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 […]

‘A Fresh Clean Smell That Could ONLY Be Masculine!’

Mark Simpson has a sniff around a classic men’s deodorant ad that reveals how far we’ve come – and also how some things never change Back in the 1960s the mass-market ‘grooming’ of men by advertisers wanting to sell them vanity products was only just beginning its warm-up. This rare and pristine copy of a 1968 UK cinema ad for men’s deodorant with the reassuringly martial name ‘Target’ (a brand that seems to have gone missing in the intervening half century) recently posted on the BFI website is […]

Sporno

Mark Simpson on how sport and porn got into bed – while D&G and Mr Armani took pictures…. (Out magazine, May 2006; expanded for The V&A’s ‘Fashion V Sport’ catalogue, June 2008. Also collected in ‘Metrosexy‘) You might think that it was Italy’s greater ball skills, or stamina, or team spirit that won them the 2006 football World Cup. But you would be wrong. Clearly, explicitly, thrillingly, what won it for the Italians was not so much their sporting spirit as their sporno spirit. In […]

America – meet David Beckham

(The Guardian, 13 July, 2007) America, meet David Beckham. America, meet The Metrosexual. You’re going to be seeing even more of both. As most of the world already knows, today Becks is proudly ‘unveiled’ by LA Galaxy on their home turf. Brand Becks, the ultimate metrosexual who transformed himself from a talented professional soccer-player with a cute smile into global me-dia, is the not-so-secret weapon in their campaign to seduce America into opening its arms, legs – and, most importantly, wallets – to that obscure […]