Archive for the ‘Sporno’ Category

federer

Last year I commented on Rafael Nadal‘s adventures  - not his shock defeat in the second round at Wimbledon, but his panic when a designer watch he was sponsored to wear at the French Open was stolen (and later recovered).  This year, though the metrosexual champ fell at Wimbledon’s first hurdle tennis-wise, he did not make the headlines for suffering any sartorial crises.

But Roger Federer has. In his first round match Federer sported orange-soled tennis shoes but was banned from wearing them in further matches.

‘Tournament rules state that competitors “must be dressed almost entirely in white” and the powers-that-be have deemed that brightly-coloured soles were a step too far.’

Whilst my readers know I am one of the most enthusiastic promoters of metrosexuality there is, Roger does look a bit sad having fussed about with fashionable footwear now he is out of the competition. A question of misplaced priorities? Also I and others have wondered if Serena  Williams’ bright red shorts under her white Nike tennis dress would also break the rules. This picture fails to show off their flamboyance well but when she is lurching for a ball and her dress flips up you can see them bright as day.

serena

So far the Women’s Champion of the world has not been reprimanded for her fancy pants. Maybe there is some sexism here with women being allowed to get away with a bit more glamour than men on court? Or maybe Serena,  unlike Roger who is another casualty of this year’s curse of the top seeds, is allowed to get away with it because she’s so brilliant a player.

Whatever the reason for this (metro)sexual inequality, I think it highlights it’s time for the All England Club to relax its clothing rules. It is making waves with other initiatives such as equal prize money for men and women. And Andy Murray emphasised just how much better women’s tennis is getting when he only half-joked on twitter that he’d like to play a match against Serena. So allowing a bit of colour on court seems the least the Board can do.

If the authorities want to ban something, though, why not those speedophobic long baggy shorts all the men players are wearing this year? I can barely get a glimpse of ass!

nadal

david-beckham

As David Beckham hangs up his custom-made designer football boots for good, I would like to say a few words in honour of the metrotastic sporno star.

becksend

Terrible pun headlines aside, most of the response to this news has been kind to the ageing footballer, remembering Becks as an honourable captain of England and a committed team player. One journalist did say that at times he could be a petulant peacock, but can’t we all?

However if you thought this is the last we will see of the man of many hairstyles, on our TVs, in our newspapers, and in our underwear, then think again. For Beckham isn’t retiring at all. His main ingredient in his career portfolio over the last few years has been his tarty metrosexual display. When he was given the illustrious job of carrying the Olympic torch to the London stadium last year, it wasn’t in recognition of his passing skills, but rather for his untiring service to metrosexuality.

beckhamsport

David-Beckham-HM-2

I think it’s interesting that in the same week a much loved star of pitch and beauty parlour has been celebrated, journalists and a certain Labour politician have been going on about a so-called crisis of masculinity.

I will write a proper response to that soon. But I think it’s worth pointing out that one reason sports journalism doesn’t completely annoy and depress me unlike most mainstream media output, is that it is positive about men and what they do. Beckham has been a perfect subject for all those lovely long column inches, and will continue to be so for many years to come. I’ll only get maudlin if he hangs up his hair gel for good.

robbierogersmodel

Hello Campers! I’m continuing to develop my thoughts on that thorny topic of  sporno, anti-homophobia and metrosexual-machismo. While I do so I thought I’d show you an apt illustration of the theme.

Last week a professional  footballer came out as gay! Oh. Em. Gee. But before anyone could get the babycham out it was also revealed that he was giving up professional football. According to the Graun,

‘The former Columbus Crew and USA winger Robbie Rogers has announced that he is gay, and that he has decided to “step away” from his career as a professional footballer.’

So, although on  twitter Robbie said he was touched by how supportive everyone was to this ‘news’, and ‘gay academic’ Mark McCormack fitted this event into his thesis about ‘declining homophobia’ especially in sport, I was not so jubilant. It seems a shame to me that a young man coming out does so just as he is leaving the career for which he is well known. He’s not exactly becoming an ‘ambassador’ for gay and bisexual players by putting his boots on the shelf. I’m not blaming him. I believe that football, by its very sweaty, physical, passionate, sexy nature is already ‘well gay’. And until the ‘beautiful game’ ‘fesses up to that fact, out gay or bi players will be few and far between. But before I get down and dirty and grapple with this complex subject, I want to point out something else about Rogers’ announcement that I think is worth a mention.

