Ronaldo married

Ronaldophobia

Mark Simpson explains why Cristiano Ronaldo’s talent & prettiness are so intolerable

One of the queerest things about homophobia is that many of its targets are not actually homo. Not because homophobia is a blunt, inaccurate baseball bat – though that as well – but because homophobia is used as a way of policing all men’s behaviour, whatever their actual sexual preference. Or just to bring them down a satisfying peg or two. That’s so GAY!! What are you, a FAG?? Etc. Etc.

Now that overt homophobia is increasingly uncool and sometimes illegal, it perhaps tends to be directed even more at men who are not officially gay or bi – albeit in a ‘joshing’ way. Especially if they’re hotter, hencher and much more famous, wealthy and talented than you – and we’re talking about football.

During last week’s match between Real Madrid and Barcelona, the 31-year-old Portuguese football ace and underwear god Cristiano Ronaldo – Real’s star player – was targeted from the stands with chants of ‘MARICON!!’, the Spanish equivalent of ‘faggot’. Apparently this has been going on for a while.

Francisco Ramirez the director of the Spanish LGBT Observatory said: ‘For months the Real Madrid player Cristiano Ronaldo has been the continued object of insults and malicious rumours from the tabloids, and also from sports journalists and… players, in order to humiliate, offend and denigrate a great football player.’

Ronaldo is, by the way, not just a great football player – he’s one of the greatest of all time. He’s also currently the highest paid footballer in the world. Which of course just makes him and his prettiness all the more intolerable. Ronaldophobia is perfectly understandable, really.

‘It is necessary to clarify,’ added Ramirez ‘that homophobia does not necessarily mean that people who suffer are homosexual, but only that other people believe it or use it to insult, harass and humiliate others.’

Quite. I have no burning interest in Ronaldo’s ‘real’ sexual orientation – someone who has reportedly been involved with a series of female supermodels. But lots of people do – straight and gay. Last year a photo of him horsing around with his bearded Moroccan kick-boxing buddy Badh Hari was seized upon by many as ‘proof’ that Ronaldo is GAY!! (it’s never lower-case ‘gay’ – and of course never, ever ‘bi’). Football pundits ‘worried’ on TV that ‘cuddling’ his buddy would ‘affect his performance’.

Football is a very odd game indeed.

Perhaps I don’t have enough imagination, or perhaps I’m just not repressed enough, but when I saw the photos I only saw two young men enjoying each other’s company and, rather wonderfully, not being afraid to show it. Not afraid, in other words, that people would think them… GAY!!

I also found myself wondering that if they were actually having a secret gay relationship they might have been rather more inhibited – and Hari might not have captioned the pic of him picking up a grinning Ronaldo ‘Just married!’.

But then, probably nobody really believed that the photos proved Ronaldo was having a gay affair – they were just a way to have a phobic little faux scandal and chastise him again for being a free, affectionate spirit with loads of money and talent and no modesty.

But however you interpret it, Ronaldo feels no need to deny the rumours and the abuse or react to them at all. He really doesn’t give a shit what you or I think. Which is what drives so many of us – especially us English with our herd mentality – crazy.

When he played in the UK from 2003-2009 for Manchester United – the same club David Beckham had played for before moving to Real Madrid – Ronaldo was regularly abused from the terraces and also became the target of an especially vicious and sustained phobic campaign from the UK media. Ronaldophobia was a national sport.

Unlike savvy, needy Beckham, proud Ronaldo didn’t go out of his way to curry favour with the press and play the self-deprecating game. Worse, he was younger, better looking, more talented – and, fatally, wasn’t English.

The UK’s biggest-selling tabloid repeatedly attacked the ‘arch metrosexual’ as they dubbed him (as in, I guess, ‘arch villain’ and ‘arched eyebrows’), for sunbathing too much, for wearing ‘tight silver shorts’ on holiday, for his interest in grooming, his ‘perfectly shaved chest’ and generally being a big poof.

