruhi is her chest.
Also played less subtly for laughs. Itsuki jokes that Kyon and Haruhi are now Adam and Eve. Cut to a still camera shot of Haruhi walking down stairs... with the shot starting around her waist and eventually working up to her head. Less subtle indeed.
Koizumi: Go forth, procreate.
Haruhi's butt also gets a lot of emphasis during the Endless Eight arc.
In Yu-Gi-Oh!, used on Anzu/Tea while she was playing a Dance Dance Revolution-like game. Whether intentionally or not, it gives the impression this is where Yami's gaze is focused. Hmmm...
Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds: Carly's transformation to a Dark Signer is one long focus at her body from her legs up. Also, Fortune Lady Lighty gets this on her first appearance. Also in 5Ds, when Aki dons her outfit for riding duels, which is a bright red leather bodysuit cut low on her breasts. The pan up from her feet to her head is complete with Crow whistling at her. To top it off, Aki notes the outfit doesn't feel like her (compared to her Victorian-style influenced outfit), and Yusei assures her she looks fine.
The OP of Black Lagoon has a few random shots of Revy's butt, which is in line with how she mostly gets depicted the manga.
The almost supernaturally endowed Rangiku Matsumoto on Bleach is constantly subjected to this.
Interestingly, the similarly well-endowed Orihime Inoue is very rarely shown in a fanservicey way - unlike Matsumoto, she never even wears revealing clothes, but the camera still frequently zooms in on her chest. Especially when Kon is talking nearby.
This whole trope made Rangiku's choices on the 'fashion show' episode 228 that much more interesting. With one possible exception - all her outfit choices were surprisingly tasteful and classy. The sixth one, the exception? No more or less revealing than an outfit you might see being worn by say, your average woman wearing a tank top and pants.
In Princess Tutu there's a scene where Autor is walking behind Rue. The camera switches to show her walking from behind, then slowly pans down to gaze at her rear end and legs. The camera then switches to show Autor looking downwards with a blush on his face, then quickly glancing up when Rue turns towards him as if trying to cover up where his attention had gone.
Soul Eater has a really strange example. When the weapon characters are in weapon form their Meisters can still talk to them, and a reflection of their human form is shown somewhere somewhere on the weapon's surface. The female weapons' reflections are always naked, but the male weapons are fully clothed. This changes in later chapters.
In Busou Renkin, Kazuki is walking behind Tokiku up some stairs. We get the expected shot from his point of view, followed by a shot of his blushing face. In light of what Tokiku's telling him at the time, the shot feels highly random.
There's also the 2nd Beach Episode where Tokiko complains at the camera for lingering too long on her navel.
The third episode of Code Geass had a blatant one of these during Kallen's shower scene. The shower curtain gets accidentally pulled aside, and we see her standing in the shower with a Toplessness from the Back shot. Then the camera drops about 3 feet, perfectly framing her behind.
R2 did this constantly, especially during its first half, to every attractive female character. Some of the most egregious examples occurred whenever Kallen or C.C. piloted a Knightmare, including gratuitous ass shots.
Ritsuko, Rei, and Asuka provide the other half of the Fanservice for the show.
Rei, especially. In Rebuild of Evangelion 1.0, there is a scene near the end of the film when the camera slowly pans across her uncensored nude body as she's donning her plugsuit.
Having lost the Stripperiffic outfit she was complaining about towards the end of the previous movie, Asuka seems to have a lot of establishing shots in Rebuild of Evangelion 3.0 featuring the groin or buttocks of her plug suit.
During Lalamon's evolution sequence to Rosemon in Digimon Savers, the camera makes sure to pan up her behind and directly into a cleavage shot. When the time came for Data Squad, this part of the sequence was cut out.
In Street Fighter Alpha The Animation, the camera has so many random cuts to close ups of Chun Li's and, to a much lesser extent, Sakura's pelvic reason, that it makes for a rather entertaining drinking game.
Just before the shower scene, the Monitor Cyborg goes for the gold as it first features Chun Li's lovely face, then her frontal assets and finally a near-lingering shot at her crotch. You can bet Bison and Vega were enjoying the view.
Played with in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. In the eighth episode, Thymilph is seen watching the heroes on a Wall Of Monitors. One of them has a close-up of Kiyoh's breasts. There are also instances of Gainaxing which the camera sometimes gives particular focus to. Simon's or Kamina's gaze does linger on early in the show, and getting a "good look" at the girls is even a plot point during the sixth episode.
Two of these show up in Azumanga Daioh, oddly enough. One is the series's sole Panty Shot, tho done in such closeup that you can't really tell what it is until it's over and others are reacting. Both are primarily due to the subject (Sakaki, sadly) being the focus of the gaze in both cases—the shot is supposed to be that of the staring character. Only one is an actual male, though.
Weird example from the Get Backers manga. Ban, Ginji, Kazuki and Juubei are taking a bath in a hot spring. Ban, Ginji, and Juubei generally stay submerged below the shoulders—but Kazuki, who only looks like a girl, gets some very obvious Toplessness from the Back and ass-shots, to the point where Ban is kind enough to cover up his guy-parts at one point for the intended audience and tell us all how hot a girl Kazuki would be.
The various works of Go Nagai. He's not very subtle about it.
Yakumo in the School Rumble manga when she first meets Harima. This was left out in the anime.
Strike Witches. None of the girls wear pants or skirts. The camera makes sure that we're aware of this.
In Fullmetal Alchemist, it's not unusual to focus shots on the Homunculi's ouroborus tattoos. Lust's tattoo is right above her cleavage. Maes Hughes lampshades this one for us.
Used as foreshadowing in "The Philosopher's Stone" episode of the 2003 anime. A delivery woman is warned about a Serial Killer who goes after pretty, young women. Then there's a nice body shot of Winry when she meets the woman at her refrigerated van. Turns out that woman staring at Winry isn't.
In chapter 312 of Berserk Isidro meets the enthusiastic Isma. Who leans over to talk to him. With her chest standing on the height of his eyes. There's even an arrow pointing from his eyes to her breasts.
In a Beach Episode of Sailor Moon, Ami has found Usagi's little brother, unconcious. When he wakes up, she's so happy he's okay that she hugs him, and the audience catches all this from behind her. And there was some...surprising detail as well.
In RahXephon, when Ayato is introduced to female characters, the "camera", showing his viewpoint, makes it clear exactly which features he's focusing on.
Male Gaze is the only shot/angle/juxtaposition in existence in the Go Dannar universe.
In Baccano!, one of the first hints Ennis is a love interest of Firo is a subtle use of this trope: The moment they bump into each other, the "camera" starts on her chest for a split second.
In Tenchi Muyo! GXP, the view seems to settle on Lady Seto's chest whenever she appears.
Satoshi Urushihara's work. It's no secret he draws a lot of naked women, but what really makes it this trope is how, whenever a woman is naked, she will always be positioned so her breasts are included in the panel. It actually gets kind of narmy after a while.
Sorcerer Hunters runs on this trope, being a kind of pervy comedy show where the two female leads are S&M queens, but the opening sequence has numerous T&A close-ups. There's a short sequence of a lady who doesn't seem to appear anywhere in the actual show, touching her thighs and red-painted lips, but we never see her face: her only distinct feature is a lot of long, black hair, so she might beMarron.