Apparently,  ‘Rogers is starting a new position with Men’s Health Magazine  in the UK and he is also part of the ownership group for the clothing company Halsey.’ So the side of himself that he is finally openly celebrating is not necessarily his gayness, but rather his metrosexuality!  From what I can see, football is as conflicted about this contemporary tarty display that its stars like to indulge in as it is about sex itself.  Taking your kit off with your  mates and posing for Gay Times is all very well, but if you are actually… you know….gay or bi, it makes the whole exercise a little bit more threatening and destabilises the ‘macho’, ‘heterosexual’, camaraderie of most sports teams.

I am glad Rogers is now free to be himself. But that self, and the culture he inhabits, is a little bit more nuanced than most people will have us believe.

ClassA_GT_Large

It seems some how so inevitable that Gay I mean Guy Ritchie would direct Beckham one day, that this H and M knickers ad is not exactly world-changing.

But it shows off The Body nicely, and reminds us that whilst metrosexuality likes to adorn itself with fashion labels, it is really all about tits and abs.

And as Mr Ritchie  knows, Becks’ bodywork is still holding up pretty well, even as he becomes an ageing star. When Beckham moved to Paris recently and promised to donate his salary to charity, the Mirror named him ‘Saint Becks’. It is not easy to find, but I would like to think of him as having a bit of bad boy in him somewhere, like those other Sainted stars Saint Morrissey and Saint Genet. However, Becks is certainly an icon.

tom daley

article-2266009/Tom-Daley-knocks-David-Beckham-spot-annual-poll-hottest-men.html

It’s hardly surprising an 18 year old, who is currently – er – splashed all over our TV and media, would usurp ageing David Beckham as the king/queen of metrosexual masculinity. So Heat’s latest list  of ‘hottest hunks’ is just reflecting public opinion. But, the Daily Mail, which I find much more positive in general about metro boys than other papers (especially the Graun) has felt the need to frame this event in a very ‘heterosexist’ way. According to the Mail:

‘And it seems that Tom Daley’s grueling work-out regime has paid off in more ways than one after coming top of Heat Magazine’s annual ‘Hottest Hunks’ poll.

The 18-year-old has toppled heartthrob David Beckham from the number one spot after gaining a legion of female followers thanks to his toned torso.’

I guess it is also not surprising that the story of Daley’s ascendance would be accompanied by some metrosexual denial. But following the #Splash twitter hashtag, it is clear that Daley has plenty of men fans, and that even if young men are not lusting after him but rather aspiring to be like him, it is his tits and abs they are emulating, not his backwards pike.

‘What if I should fall right through the center of the earth… oh, and come out the other side, where people walk upside down.’

- Alice in Wonderland

My view: Ben Cohen et al strip off for anti-homophobia charities as a nod that what they do is ‘well gay’, but they’re #NOHomo just ‘allies’

Metrosexual Machismo is alive and well, and disavowing the HOMOsexuality of metrosexual men’s narcissism #metrosexual

In the old days rugger buggers and rowing clubs could get naked together noone would bat an eye. Now gay is visible they need a ‘line’ on it

and their line is: ‘we’re doing it for charity, we’re ‘lads’, and we support anti-homophobia campaigns’ #metrosexual #gay

But how this actually helps actual gay and bi sportsmen be out and comfortable I do not know! They will hide even more! #metrosexual

My ex went to Warwick university. He wasn’t in the rowing club: he would have mucked things up, since he was an actual sodomite.

- more on this soon I was tweeting some notes. Keeping them here for the record!

h/t paul for the metrosexy rowing vid!

TOM+DALEY+IN+HEAT

The Olympics may have been over months ago, but Tom Daley hasn’t stopped since.  Is he training for Rio 2016? Is he diving for his life? Well maybe, but only inbetween photoshoots, ad gigs and… er… this little self-promotion pic.

Ostensibly Tom’s ‘cheeky pic’ is inviting us to follow him on Keek, yet another social media site which involves sharing photos and videos. But MetroAuntie gets the impression that the bronze medal winning diver has another aim in mind. He, like many fit young metro boys, takes any opportunity he can to show off his body. And why not?

Well, as Nadal who was nowhere to be seen in the Olympic tennis competition has done, Daley could be seen to be prioritising his rampant narcissism and self-objectification over his sport. And though the results are lovely to look at, one does wonder why a top tennis ace is advertising a poker gambling company when he could be practising his backhand.

