Following Michel Foucault’s critical thoughts on power relations and the neoliberal discourse of masculine body embodiment, this paper examines the representation of male adolescent bodies in “boy love/Yaoi” television series in Thailand. The paper investigates the commodification of masculine bodies and the conception of otherness in the Thai society. It offers an analytical description of the narrative structure and the reproduction of young male characters’ half-naked bodily images in the Thai television series about male same-sex love, Make It Right the Series (2016).
This study considers the essential role of neoliberal political economy as a driving force engendering the increasing cultural popularity of this non-heterosexual romantic relationship. This research cautions against taking the current popularity and the prevalent reproduction of male same-sex love stories in the Thai entertainment industry as a sign of social acceptance of same-sex love. The ubiquitous pornofication of masculine bodies in “boy love” television series risks not only licensing the probing gaze over the commodified bodies of boys, but also resulting in the ideological clash with Thai conservatives over the monitoring of Yaoi female fans’ sexuality apparently liberated through their consumption of these erotized images.