Sword Art Online: You know, that girl just watched her friend get brutally murdered. Is this really the best time to dangle the camera next to her impossibly tightly-clothed butt? (Asuna gets an unusual amount of this in the same episode, so that episode's director is most likely to blame...)
In K well-endowed Seri Awashima is constantly subjected to camera angles that focus on her posterior and breasts.
In the first episode of K-On!, Yui slips and falls on her bottom in her rush to get ready for school. The camera goes in for an extended close-up on her rear as she scrambles to her feet.
Interestingly in Pokémon Special, the artist doesn't seem to be purposely trying to draw White as a fanservice-y character, but the way her daisy dukes naturally accentuate her butt has readers going "DAT ASS" every time we see her from the back.
Elesa is first formally introduced with her on her knees and her rear facing the audience.
The Electric Tale of Pikachu had a scene in Chapter Two where Ash couldn't take his eyes off Misty at the start of the gym challenge, as she was wearing a form-fitting wetsuit (which was a more revealing swimsuit in the original uncensored publications). She belts him with a Shellder for gawking.
Played with to horrifying and comical effect in Attack on Titan. The Female Titan has quite the nice figure, and Reiner refers to her as "the one with the nice ass". Said nice ass is only partially covered in skin, and since she's a giant the characters naturally focus on her rear end when pursuing her on horseback. This counts as a disturbing bit of foreshadowing as both the Female Titan and Reiner are Titan Shifters.
Ultear from Fairy Tail gets at least many shots of her backside as her face, especially in the Tenrou Island arc when she is wearing Sensual Spandex. It even gets involuntarily hilarious when she appears in a Dream Sequence of Gray's. All we see is the naked butt and legs of a woman, and we only find out it's Ultear because Gray says her name.
Lucy gets the same treatment, only with her breasts. It's getting harder and harder to find a panel with her where you can only see her face.
Comic artists who draw this way will often show a female character facing away from the camera, but twisting her back (sometimes improbably) towards the 'camera' so that the viewer can get a good look at her breasts as well as her behind.
Rob Liefeld is probably the most infamous artist here; see, for instance, here.
Ed Benes has a reputation for this too, though his knowledge of human anatomy at least allows him to make them look human when they do such unlikely poses.
Artist Mike Choi drew a cover that showed a character in this pose. He got called out for this in a review that was so critical and apparently so painful to read that Choi has stopped reading reviews about his work, period. Even the good ones. Interestingly, he stated nothing about whether or not he stopped drawing women in the Boobs-and-Butt Pose.
Hilariously subverted with the phenomenon called The Hawkeye Initiative where the sexy poses of female comic book characters are redrawn featuring Hawkeye.
Played With in an Ultimate Spider-Man / Ultimate X-Men crossover: Peter had been, basically, treating Jean, resident psychic, fairly well...until she brought up the fact that mosy guys are usually thinking dirty, filthy thoughts about her. Peter then spends the next 22 panels doing just that and apologizing.
All-Star Batman & Robin The Boy Wonder features an issue in which Vicki Vale spends a scene standing around posing in lacy pink underwear for absolutely no reason. The script for the scene (included in the trade paperback) contains a blatant admission from Frank Miller as to what he was doing: "Okay, I'm shameless, let's go with an ASS SHOT."
In The Loners the team debate whether the villainess's getup is a costume or a tattoo.
Courier◊ from the GambitX-Men spinoff. Interestingly, Courier was a male shapeshifter who was Mode Locked in this form by Mr. Sinister.
Italian comic (eventually imported to America) Route de Maisons Rouge. This page says it all◊. Though since the comic is about feuding brothels, it is perhaps to be expected.
Sin City, Frank Miller's love letter to the pulp/noir genre. Any female characters who aren't gun-toting self-regulating prostitutes tend to fall at either extreme end of the Innocent Angel-Cold-Hearted Femme Fatale spectrum, and in striking contrast to Miller's diverse, interesting and strikingly designed male characters, are virtually identical from the neck down and drawn with sex appeal a forethought
A lot of it in Empowered, which is parodying the entire concept. One example, Emp comes home from a successful mission still wearing the Hot Librarian outfit she was using. Thug Boy's POV panels focus on Emp so much that they are forcing her talk bubbles out of the frame.
When the final issues of Ultimate Wolverine VS. Hulk FINALLY came out, there's a scene with Betty Ross injecting herself with a drug in her buttocks, which are front-and-center in the panel.
Averted in one issue of Identity Crisis where Wonder Woman is interrogating a prisoner about who tried to kill Ray Palmer's wife. The prisoner is said to be smart because he's focusing on Wonder Woman's lasso, not her cleavage.
One of the first things we see of Starfire in Red Hood and the Outlaws is her ass. And only her ass, since the panel cuts off her body from the waist up. To say nothing of the fact that the swimsuit scene in the first issue was supposed to have her in a semi transparent bikini, though the editorial shot that one down.
Also in the New52, the first issue of the Catwoman solo title was criticised for opening with an action scene that spent two full pages on close-up images of different parts of Selina's anatomy before bothering to show her face.
Navarone regularly does this in Diaries Of A Madman and openly admits it in his narration, particularly later on in the story as he becomes more depraved.
The male gaze is a moving thing, not static. So it is most closely echoed in film and TV by panning or tilting shots along a woman's body, rather than framing one part for any length of time. One of the more original 'reveals' of the female form is in Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window: In Grace Kelly's first shot, only her hand is seen (switching on a light IIRC), then an arm, then a bit more, etc, with her face last.
Charlie's Angels (and the sequel too, naturally) featured numerous scenes which pointedly and gratuitously framed the lead actresses' rear ends. This is particularly noticeable in the numerous fanservicey scenes of various female characters dancing, stripping (don't ask) or in the slow-mo action shots where the Angels inexplicably always seem to wear tight pants or bodysuits of some sort, and high heels, regardless of whether or not they'd be convenient or comfortable or even safe to fight in. Considering it was based on a 1970s' jiggle show, though, is anybody really surprised at any of this?
The MST3KMockbusterAngels Revenge was the same thing, with less-attractive women. Early in the movie, we get a shot straight up a ladder as a woman is climbing it, and Crow quips "Hey, you're giving away the plot!"
The first Hercules movie from the 1950s featured a scene in which the male characters are captured by a group of Amazons. Despite the obvious threat of the women's weapons, the camera "inexplicably" focuses on a long line of long legs (bare, natch). On the other hand, these were beefcake movies where Hercules ran around shirtless flexing his muscles.
Elastigirl in The Incredibles. There's even one scene where she sighs after seeing the size of her behind in a mirror.
The Sentinel and Harsh Times were both released around the same time, and both featured Eva Longoria, and both had a shot where the camera focuses on her butt. In both cases it was to emphasize how the men in the scene see her. In both cases the director was also a male.
Toward the end of Alien, there's a long scene where Ripley's in a shirt and panties. During the whole time, the camera's focus is clearly aimed rather lower than her face, and doesn't go back up to its usual height until after she gets some more clothes on.
Spoofed hilariously in Scary Movie, which is pertinent since horror movies are perhaps the most guilty of this trope (often in squicky ways as a woman contorts her body sensually and moans orgasmically as she is dying). The movie opens with a woman (played by Carmen Electra) running from a psycho killer, her clothes getting ripped off by anything she runs by, and stopping to pose and flick her hair as she runs (in Slo Mo, no less) through a sprinkler.
