so this post is not especially about gratuitous ogling here but about how it is happening elsewhere, which is why I haven’t posted one of the easily available photos of him showing rather more skin than he’s showing here.
Although in the abstract I appreciate that David Beckham is on the very Pretty! and Shiny! end of the human aesthetic spectrum, as well as admiring his superlative athleticism and his being by all accounts a better-than-most team captain, I don’t react strongly to him other than occasionally thinking “nice photo” (probably mostly because I’m just not that into soccer as a football code (Go the ‘Tahs!)). He is also widely reckoned by those in the know to be a pretty nice bloke in general, and IMO various reports of infidelities should be left between him and his wife to sort out.
So why do so many people mock Becks for not having the gift of the gab? And assume that this means he is intellectually challenged in general? I wonder how many of the mockers have a fraction of his spatial ability to analyse trajectories and tactics under pressure and not only respond on target himself but also shape the field of play for an entire team? (And yes, I know he’s slowed down from his best days, but he’s still extraordinarily talented).
There was an unedifying display on tabloid TV this morning, where his appearance to promote the latest release of some designer underwear bearing his name was covered, and he was mocked for his spokesmodel moments. Sure, I’ve seen more relaxed and fluent spokesmodels, but what I saw this morning was someone who has vastly improved from his virtual incoherency of a few years ago, presumably due to spending time and effort working hard on his vocal presentation skills. Was this noted by the telly folks at all? Nope.
If the TV folks had been mocking the superficial consumerism of designer-wear marketing-speak in general as not worth listening to, that would be one thing (although obviously a great surprise from a program reliant on advertising revenue) – but the clear implication was that as a generally-acknowledged superior form of eye-candy he couldn’t possibly be worth listening to. This is objectification in a nutshell.
I also have some vague thoughts swirling around about the way that Victoria Beckham is presented in the press because she is the one credited with orchestrating the way that they have commodified their public image to maximise income opportunities – that she is routinely belittled for not being as famous/talented as her husband and being “overly” ambitious, and how a similar dynamic plays out with the gossip-narratives surrounding other celebrity couples, and what role gender plays in these celebrity critiques (would a managerial husband of a talented wife be subject to the same critiques as Posh routinely receives?). I’ll leave it to you to tease that out in comments.