Back in February this year, Tom’s coach warned that the young diver’s media career and metrosexual antics could cost him a gold medal in the Olympics. The lad seemed happy with his bronze, and maybe he has weighed up his options and decided he prefers to be a world-beating tart and forgo some sporting gongs.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/olympics/diving/9082415/Tom-Daleys-media-work-could-harm-chance-of-gold-medal-claims-British-diving-chief-Alexei-Evangulov.html

I am interested in the ongoing tension between ‘active’ and ‘passive’ masculinity, a tension which Daley embodies quite poetically.  But which one will win through? Only time, and a few more sponsorship deals will tell.

British hope Tom Daley, the metrotastic diver, is splashed across billboards in next to nothing- again, in the run-up to the Olympics. In a rather apt choice of slogan Adidas are commanding young Tom to ‘take the respect’. Of course MetroAuntie can’t let these ads pass us all by without remarking on just how ‘submissive’ and ‘sexual’ the connotations are: is Tom being told to ‘take it’ like a good ‘bottom’ should?

Apart from the suggestive tone of the text, the main thing to notice about the posters what a ‘passive’ pose the medal-winning diver is in. He is not seen here demonstrating his athletic skill, but rather standing still, looking down, holding one wrist with his other hand. His torso is the main ‘object of desire’.

And a man’s torso also features heavily in this short film by the Guardian celebrating the olympic body through history. Again, rather than showing sporting motion, this film just displays the man’s upper body as if it were a mannequin turning slowly in a shop window. It oozes metrosexuality and  sporno aesthetics.

These two examples of metrosexy bodies put paid to the feminist belief that in visual culture men are presented as active subjects, women as passive objectsEven Lego has been accused by feminist critics of promoting this oppressive, binary opposition, which contributes to a situation whereby the objectification of women is more widespread and more damaging than that of men.

Writing in the Guardian recently, Sarah Ditum (the original ‘mumsy cupcake feminist) did at least admit that sportsmen have been ‘pin ups for decades’. But she still suggested that women’s bodies are scrutinised and policed more than men’s.

But really it is just that men’s objectification is policed in different ways from women’s. The underplaying not just by feminists but by most people, of the  sheer tartiness of contemporary men, is one way of denying the homoerotics and deep self-love involved in metrosexual masculinity. A self-love that can never be entirely ‘straight’.

So,  in 2012, whilst feminists are STILL campaigning against the ‘objectified’ images of women on Page Three, the Sun publishes its list of  Top Ten Hot Shots (sexy Olympian sportsmen who are sex objects in their own right), without so much as a murmur to be heard from the feminists. Here’s David Boudia one of the top ten hotties, looking ready for… uh, anything.

There is no hiding fit young men’s  rampant narcissism, it takes the gaze wherever it can find it. And Tom Daley is a champion in his field…

h/t @zefrog for the Top Ten Hot Shots!

Transport for London may not be able to afford Olympic athletes for their ‘public service announcement’ campaign about the fast-approaching travel chaos that will affect the capital during the games. But many commercial companies and brands can. So this is the season of sporno-tastic olympic-themed advertising.

The above ad is for King of Shaves, a quite ‘low end’ razor brand which includes monthly rates for products delivered to your door on a regular basis. But its star model James Ellington, a sprinter, is not ‘low end’ at all. His torso and his tats are giving Becks and his relentless, profitable narcissistic display a run for his money that’s for sure!

But King of Shaves don’t actually mention the ‘Olympics’ in its adverts at all. This is most likely to be because London 2012 are working very hard at Protecting their Brand. There is even government legislation making it illegal to use certain phrases and words if you are not an official sponsor of The Games, such as British Airways.

I think though, that an athlete’s metrosexy body speaks for itself, and the difference in ‘quality’ and impact of ads around the Olympic theme does not seem to relate to language, but rather to imagery. Take these two adverts below, one for subway sandwiches the other for cadbury’s creme eggs.  Neither is very strong. But that’s not due to the lack of official Olympics Logo or terminology. I think it is due to the obvious absence of any tits or abs!

Whoever wins medals at the end of July/beginning of London, I know that metrosexuality will continue to be stood on the podium. In fact it has no competition!

h/t @grooming_guru for identifying James Ellington as the KoS model, and to @fennerpearson for the info on the protection of the Olympics brand.