A film of 1984 had a scene with Julia and Winston in the room on top of the antique shop. For some reason she gets up and walks around in the room for minutes completely naked and the camera shows her entire body. Every shot at Winston, though, shows only his head, or at best his upper body.
Parodied in The Naked Gun 33 1/3 when Leslie Nielsen's character first sees Anna Nicole Smith. Watch as the camera goes slowly up the legs... and up the legs... and past the knees... and up the legs... and up the legs... and up the legs... and past the knees again...
The James Bond movies have this from time to time with the Bond Girls, prominently when anyone's getting out of the water with a bathing suit - ostensibly as a tribute to original Bond girl Honey Ryder. Casino Royale manages to make it both Darker and Edgier and Stupid Sexy Flanders by showing how Daniel Craig looks in blue instead...
When Sue from is bending over in her (very) string'd bath suit, Mick "Crocodile" Dundee is watching her from behind the bushes.
Sue Charlton: That croc was going to eat me alive.
Michael J. "Crocodile" Dundee: Well, I wouldn't hold that against him. Same thought crossed my mind once or twice.
In Pitch Black, when Fry is crawling into the cavern with the first sighting of monsters. On the commentary the director even says "Young boys everywhere, you're welcome."
In Serenity, right after one of River's hallucinations, the camera cuts to showing her lying facedown on the deck grating, and the camera angle is conspicuously positioned to give the viewer a perfect shot straight down her cleavage. Plus the countless shots of River's feet.
Anyone who has seen the second Transformers movie will realize from Megan Fox's very first scene that director Michael Bay has gone out of his way to not do anything to discourage this trope.
He asked some people why they watched the first one; "For the hot chick." So he decided to get it out of the way before he started.
The third film carries this to a new level. We first see the female main character dressed in a man's long shirt with tiny panties, as she ascends a staircase, with a tight focus on her legs. She is on camera for at least a minute before we see her face. The rest of the movie has her in either skin tight outfits or very short skirts and dresses, doing things like getting out of low-slung cars with her legs as the only visible part of her. Also, there were some robots or something in the movie.
In Die Hard, the camera pans down just slightly but very noticeably to show that Bonnie Bedelia's jacket/blouse thing had opened up a bit, showing her slip.
In Cabin Fever there is a scene where the hot brunette walks across a grass field to a house. The shot builds out to a close up of her swaying butt, in jeans, and slows down to slow-mo as it does so.
The introduction to an earlier scene is a slow pan over a sexy bikini-clad blonde laying on a raft.
A later scene featuring a topless woman is taken from exactly the right position so the we see her large breasts twice at once: directly from the side, and front-on via a reflection in a bathroom mirror.
Many reviewers have claimed that the subsequent leg-shaving scene focuses an inordinate amount of attention on the woman's breasts, despite it essentially being a psychological horror scene.
The sex scenes are filmed in such a way to maximize the display of breast-jigglage or booty-shaking.
The Lady in the Lake used the stylistic choice of filming every scene as it would be viewed by Philip Marlowe. In one instance, the woman he's talking to goes out of focus, because he's busy leering at her Sexy Secretary.
In Lost in Translation the background of the opening credits is a shot of Scarlett Johansson's behind. Interestingly enough, this scene was shot by Sofia Coppola, who acted out the shot herself first to make the actress more comfortable.
Scarlett Johannsson's "panty shot" establishes character in The Perfect Score.
Even Hitchcock, in which Scarlett Johansson plays Janet Leigh of Psycho fame, gives Scarlett's behind some screentime.
In Woody Allen's Bananas, it's done to comic effect with a leather clad secretary who brags she and her friends are going to have a porno party.
Troy Duffy got Julie Benz to be in his movie, The Boondock Saints: All Saints Day, and damn it all if he wasn't going to take full advantage of it for his male audience. But, to be fair, there is a hefty amount of Fanservice for the ladies as well, so we could just look at it as equal opportunity exploitation.
In Creature from the Black Lagoon there is a scene where the shapely Julie Adams is swimming in the eponymous lagoon. At one point she dives, causing the top of her body to submerge and the bottom to rise above the water and move right into the camera. For a brief moment almost the entire screen is filled by her ass.
Bitch Slap consists about 80 % of Male Gaze. It's fully, fatly justified to say the camera licks, caresses, and more or less dry humps its subjects - there are moments when the same shot of, say, the viewpoint gliding up a mile-long leg stepping out of a car, is actually repeated twice if not thrice, only to be followed by close examination of the curves that await up there, then brought to the finale with a face shot with plump lips and gleaming eyes.
Subverted in the car-wash scene of the original Bring It On. As Cliff approaches the carwash, we see through his viewpoint - until his sister Missy enters the frame at precisely the right height that her breasts are perfectly framed. Disturbingly, it appears that Cliff is able to recognise his sister's cleavage, which somewhat belies his apparent disgust when he realises who he is ogling.
Well, if they're brother and sister, when you spend that much time together, you're going to pick up on even the subtlest details, whether you want to or not.
Subverted/reversed in Centurion: when Etain fights and kills Virilus, he is shirtless and she is fully clothed. She's gorgeous and frequently dressed in furs and eyeliner, but her clothes are never that revealing or titillating.
Occurs when Julie Warner's character is introduced in the Puppet Masters, but it's actually a plot point. After she hangs a lampshade on its occurrence, the lack of male gaze by the townsfolk is her first sign that something is very wrong.
In the actual film, there's a scene of Scarlett Johannson tied to a chair, wearing a Little Black Dress, stockings, and no shoes, beating up several goons with a jaw-dropping sequence of contortions and acrobatics. Also, her character is purposely trying to invoke this very trope on her "captors" in order to distract and mislead them. She then spends the rest of the film in a skin-tight catsuit, but is slightly overshadowed by all the Female Gaze flying around her costars.
In Take The Lead, we have lead actor Antonio Banderas dancing a fiery tango with the movie's main antagonist, played by Katya Virshilas, who gets several long, lingering, even slow-motion shots of her legs while she spins, her breasts, her hips, and a few overhead shots that go straight down her cleavage. The studio probably could have saved a lot of money casting a stand-in for Mr. Banderas, who is mostly obscured for all but one brief shot where we see his face.
The first shot of Ann-Margret in the Elvis Presley vehicle Viva Las Vegas is of her legs only, walking into a garage where Elvis and another man are under a car. The camera then tracks up her body as the men get out from under the car, and cuts to an extreme close-up of her rear end as she walks away from them.
Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol features loads of tantalizing shots of Paula Patton and Lea Seydoux, zooming in on their sexy bodies and right down their cleavage.
The entrance of Vanessa Hudgens in Journey 2: The Mysterious Island is this in every sense of the term (what with it being from Josh Hutcherson's POV and all). And as for the scene where she crawls out of a tunnel that's collapsing around her... did we mention the short shorts she wears for almost the entire movie? And that it's in 3D?
It's rare to find a Jessica Alba movie which doesn't use this trope.
At one point in Predators, the camera focuses on Isabelle's butt. She turns around, and finds that Stans was staring at it, annoying her.
When Denis falls head first into Beth's lap, we see a POV shot of her panties.
