Metrosexual Soldiers On Tumblr

Posted: November 7, 2011 in Masculinities, Metrosexual Murderers, metrosexuality, Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

The only surprising thing about this new tumblr, of ‘Military Hunks’, is the fact it didn’t exist before. Soldiers have been showing how they love to show off on the internet for a while now, especially in spoof youtube videos of famous pop songs. The photo above demonstrates the military lads’ self awareness – as the sexy soldier  strikes a Patrick Bateman pose – a metrosexual icon to end all metrosexual icons.

According to Chris Ashford, who posted some of the Military Hunks photos on his Law and Sexuality Blog:

‘The ever-excellent Sword blog (NSFW) notes that the mere posting of these images reflects the end of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell ‘.

I am not so sure. As I said, military men have been engaging in metrosexual displays online for a few years now, and though there is some link between ‘homosexuality’ and ‘metrosexuality’ the main thing they have in common is narcissism. Men love to be ‘tarty’ these days, no matter what their sexual orientation is, and nothing is going to stop them.

Chris Ashford says:

‘I’ve posted just a handful of the (safe!) captivating images.  The full picture collection can be viewed (including the full nudes) here.  I strongly recommend this wonderful collection.  I hope someone has the vision to turn it into a book!’

But again I am not so sure. Books are a little bit passe for the tumblr generation, who love to update their tarty images of themselves regularly. Maybe there will be a FaceBook Military Hunks page, but an old-fashioned coffee-table book? I doubt it.

One person who certainly won’t be surprised by the Military Hunks tumblr is Mark Simpson, who has been following metrosexual military lads and their ‘desire to be desired’, especially on youtube, for a while now. Commenting on one of the more recent youtube videos he wrote:

‘you have to give his less physically gifted comrades full marks for the way these trained killers really want to be ‘drop dead’ gorgeous. At least for the duration of a Britney pop song about a woman who loves to look. And make a mockery of the ‘male gaze’ — along with the notion that men, particularly fighting men, are always active, never passive.

Like hundreds of other soldiers prancing around in Youtube clips it’s done for a laugh and a giggle — but it also seems to be seriously saying something about young men today. Even the ones expected to kill for us.’

Simpson also brought to our attention recently the fact that soldiers are now concerned with eyebrow grooming as much as they are with winning wars. As a Gawker article on the subject said:

‘it’s little wonder that our nation’s fighting forces are now more concerned with eyebrow grooming than with removing the digits of enemy soldiers to bring home as souvenirs. Is America’s metrosexual Army going to be able to endure the harsh skin-drying effects of the Middle Eastern climate?’

Soldiers are bound to be at the forefront of men’s metrosexual movement – they have plenty of time on their hands for self-love, and are surrounded by pretty buff mirror images of themselves. Military Hunks tumblr is just the tip of a  very tarty iceberg.

  1. tu quoque says:

    The sexiness of military men is not surprising, but sexualizing them is one of the instances where we should be wary of objectification.

    The draft in the US only ended in 1973, and America still has a very militaristic culture. Young men are often guided into military due to so social pressure and a lack of economic options.

    38 years ago, lusting over soldiers would be like lusting over a slave. Now it’s more like lusting over a poor, immigrant housekeeper, but still kind of icky.

    • I see your point ajay. I think it is quite complex though, when the military is such a homosocial/homosexual environment, as Mark Simpson and Steve Zeeland have shown.

      And these soldier lads on tumblr and youtube are very much objectifying themselves.

      But I do agree that the mainstream media objectifies/dehumanises soldiers.

      Also as Mark Simpson has pointed out, often when a young soldier is killed at war, if he is attractive his beauty is emphasised in photos in a very ‘objectified’ way. As if there is something noble about someone so pretty dying in that way. It’s almost an advert for being killed at war.

      • I agree, QRG, that there seems to be a meme that objectifies men as good for dying and even ‘good to have died.’ The old Norse religions had the condition that dying in battle was the only way to get to Valhalla. The Christian religion is based on a man dying to save others. When a show has an unpopular character (whether unpopular with the audience or the characters within the show), that character is often given a heroic death to validate them before they’re removed. If I may nerd out for a second, I remember in the recent death of the Ultimate Universe Peter Parker, one of the arguments used to shout down the people upset about it was that his death was cool. (He dies saving his Aunt May.)

