Archive for the ‘Language and the body’ Category

On the fashion front

August 27, 2015

(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:

(#1)

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.

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Dance and the male body

August 16, 2015

An assemblage of photos sent to me by Mike McKinley (sometimes in collaboration with Chris Ambidge) or from sites Mike pointed me to, most of them featuring male ballet dancers, most of them dripping with gay sensibility in their view of the male body, and a fair number of them over the top.

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Primate testicle size

July 27, 2015

From the July 18th New Scientist, in the In Brief section, “Zoologger: The sex-addicted tiny lemur with giant testicles” (on-line; in print, “Tiny lemur is best endowed primate”):

“Oh my god! How do they manage to walk and climb without bumping these things on every branch?” asked Johanna Rode-Margono the first time she saw the testicles of a giant mouse lemur close up.

In turns out they don’t. They stumble and bump their balls with almost every step they take, says Rode-Margono, who is at Oxford Brookes University, UK. At a mere 300 grams, the lemur is roughly squirrel-sized. But for its size, it has the largest testicles in the primate world (American Journal of Physical Anthropology, doi.org/54q).

If we had the same testes size, relative to weight, the average man would have balls as big as grapefruits, says Rode-Margono.

The lemurs mate all year round but constant copulation has not saved them from deforestation – fewer than 17,000 giant mouse lemurs are left, she says.

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Outrageous art

July 11, 2015

Another discovery on my desktop, from who knows how long ago: a poster designed for the original album release (1985) of the Dead Kennedys Frankenchrist,  a display of penises and vulvas, which of course I can’t show here — but it’s on AZBlogX, here.

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Shirtless body types

July 4, 2015

My recent postings on shirtlessness showed a fair range of body types for the extraordinarily fit, well-muscled men pictured there, from relatively slim to massive (on somatotypes, see here). And now comes a recently married couple illustrating the relatively slim end of the scale and also the Law of Attraction (“like attracts like”) in gay pairings: the ridiculously cute couple of Olympic skater Blake Skjellerup and designer Saul Carrasco:

(#1)

(in the Queerty story “Blake Skjellerup Talks About His Husband, His Hawaii Wedding, And How Marriage Equality Is Changing The World”.

Yes, they can share their wardrobes.

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Milo Ventimiglia

June 29, 2015

(Another in a series of postings about performers who have given me pleasure. Minimal linguistic content.)

Seen on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit a few days ago: the episode “Escape” (season 5, episode 11, originally broadcast 1/6/04), featuring Milo Ventimiglia, an actor familiar to me from Gilmore Girls and, especially, Heroes.

(#1)

(#2)

Serious in #1, with a quirky smile in #2 — both showing the eye pouches that are a facial feature of many people of Italian ancestry.

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The news for penises, Norwegian edition

June 27, 2015

Passed on by Chris Hansen on Facebook, this story of 6/23 from thelocal.no (“Norway’s news in English”), “Is this the worst summer job ever?”:

A nineteen-year-old in Norway has been hired by a sexual health charity to play a giant penis who surprises passers-by by spraying them with golden confetti.

“I thought it was hilarious. If I can do a good thing for others, just by being a dick, there is nothing better,” Philip van Eck, the man inside the penis costume, told Norway’s Tønsberg Blad newspaper.

It’s all about STDs.

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The news for penises, including accidental ones

June 25, 2015

First, a little more on sexual tube steak. Then a couple images of accidental penises.

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nutmeg, the verb

June 25, 2015

From Steve Anderson a few days ago, this cute story (by Seth Rosenthal on June 20th) from the world of basketball, on player Boogie Cousins:

Hero child nutmegs DeMarcus Cousins, then scores in his face

This is Boogie’s “DeMarcus Cousins Elite Skills Camp,” and it’s the typical session in which campers get to attempt scoring on the 7′ basketball man. Cousins obviously isn’t trying very hard to start the exchange, but then the kid successfully puts the ball through his legs and Cousins spins around with what looks to me like a genuine effort to block the reverse finish … but it’s got juuuust the right arc to soar over his fingers and drop in! And the crowd goes wild!

Video in the story. Still shot of the aftermath:

  (#1)

Ah, the verb nutmeg.

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Briefly: a technical term

June 18, 2015

From a piece by Gina Kolata in the NYT yesterday, “Antibiotics Are Effective in Appendicitis, Study Says”:

The results only apply to uncomplicated appendicitis, stressed Dr. Paulina Salminen, a surgeon at Turku University Hospital in Finland and lead author of the new study. She and her colleagues excluded from their trial the 20 percent of patients with complicated cases — people with perforated appendices or abdominal abscesses, and those with a little, rocklike blockage of the appendix called an appendicolith.

Yes, appendicolith, (with the stem of appendix plus the lith– ‘rock, stone’ stem), not a word you’re likely to have come across before. But an obviously useful technical term in this medical context, replacing the wordy explanation ‘little, rocklike blockage of the appendix’ or the somewhat more specific and compact ‘a calcified deposit within the appendix’ on the Radiopaedia.org site. Let’s face it, we have no ordinary-language term for this referent.

(Phonological note: the word seems to have the same accent pattern as appendectomy, with alternating accent: primary accent on the third syllable, secondary on the first, tertiary on the fifth, with unaccented second and fourth syllables.)


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