Toward the end, Beth's two girl friends try to prove Rich is gay by doing something that would turn on any straight boy: licking a phallic pastry. The scene is shot to turn on the male viewers, of course.
In Iron Man 2 we get a lovely shot of Natasha's rear when we see her in the catsuit for the first time. We also get another gratuitous shot of it again when she fighting the bad guys and pulls out the small mines from her belt.
The scene in which Uhura is walking up to the Klingon war party in an attempt to inform them of their intentions, the camera is firmly focused on her behind as she's walking, right up until she stops.
Similarly, the camera (and Kirk's eye) stealing a look at Dr. Marcus as she changes uniforms.
JJ Abrams made sure the film was this, as Pretty Boy Chris Pine's ass was cgi'd out of a scene as he "couldn't inflict that on people" (Pine himself was slightly upset about the news), and a Cumberbatch Shower Scene is only on the deleted features.
Madagascar had Gloria the hippo, who's big butt is shown on screen several times throughout each movie, video game & short animation.
In The Hunchback of Notre Dame, when Esmeralda is being taken to the gallows, Victor Hugo spends an inordinate amount of page space describing her "long black hair... more lustrous than the raven's wing," her "half-naked shoulders" and "bare legs," and her desperate attempts to hold her garment closed with her teeth.
In a lot of Lin Carter's works, (particularly Zanthodon) he'll often spend a paragraph repeating descriptions of all the naked or scantily-clad female characters' attributes every couple of pages. You could make a drinking game out of all the times he uses the phrases like "flawless breasts", "supple body", "luscious mouth". Doesn't help that they are often threatened with rape by pirates or savages every few chapters as well.
A short story by French author Anna Gavalda centers around the Male Gaze. The protagonist, a single woman, goes to the bar in search of some fun. A man starts talking to her boobs, but she refuses to acknowledge him. He even switches language from French to English, before he thinks to look two decimeters higher. "Fancy that! I have a face, too!" she thinks, before telling him off.
Milton's frequent descriptions of the beautiful, graceful Eve in Paradise Lost.
Elizabeth George is guily of this in her book Careless in Red, where everyone, including the women make asessments of the women's looks by zooming in on their body type and clothing. This is where we get women doing almost pornographic descriptions of other women "as if to check out the competetion", as George puts it although there is no man around. For some reason all the characters also seems to have the same standards of beauty, and write off women who are two fat or too skinny as impossible love interests for the victim, since "she could never be the subject of a young man's lustful gaze".
John Carter of Mars is an officer and a gentleman. Except for a reference to Dejah Thoris' 'perfectly symetrical figure' and an occasional 'bare shoulder' you would never guess he is surrounded by pulchritudinous damsels clad in nothing more than leather straps and jewelry.
In Lee Child's Without Fail, Jack Reacher's partner Frances Neagley has an ass which regularly gets noted approvingly (even by the book's other main female character). This actually proves to be plot-relevant. When they have a word with the man handling Secret Service surveillance tapes - who tampered with them as part of the plot to assassinate the Vice-President-elect because the people responsible kidnapped his wife - he's so nervous he never even notices Neagley's behind, which he would certainly have done otherwise.
In the Wheel of Time, so many of the main cast are implausibly beautiful, this happens a lot in-universe.
Happens to Min a fair amount. Other important female characters frequently call her breeches indecent, while themselves showing off vast ... tracts of land.
Elayne and Nynaeve roller-coastered this trope during their adventures. To the point of being unreliable narrators about it.
As usual for them, the Aiel completely ignore this trope, except in shaming "Wetlanders". Their sweat tents are co-ed.
Special mention to Birgitte, who wears high heels and wears pants in an era of corsets. After Birgitte ranted about how all of the Elayne's allies' houses sent children to help fight, Elayne's advisor points out that they have to work with what they have, others (including her) have survived similar circumstances, and then serves Birgitte:
"... If you can't keep him reined in as Captain-General, I suggest you try walking for him. The way he was eyeing those breeches of yours, he'll follow anywhere you lead."
Live Action TV
The majority of Charmed consisted of butt and cleavage-shots, despite being marketed as a "female empowerment" show, by the time Shannen Doherty was gone, the girls were teasing their way through everyday life.
The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Let He Who Is Without Sin" featured a pointless close-up of Vanessa Williams' rear as she walked past the camera.
Any episode of Star Trek set on Risa features this in spades.
Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie (the second one) gives the camera a definite fixation on then Pink Ranger Kat, most notably a very blatant ass shot during a jungle scene. Tanya, the then Yellow, seems to escape this.
Dark Angel has this in spades. With hundreds of shots of Jessica Alba's ass (most notably in the pilot when Logan catches Max robbing him, and in the episode "Haven" where we get a shot of Max bending over a pool table which actually is from the POV of a male character - he even says "Just enjoying the view"). Half the time that Alec's on a mission with Max or standing next to her, etc. His gaze never goes above her neckline.
And then there was "Fuhgeddaboudit," which began with a pan up our heroine's legs clad in a very short skirt.
The Painkiller Jane TV series used this a couple of times in the assassination plot/time loop episode: we get to see Jane put her pants on over that nice black pair of panties (from the front, showing off her nice legs), and see the barely-clad ass of the girl Connor was having sex with...
Supernatural seem to go out of their way to try and balance it out. To make up for the cleavage shots, we get a Sammy-In-A-Towel coming out of the shower. To make up for the demon sluttiness, we get two women in "The Kids Are Alright" ogling Dean's arse and obviously thinking that they would love to have him as a sex toy. And while they certainly have a hot woman every episode, they pay just as much loving attention to the male leads' attributes - even going as far to pan up a sleeping Dean's naked legs in an early Season One episode.
The slow, slow pan up from 80's-hookerwear-clad Alex Drake's feet in the Ashes to Ashes pilot. (She went for a really unlikely length of time without changing clothes.)
Doctor Who- Romana I is introduced via a pan up her entire body, "The Girl in the Fireplace" has a pan across Billie Piper's tight T-shirt and jeans-clad body, and Catherine Tate's cleavage has a special place in Who fandom. Much like Supernatural, they do attempt to balance this - Naked Jack, anybody?
Peri was introduced with a pan up her bikini-clad body. In one of the few episodes directed by a woman, oddly. Since the producer insisted on Peri revealing as much flesh as possible, the director may not have had a say in the matter.
Peri was brought back in the awful "Dimensions in Time" Who/Eastenders crossover short. One of the scenes was of her boinging across the square in a low-cut top... towards the camera.
Who can forget the Wardrobe Malfunction? (There was an interview with Nicola Bryant who was surprised they left that in)
The scene in "The Mind Robber" where Jamie and Zoe are clinging to the console, which has been framed to very prominently display Wendy Padbury's bottom.
Karen Gillian's introduction, in a strong contrast with Rose, Martha, and Donna's first appearances, was a slow lingering shot from her legs up, while she was dressed in her police woman kissogram costume. Complete with Shaking Her Hair Loose when she takes off her cap.
Slings and Arrows does an appropriately meta version of this: the husband of the Minister of Culture comes to several performances, and brings binoculars. There's always a brief shot through the binoculars, in which we see that he's focusing on the lead actress's cleavage.
Every episode of the 2008 Knight Rider series has one of the lead females run around in a bikini or underwear for some obscure reason.
