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 untal­ten­ted 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 FORRIDE!!??’

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.

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.)

david_beckham_1501429cPoor 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.


We Loved You Really, Ronaldo


By Mark Simpson (col­lec­ted in Metrosexy)

Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the best foot­ballers ever to play in this coun­try — and one of the best look­ing — brought out the worst in the English.

He prickled you see, our ugly, mean-minded, spite­ful, spit­ting jeal­ousy. We were jeal­ous of his tal­ent, his looks, his body, his youth, his money and most of all of his total lack of interest in what the English media and ter­race cul­ture thought of him and his dress sense and the way they kept shout­ing ‘winker!’, ‘poof!’, ‘twink­le­toes!!’ to try and get his attention.

It just made us even more fren­zied and pas­sion­ate and help­less that the way we obsessed over everything about him from the dark­ness of his tan to the size of his beach shorts meant noth­ing to him. He ignored our stalker­ish beha­viour, and our play­ground bul­ly­ing, and just kept on being Cristiano. He didn’t need us. He didn’t even bloody notice us. He was hot. He knew he was hot. And worst of all, there was noth­ing we could do about it. No won­der we hated him.

And now it seems he’s leav­ing us behind for good – and will prob­ably for­get about us before he even lands in Madrid. The bas­tard!

Our most pop­u­lar tabloid The Sun has run a par­tic­u­larly bitchy cam­paign against him for years. Most recently, they devoted pages of phoney out­rage to the fact that he wore a pink base­ball cap on hol­i­day in LA, and had the effrontery to wear a flower in his ear. Apparently he’s also per­son­ally to blame for turn­ing today’s pro foot­ballers into met­ro­sexu­als and is the evil ‘queen’ behind what they like to call ‘The Campions League’.

In short, Ronaldo has been on the receiv­ing end of abuse that would be deemed ‘homo­phobic’ in a trice if it were dir­ec­ted at someone actu­ally gay. But this isn’t just homo­pho­bia in the form of met­ro­pho­bia, this is good old English hypo­crisy at work: The Sun exploits the way young foot­ballers look today to sell papers, filling their pages almost daily with pic­tures of them being tarty – and then of course damns them for mak­ing us look at them.

Ronaldo united the English in ways that few other things do these days. The editor of snooty Esquire for instance, a magazine that likes to see itself as being the oppos­ite end of the media and social spec­trum to The Sun, recently joined in the national gang bang of Ronaldo, tak­ing aim at his pretty pout­ing face in a piece sniff­ing at the vul­gar­ity of English foot­ballers, and the way they ‘pile on the designer labels with gay aban­don (Ronaldo), accessor­ise with far too many sparkly things (Ronaldo) and haven’t yet dis­covered that logos a go-go have gone out of fash­ion (Ronaldo).’

Yes dear, but Ronaldo has more nat­ural beauty, sex­i­ness and vital­ity in his left foot than a hun­dred back issues of Esquire – a magazine that would bene­fit enorm­ously from a little vul­gar­ity: I mean, it might be mis­taken for some­thing actu­ally alive. It’s prob­ably Ronaldo’s ‘gay aban­don’ which is the most won­der­ful and insuf­fer­able thing about him to the English. After all, it’s the sign that someone is genu­inely free – they genu­inely don’t care what the neighbours/bloke down the pub/The Sun/Esquire think, and they do and wear what they like, damn them.

This is also prob­ably the reason why he was hated so much for his on-pitch naugh­ti­ness – not so much the cheat­ing itself, but the brazen­ness of it. The flam­boy­ance of it! Ronaldo was hated and envied because he broke the rules in plain view. And could behave like a spoilt child. The English you see can never for­give someone for doing pub­licly what they have to spend so much time and energy hiding.

As Ronaldo said, matter-of-factly, in response to the English media’s frenzy over the pink hat with the flower: ‘I don’t see what is wrong with that if you are com­fort­able with your sexu­al­ity.’ But the English aren’t com­fort­able, Ronaldo. In any sense. Don’t remind us of it!.

David Beckham man­aged, more or less, to get away with sarongs and nail pol­ish and worse. But that was partly because Beckham wasn’t as tal­en­ted a foot­baller as Ronaldo, wasn’t as pretty, or as young – and, unlike Ronaldo, was very, very con­cerned with hand­ling the English press and his pub­lic image: he really cared about us and what we thought, and so was gen­er­ally regarded as ‘nice’. Most import­antly, in the end Becks was English. He may have been a tart, but he was our tart (though at the moment he appears to be Mr Armani’s.)

The prob­lem with Portuguese Ronaldo, and the reason ulti­mately why he was so resen­ted and the tar­get of such pas­sion­ate ambi­val­ence, was that he wasn’t ours. He was always only on loan – which is why whenever rumours of a move abroad sur­faced the hate cam­paign in the press would reach new, trem­u­lous heights.

But now he’s really going. And we’re really going to miss him. But being English, the way we’ll express that is by say­ing: ‘Good rid­dance, you WINKER!!’

Copyright Mark Simpson 2009

Why The Sun Can’t Leave Ronaldo’s Legs Alone

Ere, Ron, The Sun’s just texted me. They want to know if you’ve got any smal­ler shorts.”

Britain’s best-selling news­pa­per The Sun has been work­ing itself into a con­fused lather about our met­ro­sexual foot­ballers, again. Like me, it just can’t leave them alone.

In a long, hand-wringing — and graph­ic­ally illus­trated — art­icle spread over the centre pages last Friday head­lined ‘Preen Team’ they ask ‘What the hell is going on with our footballers?’

