Now’s the perfect time to mention an AfterElton piece in which Brian Juergens explores the difference between American athletic images and those found in Europe, where calendars like Dieux du Stade have changed the way sportsmen present themselves. Of the difference, photographer Ewoud Broeksma says:
They are not seen as homoerotic, but first of all as art. This is true. I’m not saying this to put the context right in my view, but it is what I hear. They don’t think in terms of gay or straight, probably â€” they’re just boys acting like they are in control of the world.
Broeksma’s statements recall Mark Simpson‘s New York Times endorsed, Out Magazine published essay on “Sporno” in which he writes:
Being equal opportunity flirts, todayâ€™s sporno stars want to turn everyone on. Partly because sportsmen, like porn stars, are by definition show-offs, but more particularly because it means more money, more power, more endorsements, more kudos.
The essay goes on to wonder why a similar wave hasn’t crashed Stateside. The answer, we think, can be found in our old friend Frank Griggs‘ statement:
I doubt they see it as homoerotic at all. We Americans are just fetishizing cultural difference. Most would say that gay men are responsible for the sudden naked footballer craze, and I think they are, but not in the way you might expect. Homos are definitely styling the best of these shoots, but the end product is being enjoyed by plenty of women along with the frequently acknowledged gay following.
If that damn Snickers commercials any indication, it doesn’t seem as if American sportsmen will be allowing themselves to be fetishized by the fagalas anytime soon. And even if they do allow themselves to be marketed to the gay demographic, they probably won’t let them oil ’em up. Shame…