When Rachel Luttrell was pregnant on Stargate Atlantis and her chest grew accordingly, directors always made sure that her cleavage stayed in frame, even at the expense of the top half of the heads of main characters who dared to be standing and talking while Teyla sat.
There are regular long, slow tracking shots of Cameron's well-formed behind as she slowly, deliberately walks along.
Jesse is introduced in a swimming pool scene that gives a lot of attention to her bikini-clad body. This may have been a deliberate attempt to make the audience think that she was just there as a love-interest for Derek, rather than being the major player and ruthless Manipulative Bastard that she actually is.
Smallville: Camera focusing mostly on Lana Lang's body (her body-double's, actually) doing cartwheels in a tiny red bathing suit in episode "Nicodemus". Half of the episode "Exposed", which features plenty of gorgeous, mostly naked strippers, including Lois Lane. Half of the scenes with Lois Lane in general, e.g. "Aqua": Lois getting out of the water, wearing the tiniest bikini that could be found while the camera crawls lovingly over her body in (what else) slow motion.
In NCIS, Tony got busted for Male Gaze, not once but twice within the episode "Driven". And this was after the Sensitivity Training in the beginning of the episode. First he decided to snap a picture of Ziva's tightly-clad backside when she bends over at a crime scene. Result: Gibbs Slap. Later when he's on a special mission for Jenny and was wearing special camera glasses, he was caught looking at the rears of passing women and had to be reminded to "keep his eyes on the prize".
Burn Notice, an otherwise excellent show, adores this trope. Their idea of an "establishing shot" seems to be an aerial view of Miami, and then a rather longer shot of random bikini-clad T&A jiggling by. Faces are optional. They also use these shots as the occasional bumper between scenes. Semi-justified, since Micheal hung out at the beach after getting burned, knowing suit-wearing bad guys would stick out.
This may be a harkening back to Miami Vice, which put two of these occurances in the opening credits.
Chuck's Sarah Walker has been the subject of a quite a few male gaze moments. Most of the time the camera plays it straight, because honestly, you don't need to work hard to make the sight of Yvonne Strahovski in her underwear look sexy. But sometimes it goes into outright leering territory, from Chuck's fantasy of her cartwheeling into the Buy More in her Orange Orange tank top to the shots from behind when she was dressed in only a tank top and panties. At least Chuck himself is respectful of women.
In "Chuck Versus the Fear of Death," they went out of their way with the gaze when it came to Greta, both in terms of the show's camera angles and in-character camera shots as the Buy More team stalked her around the building.
The very first shot of Greta was a very slow pan up the legs of Greta #1 (Olivia Munn) as she walked (in slow-mo) towards Chuck and Morgan upon their entering the Buy More in "Chuck Versus the Anniversary."
Spoofed in Cybill, when the title character starred in an X-Files rip-off called Lifeforms. The pilot episode featured countless shots of her legs and cleavage and very few of her face. This annoys her at first, but Cybill soon uses the fact that her legs are the most popular thing in the show to bully the male star and showrunner into rehiring the original creator.
Lampshaded on Top Gear, when May is at a Southern California beach talking about the Honda FCX. The cameraman turns to focus on a trio of convenient volleyball-playing girls, and May has to clear his throat to get his attention back.
iCarly has Sam, whose butt gets a good amount of camera shots in the newer seasons.
The first episode of That '70s Show features a POV shot as Eric goes into Donna's house. When Donna's mom appears, the camera goes straight to her cleavage.
Both present and averted in True Blood lots of lingering shots of sexy women dancing, breasts, butts, and legs, but also shots of naked men's bottoms, chests, clothed crotches, and the like. Mostly uses Jason Stackhouse, but Sam and Lafayette get shown that way too.
Really strong in the introduction to Xena: Warrior Princess - the camera pans up her legs as she fastens her boots, up her body, lingers on her breasts as she fastens the straps of her armor, etc. Occurred pretty frequently in the show as well, especially any that involved Xena dancing.
In the Comedy Central series Secret Girlfriend, the camera is at all times the POV of the main (male) character, a Heroic Mime who is "played" by the (presumably male) viewer, in a form of second-person television.
The first episode of UFO opens with a hemline-level view of a mini-skirted dolly bird sashaying away from the camera. It might have been set in The Eighties, but the mentality was strictly that of The Seventies!
Battlestar Galactica. In "Sacrifice" Starbuck has been called on to handle a hostage situation while on leave on Cloud Nine, so she's briefing the marines in a cocktail dress. When her eyes go off them for a second the camera quickly dips down to her cleavage, mimicking what the marines are undoubtedly looking at in that moment.
Cuddy from House wears unusually tight clothing for a professional woman, and the camera increasingly lingers on her rear or cleavage as the series goes on. Her strip scene in House's fantasy at the end of season 4.
Mad Men has the walking, talking embodiment of this trope in Joan Holloway. There's this so-meta-it-hurts shot in the episode where they're brainstorming for Belle Jolie that has Joan approach what she knows is two-way glass (with a bunch of horny ad execs behind it), turn around, and bends over. The camera goes right where you'd expect it to.
In episode "Sabrina Unplugged" of the show Sabrina the Teenage Witch, protagonist Sabrina Spellman is given a revealing red dress, a hair bleaching and has her breasts and butt accidentally enlarged by a co-worker with to a photoshop-like program from a magical computer she had teleported into (suspension of disbelief for silliness required). Though the episode's theme is about body image and how people shouldn't focus too much on how people look, the camera doesn't hesitate to spend most of the episode focused on actress Melissa Joan Hart's enhanced cleavage.
However, promos for the series, including billboards, magazine ads, and even TV bumpers, constantly plaster her in the foreground, with the other characters in the background, thus making it seems like the series is about a hot blonde girl that nerds obsessively fawn over.
In an episode of Season 8 of 24, Chloe, queen of sarcasm, is berating a colleague for not doing his job properly because he's checking out Katie Sackhoff. As she leaves, she sarcastically asks why he doesn't just stare at her rear as she walks away. So he and the camera does.
In British gardening show Ground Force, the cameraman is extremely skilled at getting downblouse shots on notoriously bra-less gardener Charlie Dimmock. Her omission of bra and preference for t-shirts with low or loose necks assured a large male following for the show, some of whom even knew which end of a spade goes in the ground. And the same camera team also knew their business when it rained and Charlie was working in the wet..
30 Rock: Liz Lemon knows all about this trope. Her 'mentee' Hazel Wassername however...
Hazel: When I confronted him about it he was so condescending! He laughed at me, then he undressed me with his eyes; then he had his way with me, with his eyes.
In the "Person of Interest": episode 'Booked Solid' Pennsylvania's secretary, Ms. May (Root, actually) enters his office wearing a tight dress. Before we see her face, the camera only shows her rather large behind.
In the second episode of the first season of "The Walking Dead", there is a shot that follows Amy while she is walking to Lori with a bucket of mushrooms. You are able to see her butt while she is walking for about 20 seconds in this scene.
Ru Pauls Drag Race is shot this way, both for the fanservicey "Pit Crew" and for the contests in drag. And at least one, but more often two or three challenges per season will be photography-based - Invoking this trope.
An episode of Castle featuring a slain plastic surgeon lingers for rather longer than strictly necessary on a patient of his who has rather obviously had a lot of work done. Castle notices, too, and Beckett wonders aloud what it is with men and boobs.