They even ran a piece comparing him to George Michael – who is also olive-skinned and GAY!! GEDDIT?? – suggesting he fancies ‘playing for the other team’, and basically just shouting ‘MARICON!!’ at him over and over again.

Ronaldo’s response? He went on holiday wearing even tighter shorts and a pink baseball cap. With a pink flower behind his ear. After the UK press went predictably berserk again – including publishing photos of a male friend ACTUALLY TOUCHING HIM while he was wearing that GAY!! hat and GAY!! flower – he was pressed for a response: ‘I don’t see what is wrong with that if you are comfortable with your sexuality,’ he replied, matter-of-factly.

The English of course aren’t comfortable with anything. Least of all themselves. Which is where much of their Ronaldophobia came from – and will likely surge back again with a passion if he returns to Manchester United as has been rumoured lately.

In that recent match against Barcelona where he was called MARICON! by the terrace oafs, Ronaldo remained as unchastised and shameless as ever – scoring a stunning winning goal in the last few minutes. Then in the locker room afterwards he lost no time stripping down to his white Speedos and showing off his tanned, shredded body in a team photo with the celebrating Real lads.

What a careless, thoughtless, utter bastard. Why can’t he show some respect for the feelings of ugly, untalented men everywhere?

Whatever their sexuality.

Ronaldo locker 2

Ronaldo

Cristiano ‘Sporno’ Ronaldo – Mark Simpson Interviewed By Newsweek

Mark Simpson interviewed by Newsweek’s Teddy Cutler on the spornosexual movement and the leading role of Ronaldo’s pectorals in it (2/20/2016)

What exactly does ‘spornosexual’ mean?

The spornosexual is a man who has hammered and fashioned his own body into a hot, ripped, pumped, inked, vaguely lewd commodity at the factory of the 21st century—the gymnasium. He’s a man who aspires to be that ultimate male hero today —a Men’s Health cover model.

How do you spot one? You don’t. Their under-dressed body spots you—and then demands that you look at it, to admire its glutes and guns and dizzyingly low body-fat percentage. The spornosexual is that irksome, wannabe male glamour model who hogs your Instagram and Facebook feed. But strangely, you still haven’t got around to unfollowing.

How does “spornosexual” differ from “metrosexual”?

Spornosexuality is second-generation metrosexuality. A sexed-up, body-centred, “hardcore” form of metrosexuality. The spornosexual doesn’t want to be loved just for his wardrobe, clear skin and groomed beard. He wants to be wanted for his own body—something that he’s worked very hard to turn into the ultimate accessory.

Why did metrosexualism die out to be replaced by this newer concept?

It didn’t. It swallowed everything. Men no longer “act,” while women “appear.” Men do a great deal of appearing these days. Male vanity and product use is no big deal any more—in a visual, social media world, men have to be image-conscious or else they simply… disappear.

However, because the male desire to be desired—which is the self-regarding heart of metrosexuality—is so normal these days, it’s just taken for granted, especially by the younger generation. There’s little point in “outing” someone as “metrosexual” when pretty much everyone is. Likewise, and slightly paradoxically, being metrosexual isn’t in itself something that makes you stand out nowadays. Being spornosexual, though, does. After all, what’s more eye-catching than living, walking, talking porn?

How has 21st-century culture led to the rise of the “spornosexual”?

Metrosexuality was shaped largely by glossy magazines and advertising in the ‘90s. Then in the Noughties, celebrity culture, reality TV and Beckham and co. sent it into orbit. Spornosexuality on the other hand is shaped largely by selfie-obsessed social media—where young men are busy comparing body parts. Thanks to smartphones you can be the director and star of your own reality TV show.

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Ronaldo is good with colours

What is the connection to sport? Is it just about fitness, or is there an element of narcissism, about fitness to look good rather than feel good?

Well, going to the gym is a kind of sport. And arguably, pornography is a kind of sport too—and not just a spectator sport any more. Spornosexuality is the interface between fitness and sensuality, feeling good and looking good, activity and passivity, heroism and sluttiness.