        Death gets romanticized, and it probably gets sexualized too. I dont think that this sort of dying would be any exception.

      • tu quoque says:

        I don’t have an issue with the Britney Spears parody. It’s creation was entirely in the hands of the soldiers themselves. To only conceive of them as victims entirely without autonomy (as feminists do in order to shame people out of making choices they disapprove of) is also a form of objectification.

        What I have a problem with is people turning being a soldier into a sexual archetype. Tons of gay porn sites are guilty of this.

        Again, it’s like being turn on by slavery.

        • but hasn’t being a soldier been a ‘sexual archetype’ ever since roman times? I think some soldiers become soldiers because they think it is sexy. it’s complex

          • I would think it’s been around for even longer than that. The Greeks seemed to think soldierin’ was pretty sexy.

          • tu quoque says:

            “but hasn’t being a soldier been a ‘sexual archetype’ ever since roman times?”

            How does the fact that a perception has been around for a long time change the morality of it?

            “I think some soldiers become soldiers because they think it is sexy.”

            The vast majority of soldiers became soldiers because they were conscripted.

            ” it’s complex”

            What complexity is missing here? It’s seems like people sexualize male soldiers without question or analysis. The complexity that’s missing is a consideration that finds this sexualization problematic, not one that justifies it.

    • There is still the selective service in the US, males up to the age of 26 must register. I posted about this awhile back and don’t want to be redundant but this is a case of misandry the Feminists often overlook….

      As far as military service, you raise interesting points, many join because they “wanna get the fuck outta dodge” so to speak. Anyways, not politically correct to say this, but there is definitely an element that is a bit boisterous and likes to fight, they join cause it is a socially acceptable way to get that outta their system/live that lifestyle….

      As bad as the whole Blackwater/XE thing is-it is good in a way cause it makes it unlikely a draft will happen….

  2. It’s kind of funny that I have an older cousin in the Army. He always used to call me a “fag” and “sissy” growing up. If I ever see him again (hopefully I won’t)-I can just say,” hahaha, guess those long, lonely nights in Afghanistan weren’t so lonely. Don’t worry, I won’t ask if you don’t tell.” I guess as I become more secure in myself, I take pride that I wouldn’t last a fuckin’ day in an infantry unit. I don’t see it as weakness, that is my masculinity….

  3. typhonblue says:

    Holy shit.

    When the guy started touching himself I think my brain derailed.

  4. elissa says:

    Would like to distinguish between sexual and non-sexual framings, as I think they are quite different in my eyes.

    The “men of war” (infantry), are artillery and cannon fodder – about as close to being a solid object mass as the Eiffel Tower.

    They represent the workers/soldiers of eusociality (Google it if you’ve not heard the term before).

    Their sexuality is just a reminder to all of us that they are indeed still living and breathing human beings.

    • Thanks elissa I learned a new word:

      I think I have made some distinction between the media objectifying soldiers and the sexualisation of soldiers – though the two overlap as I said about posting photos of very pretty young fallen ‘heroes’.

      • elissa says:

        Understood and I agree.

        The mythologizing of young dead soldiers as they rush the beachhead into a wind of machine gun fire is quite pornographic. It surely aids in the recruitment of new volunteers. Similar mental tricks used to sway other young boys into martyrdom with the promise of 40 young virgins waiting. Little do they know that it’s really 40 year old virgins waiting….

        Not sure if you get 60 minutes program in your neck of the woods – but there was a heart wrenching story of a young man returning from Afghanistan mentally destroyed from seeing his friends cut down. When the interviewer asked him how old he was when this happened, his eyes welled up with tears as he said 18

        He also said that he gets uncontrollably angry when he hears people complain about the weather and being called a cunt on the internet (my interpretation). He struggles continuously to control that anger.

        • No we don’t have 60 minutes I find it really hard to watch documentaries about war/soldiers. I often find they have a pornographic element themselves. I saw one about Afghanistan with these young attractive men talking about getting excited about going on a mission. with lots of shots of bombs and guns.

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