Castle:(matter-of-factly) Biological. We can't help it. Beckett: Doesn't it bother you that they're so obviously not real? Castle: Santa's not real. We still like opening his presents.
Dead Prez's music video to Hip Hop started with a shot of a woman's ass, which was then captioned with the words: "Now that we got your attention". Then raps about social warfare.
This is pretty much what Roy Orbison's big hit "Pretty Woman" is all about.
Male-to-male example: The album art◊ for the VENUS song "Wow Wow VENUS" shows DJ Yoshitaka facing Sota Fujimori and looking down at his crotch.
Surprisingly averted in Juvenile's video for Rodeo. It goes behind the scenes at a strip club, showing the difficult lives of the strippers. While there are scenes showing them dancing, the camera focuses on their faces, showing how many of them are sad, bored, worried or stressed.
Turn on any WWE show ever. Chances are, if a woman is onscreen, her name isn't Linda McMahon, and she's wrestling, the camera is focusing on her breasts falling out of her top, jiggling as she moves, or competing for who can get the most ass shots.
Or old-timers Mae Young and the late Fabulous Moolah.
"Extreme Expose": The segment being the part in the show where three scantily clad women - one justbarelyover the age of 18 - dance to club music in the ring. It started as the 18-year-old's way to show off how much of an "exhibitionist" she was.
In the early days of Dungeons & Dragons, it was common to see published modules describe any female characters (if they existed at all) in detail, usually with terms like "voluptuous" or "svelte", while neglecting to give important male NPCs so much as a hair color.
Pick any game where the camera is third-person and you have control of the camera. Chances are, with a female character, you'll be looking at her ass or watching her hips sway.
Many Dating Sim games (especially eroge) in which the player is male and the haremettes are female go as far as to obscure the male Player Character in every CG, usually not even drawing hisface. In this instance, however, the effect is largely to help the player step into the shoes of the player character and so is more akin to Heroic Mime.
Some sex scenes even go so far as to make the player character (including the part of him that's actually, uh, interacting with the female he's having sex with) invisible, leading to unintended squick.
It's almost easier to list aversions than anything. Yume Miru Kusuri is unusual for frequently showing its protagonist Kouhei (as well as nothiding his eyes).
Played for laughs in Warriors Orochi 3: Guest FighterAyane briefly crosses blades with Yoshitsune Minamoto. Their fight is cut short when Yoshitsune catches a glimps of Ayane's ample chest, and he becomes too flustered to continue fighting her. He spends a lot of time afterwards insisting Ayane dress in something less Stripperific.
Bayonetta, though the game is rather campy already and very overt about its fanservice in the first place.
Metal Gear Solid: after the scene where Solid Snake first meets Meryl, there is an extended shot (in slow motion) of her buttocks as she is leaving. It was intended to draw attention to her unique walk so she could be identified in disguise, but it was so pronounced and out of place that even lovers of Fanservice found it creepy.
The third game had a first person 'Snake Cam' at certain points during cutscenes, and when the female character EVA was around pressing the button would often greet the viewer with an extended shot focused on her breasts, either intentionally (Snake looking) or unintentionally (EVA showing him).
Hideo Kojima even managed to turn this into a narrative device; later in the game after falling in love with EVA, the Snake Cam focuses solely on her face.
The director even went so far as to include some bonus 'Peep Show' segments on the Director's Cut edition, which involved the scenes with EVA recut in various ways, with her dressed in an interesting alternate outfit.
He also did a recut scene of a segment where Snake undressed an attractive male, which raises some awkward questions about the director. Especially when it's taken into account the way the games are notorious for dressing men in Spy Catsuits and having long, lingering shots on their buttocks too, and also that the lead character always ends up shirtless at some point in his adventure. Metal Gear Solid's penultimate battle is a shirtless fistfight on top of a Humongous Mecha.
Outside of the recut sections, notice too that holding the button around Bishōnen Raikov reveals Snake's eyes to be permanently fixed on Raikov's junk.
MGS2's Raiden had a segment where he ran around stark staring naked, hands over his junk. (During this segment, he could run and dodge, but could not do anything that would require his hands to be elsewhere than covering himself up.)
In Metal Gear Solid 4, the cutscenes before each Beauty boss fight spend a lot of time behind the ladies as they are on all fours. Or anything else, really, especially after they're out of their One-Winged Angel form and in catsuits. This happens to be when their mental instability is usually underlined in bright red marker, making it rather difficult for players to be titillated. Snake gets quite a bit of this treatment in cutscenes involving him as well.
Hide for a few minutes and every Beauty fight becomes a fashion show.
Parodied in Metal Gear Solid 4, when Otacon and Naomi are using the computer together. His webcam feed is displayed on his laptop, as they work, and while Otacon isn't looking at the video, he's clearly angled it specifically to video Naomi's cleavage. When Naomi tries to look at what's on the screen, he panics and tries to point the camera away so that she doesn't notice. She does, but she actually seems quite pleased.
And then, later, he's spying on her and her comrades by positioning a tiny invisible robot between her legs. The target displaying what Otacon is most focused on at any one time flips back and forth from whoever's talking to Naomi's feet, buttocks, or thighs. He does go in for a Panty Shot, but she notices the robot a fraction of a second beforehand and one of her coworkers destroys it.
In Metal Gear Solid 2, you can photograph various Page Three Stunna pictures and send them to Otacon, to which he has various amused/aroused responses. You can also send him either pin-ups of semi-naked men or photos of a burly bisexual man, which cause him to question Snake's (and the assumed male player's) orientation.
In First-Person ShooterSiN Episodes (i.e. a game in which the camera angles are almost entirely up to the player), the character of Jessica Cannon wears a Spy Catsuit that, when viewed from behind, is apparently designed to draw attention to her rear end.
Final Fantasy IX - FMV with Daggar atop Lindblum castle playing with the pigeons.
Final Fantasy X - Lulu's victory pose consists of leaning forwards towards the camera to give it a better view of her cleavage.
Several times, whenever the camera cuts to Lulu talking, her breasts will be in shot, but the top half of her face won't. Her introductory FMV also begins with her at a distance, before cutting straight to her chest, and then (very slowly) panning up to her face.
During his review of FF X, The Spoony One used a counter to keep track of the number of times that the camera was angled such that you got a close-up of someone's ass in the foreground while the important bit happened in the background. To be fair, a significant portion of the asses belonged to men (or Ronso's).
Rikku is also a frequent offender; her introductory FMV (which is pure fanservice material, either way) has a long, lingering shot of her ass. A lot of the time the camera focuses on someone's ass in the foreground, it'll be hers.
Played with in an early scene in the same game where Tidus snatches a person's binoculars and looks around with them, lingering at one point over Lulu's breasts. A similar joke occurs in Final Fantasy X-2, in which Logos is supposed to be showing a sphere of the events they just encountered in Bevelle but the video opens with a long shot of the camera pointed at Yuna's butt. He attempts to pawn off the blame on Ormi, which is quickly deflected when Ormi appears in the same shot.
Final Fantasy XII - There's a scene early on where Penelo is trying to talk Vaan out of doing the heist he's about to attempt, and one shot inexplicably centers around her torso. Her chest and crotch are in the shot. Her face isn't.