Sportsmen have played a big role in promoting spornosexuality themselves—with many of them appearing in their pants on the covers of magazines—including gay magazines—and on the sides of buses in their underwear. Many of them also use topless avatars on social media, the hussies.

They don’t regard their bodies as merely a “tool” for their trade of sports — they absolutely maximise its aesthetic/sexual potential too. Eager self-objectification is a major part of spornosexuality.

Why did you pick Cristiano Ronaldo as an example? How would someone like Ronaldo differ from the man you popularized as the ultimate metrosexual, David Beckham?

Although Beckham was never shy about taking his clothes off, and was of course an athlete, his body was never that buff. He doesn’t look like he spends a lot of time in the gym. Ronaldo on the other hand is totally shredded and hench and completely fits that advertising format. You wonder whether he scores goals just so that he can take his shirt off and flex for the roaring crowd. Like much of the younger generation of males, Cristiano seems very aware of his body as a sexualized object and very keen to enhance that effect.

In a nutshell: Becks, now 40, is metrosexual. Ronaldo, 31, is spornosexual.

Coming at Cristiano Ronaldo from all angles
Coming at Cristiano Ronaldo from all angles

Is there something about football especially that fits your term? Requiring a body to be athletic and muscular but not overtly so, defined yet lithe… would the footballer be the ideal of the movement?

Footballers in the U.K. didn’t use to go to the gym. In the 1970s and ‘80s some would spend most of their time in the pub. Many of them didn’t have upper bodies at all. The transformation today is quite astonishing.

That said, gymnasts probably more embody the ideal, with their defined muscles developed from moving their perfect bodies around in the air where we can get a really good look at them. After all, the word “gymnastics” derives from the Greek for “exercise naked.”

Football, of course, traditionally has a much bigger global following than gymnastics, which is not exactly the greatest of team sports. Hence Ronaldo, who has the body of a gymnast and is also one of the world’s best footballers, is such an arresting combination – and why he is no doubt persuading a generation of young men that they need to do more crunches.

Is the spornosexual out to gain the attention of the opposite sex, or is his sexuality more fluid?

The spornosexual usually prefers women in bed, but doesn’t mind who is enjoying their body in public. His body is an adult bouncy castle for the eyes. Everyone is invited. He might sometimes look a bit of a bruiser, but he’s still a cruiser. He’s always checking out who is checking him out.

In fact, the admiration of other men is often especially prized because other men are more likely to understand how much time and sweat has gone into getting those biceps. Or care. No matter how hetero, a spornosexual isn’t usually too squeamish about homosexuality. After all, his body advertises a deep understanding and study of the the sexiness of the male body. In fact, he often looks like a gay for pay porn star. Or is actually one.

David Gandy is ready for your close-up
David Gandy is ready for your close-up

Cristiano Can’t Find His Shirt – But Always Knows Where the Camera Is

Cristiano Ronaldo’s latest for Armani shows him looking – not too hard – for his t-shirt.  Do you remember when maids rather than footballers were treated as sex-objects?  No?  OK, I must be getting very old indeed.  But of course this tradition is what the ad is playing on – the reversal, or reflection/refraction, of ‘the male gaze’ that has happened in the last couple of decades that is the signature style of metrosexuality.  And likewise it trumps the traditional presumption of feminine passivity and submissiveness: the maid is doing the perving.

Now, I’m all in favour of Cristiano wandering around half-naked, especially the bit where the camera zooms in on his astonishing thighs, but can we please have something just a little more convincing next time?  I mean, it’s entirely believable that he would be more interested in his favourite t-shirt than the pretty maid, but are we really supposed to believe that he wouldn’t notice someone scoping him?

After all, every cell in his breathtaking body is clearly soaking up the attention of the camera lens….

Tip: Andre Murracas

The Press Still Love-Hates ‘Twinkletoes’ Ronaldo So

Cristiano Ronaldo’s latest fashion foible, painted toe-nails has provoked the usual bitchy, mocking response that is attached to anything Ronaldo in the Anglo media. Despite – or perhaps because of – the way they seem to regard him as a sure-fire way of selling newspapers.

