(Another excursion into displays of the male body.)
Recent hot news in the fashion world: tennis great Rafael Nadal has moved from mere sexy (mostly shirtless) fashion modeling (for Armani) to hard-core underwear modeling (for Tommy Hilfiger). Here he is, just barely in his Tommys and projecting steamy desirability:
This is a performance, entirely self-aware, of body display, designed to provoke desire in straight women and gay men and to inspire envious imitation in men, straight or gay (as I sometimes say, the aim is for the first to fantasize doing him, the second being him). Rafa presents himself just the way men who make their livings as underwear models do; see my other postings on underwear models, for example my Daily Jocks postings.
Rafa is good at this, and he’s experienced: see photos #1, #3, and (from his Armani days) #4 in my “Tennis hunks” posting.
Meanwhile, a fair number of celebrated male athletes have done modeling, and of course they’ve posed for photographs for publications like Men’s Health and magazines in their sports (where they serve as models of athleticism and fitness), in addition to being caught unposed in other photos. But very few of these men achieve anything like Rafa’s presentation of self, and most wouldn’t think of trying. At the moment, Rafa is the Mark Wahlberg of jock fashion.
Now for some examples.