Additionally, Fran's metallic thong seems to have magic camera-attracting abilities. Either that or her ass does.
Lara Croft suffers from this in many ways in the Tomb Raider games; not only does she possess somewhat... exaggerated attributes in the bosom and rear end departments, but the clothes she wears (particularly in the earlier games) are designed to enhance them even further. Coupled with this is the fact that she is mostly viewed from behind during the game (partly as a necessity of the game mechanics), and it's not hard to imagine what many gamers of the male persuasion would be thinking about when playing the game.
A very, VERY common mod for the early Tomb Raider PC games was called Nude Raider, which made a very... subtle... change to Lara's outfit. (It removed it, and in some versions of the mod, changed her player model to give more detail to her anatomy). There was a print advertisement for a video game cheat device (Gameshark) based on this mod. In it, a (insinuated to be) nude Lara is seen walking off "screen", a bikini flying away from her, with the caption "Want the code?"
This got even worse in Tomb Raider Anniversary, where the updated graphics and animation allowed the developer to do the same game except with more fanservice—as Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw notes in his review, when she comes out of the water she's realistically wet and glistening, and if you leave the game idle for a while she does these shamelessly erotic stretches.
Any leftover modesty leaves in Underworld, where Lara dons a swimsuit-leotard for significant portions of the game.
In the completed yet never (officially) released US edition of Princess Maker 2, there is the infamous "nude suit" for the female heroine even as a young girl.
Zero Suit Samus is introduced in The Subspace Emissary, the Adventure Mode of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, with her dropping to the ground from an air vent followed by a slow pan from her legs to her face. Clad in a Spy Catsuit as she is, this is hardly surprising.
It does build suspension and makes it all the more powerful when she does show her face near the end of the clip.
The Smash Bros Brawl website plays Equal Opportunity with this, related to Metal Gear above. When describing Snake's Final Smash, one of the stills is of Snake (also in a Spy Catsuit) as he's climbing down the ladder, and his ass fills the screen.
This Japanese ad for Metroid: Zero Mission has a Japanese glamour model as Samus, and takes great advantage of it, complete with a butt shot.
Mass Effect 1 introduces Sha'ira, the Asari Consort, with a lingering shot of her behind as she walks upstairs.
And later, during a heterosexual sex scene, the camera lingers much more on the female partner in the relationship... even if you're playing her.
In Devil May Cry 4: As Nero approaches the drawbridge, he witnesses Gloria as she engages several mooks in badass combat. During the fight, she spams split-related attacks, and the camera never misses an opportunity to pan across the area between her legs.
In Halo, whenever Cortana's visible, the camera does it's best to show off her translucent assets. Taken to the max during Halo 3's campaign, when occasionally Cortana would flash up on screen, say something cryptic, and then disappear.
A video by Frank O'Conner explained that she appeared in such a form because it helped throw off men and gave her an advantage in conversation. To be honest, she didn't need to be a supergenius computer to know this would work.
Sheva's introduction in Resident Evil 5 starts with a long closeup of her buttocks.
Rumble Roses has lots but the one that really stands out is when a character is ready to be finished off with a "humiliation move".
In the PS2 survival horror game Michigan: Report From Hell, you are a cameraman whose job is to keep the camera rolling and keep on filming a number of various sexy female reporters (if one dies another replaces them, though once they all die, the game ends) going above and beyond the call of duty in delivering their news reports, even as Michigan City literally goes to the proverbial hell (imagine this as the The Blair Witch Project meets The Mist) in a handbasket. You can take pictures of anything, for which you score points, with "erotic" pictures getting "erotic" points. If you score enough "erotic" points overall, you get the Golden Ending where whatever sexy female reporter with whom you scored enough erotic points with, will proceed to pose, parade, and pole dance for you in sexy lingerie whether she actually lived or died by the game end (you can even get all the girls together in the ending if you repeat the game enough times, with a new girl added each time until you already have them all).
The "erotic points for erotic photos" gimmick was replicated in Dead Rising, with the added Squick bonus that the women are zombies.
Dead Rising also includes a hilarious Lampshade Hanging when Isabella is revealed via a POV pan-up from the knees - only for a fat guy to jump in Frank's way.
"This is no time to ogle pretty girls, son!"
In Dead Rising 2, Chuck and Hot Scoop Reporter Rebecca Chang come up against a locked door. Rebecca then bends over to pick the lock. Chuck, meanwhile, stares at her..."assets".
"You have some interesting... skills, for a reporter."
Wanna try something fun? Next time you're playing The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, choose a female character, turn the camera around until it's facing the character's front, then zoom in. Guess where it ends up.
Fallout 3 is a game in which the PCs sex is supposed to be determined by the player, however in many places the game subtly assumes that the PC is male; for example, friendly female NPCs are generally slightly flirtatious, whereas friendly male NPCs tend towards bluff camaraderie.
Borderlands has some of this in the Secret Armory DLC. There are wanted posters for the player characters and the pictures of Brick, Mordecai and Roland show their faces as usual, but for Lilith, her picture is focussed, uh... lower.
In games where you get to create your character's appearance, it's usually tough to design a woman, or even a non-human female, smaller than a C cup.
The prostitute in the single-player intro part of Age of Conan reacts to all PCs as if they were men.
No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle: When Travis goes to the UAA office for the first time, he follows behind Sylvia, bending over low enough to put his face about 6 inches from her butt.
Fear Effect. We get several close ups of Hana's T'n'A (Tits and Ass) in both games. An in universe example is averted when Hana threatens to kill Deke for peeking at her.
Plumbers Don't Wear Ties is a huge example of this, since the game was supposely a romantic comedy with erotic overtones (though it failed horribly). Just as an example, the introductory FMV is just the female lead talking about the game as the camera zooms in to her breast.
Poison in Street Fighter X Tekken provokes this a LOT. Her versus screen, victory and win screen poses all focus on this, and her special intro with Hugo before a fight outright shoves this in the player's face.
In Batman: Arkham City, the "slide" maneuver used while playing Catwoman to move through very narrow, low obstacles involves Catwoman sliding on her knees and leaning back with her arms spread just so, giving the player a perfect view of Catwoman's cleavage...
In Brain Dead 13, Vivi says she's a little bit "behind". Guess what's appearing onscreen a bit after she says it?
Lineage 2: Here's a gravity-defying fight scene between two Badass female characters and also the camera likes to linger to positively lick their busts and hips for some reason.
In Need for Speed Most Wanted, during the initial introduction with the Silent Protagonist's sidekick Mia Townsend, the camera pans along her body as she walks towards the player's car.
Several cases of Male Gaze occur in Misfile, for example here. Notable because the breast focus is from Ash's perspective, who is the result of a male-to-female Gender Bender, while still keeping the male mind.
Controversial Lonelygirl15 episode "Girl Tied Up" features a pan over Emma as she lies tied up on a bed. Suspiciously, the thumbnail for this video on YouTube is of the moment where it passes her cleavage; consequently this is the most watched LG15 video on that site, but one of the lowest rated. Particularly disturbing since the film is supposed to be being shot by the adult Dr. Hart, and Emma is 15. Surprisingly enough, the Creator responsible for this video was Amanda Goodfried. When fans asked her about the episode, she simply replied, "I know what sells."