The announcement of the birth of his son by a surrogate mother last week also presented another opportunity to give him a good kicking. Some, like Celia Walden in The Telegraph, really going overboard in the expression of their tainted, twisted love.  It almost makes me regret outing the male narcissism of metrosexuality.  As one of the commenters on the Telegraph website points out, her husband Piers Morgan is everything she complains about in Ronaldo – but untalented and unattractive.  More generally it goes without saying that Ronaldo’s vanity would be considered normal and healthy and worthy of approbation in say, a much less pretty female journalist.

It’s possible, I suppose, that Ronaldo painted his toenails as a riposte to the ‘Twinkletoes’ school playground nickname (Twinkletoes was a fairy, geddit?) given to him by football fans and the tabloids during his stint at Manchester United.  But much more probable he painted his toenails just because he thought it would be fun and might look nice.  Which is an outrage.

Really, it’s no wonder that a year after leaving these shores the UK press continue to love-hate him so.  This boy from a humble Portuguese family is very rich.  He’s famous.  He’s fabulously talented.  He’s young. He’s absurdly good looking.  And he doesn’t owe anyone anything. Worst of all, he knows it and doesn’t bother to hide this knowledge. And he thinks nothing of painting his toenails because he feels like it, rather than because Esquire magazine told him to. Yes, he’s a spoilt child, but then – so are the gods.

Here are a couple of other recently snapped photos which may help explain the jealousy mere mortals feel towards him.   (And let me assure you most people working in journalism are very mortal indeed – inwardly and outwardly.)

Tip: Mark W

David Beckham’s Package: Don’t Handle The Goods, Madam

After all those ads in which Becks thrusted his giant Armani wrapped package in our faces if not down our throats, an Italian satirical TV show decided to do a little consumer product testing.  You know that in Italy they like to handle the sausage and tomatoes – and haggle over the price – before they part with their Euros.

Both parties are clearly unimpressed.

For those who don’t speak the most beautiful, most musical language in the world: the rubber-gloved lady shouts at a hooded, glowering Beckham driving off in his (ridiculously large) car full of minders: ‘HOW COULD YOU TAKE US FOR A RIDE!!??’

The incident has caused some anger in the UK, and some see it as outright sexual assault.  But if you are paid very large wedges of cash to put your lunchbox on the side of buses to sell overpriced underwear to the masses then perhaps the only shocking thing is that more punters don’t cop a feel of the goods.

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Cristiano Ronaldo Grabs David Beckham’s Bulging Underwear

My congratulations go to Cristiano Ronaldo, who once again is stepping into Beck’s pricey shoes – and briefs. Ronaldo has just been named Armani’s new international ‘spokesmodel’. (Presumably his legs and packet are going to do all the talking.)

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Poor Becks, Mr Armani’s previous sporno star, discarded by his Italian designer sugar daddy like yesterday’s trade, unpopular at Galaxy FC and currently sporting a Captain Birdseye beard, is increasingly looking like someone who was merely keeping that overpriced underwear warm for Ronaldo. In fact, being appointed Mr Armani’s international flasher — rather than the record-busting transfer deal to Real Madrid earlier this year — is the 100% cotton proof that Ronaldo has now finally and officially eclipsed Becks bulging profile in the metro-tarting stakes.

The crown of metrosexuality — and more importantly the pants — have been passed on to a new generation. Cristiano Ronaldo, ladies and gents, is the new metrosexual king/queen. (He may not have much taste, but that’s the wonderful thing about being king or queen: you don’t have to.)

Becks may have blazed a trail for footballing metrosexuality, but Ronaldo is looking like the finished, total product where Becks was merely the prototype. Ronaldo is genuinely, boyishly (and annoyingly) beautiful, where Becks, well into his thirties now, increasingly looks like mutton very expensively dressed as lamb.

I don’t think though that Becks will fade away any time soon. Despite all the talk about his his fetching looks, he never was a great beauty. No, really. It was the passion of his desire to be desired that was always the compelling thing about him — and as he gets older that passion will probably only increase.

Even with a Birdseye beard.