Posts Tagged ‘david beckham’

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.

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.

messi-

Lionel Messi showed up at an awards event recently, resplendant in polka dots. Some have said he is following in that 80s pop duo’s footsteps, Strawberry Switchblade. I hate to be a pedant, but I myself once aped those goth-pop beauties at my school disco aged twelve. And I think they were more ‘spotty’ than ‘dotty’.

But dots v spots aside, the question is in 2013 is Messi dressing up to the nines for a do ‘news’? according to metrotastic blogger Grooming Guru we are now in a ‘post metrosexual’ age and men’s grooming and preening habits are nothing to write home about.

I’m not so sure. But I do think we now have quite a substantial contemporary ‘history’ of tarty boys. And so rather than women role models it is quite possible Messi is following in the well heeled footsteps of the King (or queen) of metrosexual display, David Beckham. It was 15 whole years ago that Becks caused a splash with his sarong.

So maybe it’s too late for us to get our spotty knickers in a twist about a few dots…

dbeckham

article-2249647-168D2348000005DC-172_634x409http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2249647/EXCLUSIVE-How-little-joy-Romeo-Beckham-kept-Burberry-team-entertained-modelling-job.html

My favourite aspect of this now well-documented story about little Romeo Beckham modelling for the (sometimes dismissed as ‘trashy’) label Burberry, is that now it is NORMAL for a boy to follow in his father’s footsteps, not as a footballer, but as a pin-up.

You Go Romeo!

I had the beginnings of a twitter argument last night, on a subject that is dear to my heart: Objectification.

@BigdaddyKeltik who is a trans man and a feminist said:

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‘Objectifying women = rape culture’.

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I find this view offensive, as a WOMAN! And Keltik is big on ‘calling out’ when someone says something offensive. Here I am. Calling him out.

First – if objectifying women is equal to and part of ‘rape culture’ how does objectifying men fit in?

Keltik has a lot of objectified images on his blogs. So his opposition to ‘objectification’ seems weak. Here are two, one of a woman one of a man:

http://keltik.tumblr.com/post/16808326143/billycastro-boxing-series-by-courtney-trouble

http://keltik.tumblr.com/post/16083412189/themadnessislaughing-brandiesontherocks

Mark Simpson has written recently in The Guardian, in defence of men’s objectification, and throughout his metrosexual theorist career.

So men’s objectification is as important as women’s but feminists never mention it!

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Second: Imposing the concept of ‘rape culture’ on me and all other people serves to ‘objectify’ us in a very bad way. Women are reduced to poor, helpless victims and men become nasty predators. I have written against the idea of rape culture at the good men project and other places.

Third: How does objectification prove ‘rape culture’ exists? As another person from twitter commented by email:

‘He [Keltik] is confusing causal links. In so-called rape culture, women would be objects, but if women are objects it doesn’t mean that we have/it leads to so-called rape culture. If it has been raining, the floor will be wet but if the floor is wet it doesn’t mean it has been raining – someone could’ve thrown a bucket of water out’.

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Maybe as a trans man Keltik feels able to disassociate himself from those nasty predatory ‘men’. And also from those poor helpless victims ‘women’. But I can’t. And I feel upset and judged by his words.

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If Keltik respects Mark Simpson then I hope he at least reads Simpson’s Guardian article before he rushes to accuse men of ‘objectifying’ women alone. Some men are homos for a start! And, as Simpson writes, metrosexuality is all about men objectifying themselves and each other

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I sent the above comments in an email to Simpson, Keltik and others. Following my email Mark responded to a comment on his blog, from regular QRG reader, Tim, about David Beckham’s now infamous superbowl ad. Mark said:

‘Amer­i­can fem­i­nists have sci­en­tif­i­cally proven that male objec­ti­fi­ca­tion doesn’t exist. Or if it does it is in no way com­pa­ra­ble to female objec­ti­fi­ca­tion because, er, it’s not about women. Even if it’s dif­fi­cult to imag­ine how a human being could be more (will­ingly) objec­ti­fied and com­mod­i­fied than David Beckham.’

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Here are some posts by  me on men, women and objectification:

http://quietgirlriot.wordpress.com/2011/12/05/5099/

http://quietgirlriot.wordpress.com/2011/12/02/girls-girls-girls/

http://quietgirlriot.wordpress.com/2011/10/25/miss-representation-how-feminism-misrepresents-objectification/

 

I spend a lot of time looking for references to metrosexuality. Often the subject matter is covered but the ‘m’ word is hardly used. In the Guardian for example, there were only 35 references to ‘metrosexual’ in the whole of 2011, the lowest number since 2004.

One place that metrosexual masculinity is really grasped, though, is in sports journalism. Partly because it has been in sports and sports ‘branding’ that metro men have really come into their own.  Sporno has meant that top sports men have been such tarts in advertising and promotional work that the media have been unable to ignore the shift. And metrosexual icons such as Ronaldo , Henson and Becks have brought their fashion style and narcissism off the billboards and onto the pitch.

This extract from an otherwise incomprehensible piece (to me) is metro-tastic:

‘The multi-stranded revenue stream known as “David Beckham” may stay at the LA Galaxy after all despite assorted hoopla about a move to France. Beckham has decided he “does not want to uproot his wife Victoria”. The Mill would have thought it would have actually been quite easy. Simply take a firm grasp with both hands. Bend your knees a couple of times. Wrench slowly backwards and hurl triumphantly over your left shoulder.

Mick McCarthy wants to buy Nicky Maynard from Bristol City for £1m. City are holding out for £2.5m, 36 leftover supermarket mince pies and a long passionate video-aided discussion about tackling and the British game and why the familiar safe old world of men – real men, who roar and eat tree bark and don’t shave their chests – is under threat from EU tackling directives that threaten our very way of life.’

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2012/jan/03/football-transfer-rumours-mario-balotelli?INTCMP=SRCH