Led by the Premier League’s arch-metrosexual Cristiano Ronaldo, foot­ball has this sum­mer gone camper than a row of tents.

This week Ronaldo con­tin­ued his hol­i­day tour by hanging out in a pair of tight sil­ver shorts in LA — and had the world’s gay men com­ing over all funny.

Er no, it had The Sun com­ing over all funny. For much of the sum­mer, The Sun has been stalk­ing Portuguese Ronaldo, the best foot­baller in the UK and also one of the best look­ing, who is cur­rently con­vales­cing after an injury (hence the unflat­ter­ing blue foot­wear), try­ing to exploit his cur­rent unpop­ular­ity — the res­ult of his plans to leave Manchester United for Real Madrid, and his fail­ure to keep them, like his hot oiled bod, under wraps.

Like a jeal­ous, spurned suitor, The Sun (along with most of the Brit tabloids) has been bitch­ing and beat­ing him up over his dark (Portuguese) tan, his shorts, his good looks — and his lack of apo­logy for them. And try­ing to imply he is girly and, what is the same thing in their book, homo.

And who can blame him for want­ing to leave the UK, where the biggest paper behaves like a school-ground bully with sexual iden­tity issues? They’ve even pub­lished pic­tures of him smil­ing at a mate (who appears to be his brother), telling us that he’s cruis­ing him. And I thought I had bum­sex on the brain.

In a famil­iar trick, they’ve given space to the editor of ‘Britain’s best-selling gay magazine’ to gush about what a ‘gay idol’ Ronaldo is. Otherwise known as guilt by asso­ci­ation. At the same time as prov­ing they’re ‘not homo­phobic’ because they let the king of poofs have his say.

Friday’s art­icle goes one step fur­ther and seems to blame Ronaldo for mak­ing an entire gen­er­a­tion of foot­ballers gay. I know he has nice legs, but I doubt even those pins have that kind of power.

But a perfectly-waxed chest and budgie smug­gling shorts are just the tip of the iceberg.

A sun invest­ig­a­tion has found the man­bag and groom­ing obses­sion is rife among our highly-paid stars.

As you may have sus­pec­ted, it turns out that this ‘invest­ig­a­tion’ is just another excuse for lots of pics of young foot­ballers without much on. An excuse even smal­ler than Ron’s sil­ver shorts.

Though I can’t help but poke fun at The Sun’s hissy list of the met­ro­sexual offences of our footie aces:

Chelsea ace Frank Lampard refused to go any­where this sum­mer without his sal­mon pink vest and match­ing shorts.

(Which we’ve Photoshopped to make look even pinker and gayer, just as we’ve done with Ronaldo’s tan to make him look even darker and even more of a girly dago.)

He has also been lug­ging around wife Elen Rives’ fuch­sia handbag.

I think it suits Fabulous Frankie and he should nick it off her.

Italian World Cup win­ner Fabio Cannavaro actu­ally SHAVED his mate’s chest and armpits on the deck of their hol­i­day yacht this week in a show of shame­less male bonding.

Actually SHAVED his mate’s chest and armpits? No! Well, I never! The shame­less­ness of it!

And Liverpool and Spain striker Fernando Torres spent most of last month by the pool with an Alice band in his hair while leaf­ing through life­style magazines.

You can bet he wasn’t read­ing The Sun.

Ah, for the days of foot­ball when men were men and soap was never scen­ted — or dropped. Right on cue The Sun wheels out 1970s foot­baller Ron ‘Chopper’ Harris, to whinge about how in his day he got paid ten bob a week, cut his own hair with garden shears, ate gravel, and beat up poofs on sight (or so you’d be for­given for think­ing). Interesting that The Sun didn’t ask retired ‘hard­man’ Neil ‘Razor’ Ruddock back to play this role, after he failed to deliver the poof-baiting goods in a recent pre­vi­ous Sun art­icle bemoan­ing the gay­ness of today’s foot­ball.

How The Sun loves to keep com­ing back to this theme of metro V retro, pre­tend­ing of course to be on the side of ret­ro­sexu­al­ity against, well, homo­sexu­al­ity. Partly this is because it ima­gines that ret­ro­sexu­al­ity is syn­onym­ous with ‘work­ing class’ — tra­di­tion­ally the major­ity of this tab’s read­er­ship — because The Sun is now edited by expens­ively edu­cated types who are fak­ing it.

By pos­ing as cham­pi­ons of ‘Chopper’ Harris they present them­selves as con­nec­ted to that stoic pro­let­arian tra­di­tion they actu­ally have noth­ing to do with, and today’s con­sumer­ist, sen­sual, closet­ted metro Sun is a mil­lion fake-tanned miles from.

I sus­pect read­ers under the age of 30 that they know they des­per­ately need to attract if they are to have any future at all, let alone con­tinue to sell mil­lions every day, are mostly turned off by this con­fused and con­flic­ted met­ro­phobic bul­ly­ing, how­ever jokey it’s presen­ted as being. Especially those from a work­ing class back­ground. Why? Because they will prob­ably see it as dir­ec­ted against them.

When repeatedly adopt­ing this kind of cor, strewth, look at the poof­tahs foot­ballers are today! tone, The Sun just sounds like their night­mare fat dad.

Or me.

Intentionally or not, this time the space given to the editor of Attitude to twit­ter about fash­ion and male free­dom and foot­ballers show­ing the way makes that gay mag sound much more in tune with younger Sun read­ers than The Sun itself.

Tip: Dave Harley