Parodied in the KateModern episodes "Birdwatching" and "Much, Much Worse". In both cases it is implied that the cameramen - Gavin and Toe respectively - are perhaps enjoying their camerawork a little too much.
Parodied in the web show The Guild. The opening theme features a close-up of each character in turn, and when it gets to Clara (a character with considerable 'assets'), the camera stops on her breasts, then just gets a very quick shot of her face before moving on.
There's a lot of cleavage in The Black Legend episode of Epic Meal Time. Also in the Maximum Mac and Cheese Recap Special.
Parodied and subverted in The Matrix Reloaded episode of Rifftrax where the camera settles on a clear and long shot of a woman's cleavage at a dinner table. The guys say nothing apart from Kevin going "hmm" and chuckling quietly to himself. When the shot goes to another person Mike comments "that water looked good" (referring to the woman's drink).
Constantly spoofed and played straight with Foxxy on Drawn Together, especially when she's been soaked with liquid.
Used on the various Stripperiffic female villains and superheroines in Justice League. When the The Royal Flush members were being introduced one by one, Joker gave a "Hmm..." when the camera panned to Queen's legs before rising to display her face.
Spoofed in The Powerpuff Girls - we never see Ms. Bellum's face, so when she speaks, the camera cuts to her chest.
Loonatics Unleashed - we come back from a commercial to a shot of Lexi Bunny's tail and her backside as she Sexy Walks away from the camera toward Ace.
A.T.O.M - The suiting up shots of the team show the guys putting on helmets and gloves, buckling seatbelts. Lioness? We get a worm's eye view shot from behind of her straddling her motorcycle, or a close shot of her zipping her battle outfit over her breasts.
An episode of the early '90s X-Men animated series, in which Rogue is blasted by Apocalypse so hard her normally-indestructible bomber jacket is burned away (though her even-more-indestructible tights, hair, and flesh are not), she collapses to the ground, the camera positioned behind her...and you are suddenly very aware that she is wearing indestructible spandex.
Animaniacs doesn't have this as a rule - until Hello, Nurse! is on screen, at which point the trope is carried to parody levels. The handful of Minerva Mink shorts tended to use the trope straight (as a set-up for the Wild Take reactions of various male characters.)
In Totally Spies! about half the camera shots are focused on the girl's breasts as they are about to speak or when they crash into each other the camera is often focused their butts as they are lying on the floor.
In one episode of Winx Club, one scene cuts from a close up of a supporting character to a shot of Stella's rear as she is trying out a skirt. The transformations are full of these, especially the newest ones.
In an episode of Inspector Gadget Gadget meets his favorite actress Lana Lamore he begins to examine her with gadget goggles he noticeably stops on her breasts at one point and shouts his catchphrase "Wowzers!", even though this was a kids' show.
Total Drama Island has a lot of this, but the most noticeable of these are Leshawna and Courtney. Leshawna gloats about her body on a somewhat regular basis, but Courtney gets a bunch of butt shots for no other reason besides Fanservice. It's especially noticeable when she does her Cheerleader bit.
Tex Avery often played this for laughs (same as everything else). In Who Killed Who?, a flashlight spot scans a wall full of hanging pictures, including one of a scantily clad woman with a fur coat, but when the spot returns to the picture, the woman is covered up. Similarly, in Wild And Wolfy, the camera follows a mug of beer past a nude painting covered up by the bartender, who, when the camera comes back, states that he doesn't move for the rest of the picture. (When he does, however, the covered portion only has a sign saying "I ain't got no body.")
Both main girls in Iron Man: Armored Adventures get a few of these throughout the series, especially the beautiful Action Girl Whitney Stane, whose skirt provides plenty of 'interesting' angles for the camera to play around with.
In Wolverine and the X-Men, there are a few shots where the camera angle is so that about 1/2 of the shot is a female character's ass, the other half is the background and the other characters in the scene.
Interestingly on Captain Planet and the Planeteers, both the first shot of Linka in the first episode and the first shot of her in the opening of every episode is a pan up her legs...
Happens in Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends the first time Iceman and Firestar are introduced to Storm. The view cuts to Iceman's POV who is looking her over from her legs upwards, whilst proclaiming "Wow". When he gets to Storm's face, she looks a little annoyed, prompting Iceman to stutter; "Uh, I mean, hi!"
In the Direct-to-Video Wonder Woman movie, her "suit-up" sequence includes a close up of Diana's uncovered chest as she pulls her one-piece up.
In the Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode "Heroes on Both Sides", Ahsoka asks a Separatist boy around her age if she looks bad (as in the good/evil sense) to him. Cue slow pan from legs to head, and the obviously flirtatious response of "not bad at all." Ahsoka lampshades it on the spot.
Futurama has some of this. The two female Planet Express employees - Amy and Leela - are both very skimpy and often wear revealing outfits. It makes sense for Amy's character, but Leela is blatantly just there for Fanservice.
The creators acknowledged in a commentary at one point that Amy was a sex symbol to the fans, joking that there was a fansite called Can't Get Enough Amy.
Strawberry Shortcake Berry Bitty Adventures has the resident pop-idol's music video, and it really says something about this trope when the object of the camera's attention is a doll-like girl with no curves, but the camera still focuses on her chest, rear end, and lips for most of the song, often the point of leaving her face out of the frame.
A New York magazine article discussing flash mobs and other public pranks showed a picture of one of them, where a group of people all simultaneously took the Subway wearing no pants. Despite the fact that there are at least a half-dozen men in the picture, the camera is looking up the subway stairs at the one woman in lacy lingerie, naturally centered and in-focus.
According to this interview, Inoue Meimy has a Male Gaze. She says she likes females, but specifically through a Male Gaze and not a Female Gaze despite being female.
This footage of The Runaways begins with a five-second close-up of Cherie Currie's backside.
Also happened at a baseball game in Japan (1:37-1:45), except this time the offending (?) cameraman appears to have been caught on camera himself (1:46-2:02)!
A Slate.com article about Alien chose as the header picture a shot of Ellen Ripley bending over in her panties. Amusingly, the text of the article notes how the film is over-analyzed as a piece of feminist art.
A particularly egregious example occurs in some of the 'Dolphina Belly-Dance' tutorial films. They're supposedly videos to instruct in the basics of belly-dance for fun and fitness, and the instructions are clearly pitched at women. The trouble is that they are filmed in this trope, so quite frequently Dolphina is instructing the viewer to do such-and-such with their feet, but the camera is too busy panning over her abs to show what the step is actually supposed to look like.
Feminist film studies have long noticed that showing a (heterosexual) sex act tends to demand a higher film rating if the woman is shown to be enjoying it. There are lots of theories on why this is, but one of them cites this trope: focusing on a woman's body as a passive object is seen as less obscene than if she were treated as an active participant, which is likely to bump the rating up to NC-17.
NBC's coverage of the 2012 Summer Olympics had several egregious examples of this, especially their coverage of women's volleyball.
A verbal example appeared in the 2013 Academy Awards, where host Seth MacFarlane sang a song called "We Saw Your Boobs," highlighting the nude scenes of many of the actresses in the audience. Unfortunately, three or four of the scenes he mentioned were rape scenes. Also qualifies as Dude, Not Funny!.
This video, perhaps, has said EVERYTHING all men in the entire world want to say why they have this tendency, and why this trope even exists. Yes. Everything.