Archive for the ‘Clothing’ Category

Musclemen from Mars

September 29, 2019

(There will be rampant male shirtlessness. Just a friendly warning, or an invitation, depending on your tastes.)

It’s a Zippy strip (today’s!). It’s another gender note (about masculinity). It’s yet another shirtless posting (shirtlessness as a prime masculinity display, in fact.) It’s about umliterature (physique magazines, in particular). And about camp (Flash Gordon). And of course, since the arousing shirtless campy musclemen are from Mars (or possibly Mongo), about SF. And finally, tucked in there inconspicuously in the last panel is an antique Griffithian self-referential surprise (from 1973):

(#1)

Male superheroes are extravagant embodiments of masculinity: they are, to start with, embodiments of great human power (conventionally associated with men), and then they have superhuman powers beyond that; their costumes are designed to encase their bodies, but tightly, so as to suggest, reveal, or exaggerate every bit of gendered anatomy (the broad shoulders, the musculature of the arms, torso, and thighs, and the genital package). (Beyond the powers and the costumes, there are the conventionally hyper-masculine faces.)

The strip begins with superheroes on this planet, but it ends, in the lower right corner, with (hunky) superheroes in space — “Musclemen from Mars” is what the Dingburgers are reading — and it turns out that space-traveling superheroes (as exemplified by Flash Gordon) are given to frequent bouts of shirtlessness (mostly while performing their feats of manly derring-do, but sometimes during the virtually obligatory shirtless torture scenes).

(more…)

Gender notes: transgender fashion models

September 28, 2019

From the attitude (UK) site on 9/11/18, “Underwear brand Marco Marco features all trans models at New York Fashion Week: The groundbreaking runway show featured some of our favourite transgender stars”:


(#1) Marco and the boys

A complex presentation. Male fashion models are typically presented as ideals of conventional masculinity, with the facial features, musculature, and gait and gestures of young but mature, very fit, straight men of good class and conventional lives. Transgender men, however, often aim for more machismo markers than is customary in fashion models: facial hair and bodybuilder musculature, in particular. Neither of these is modal or classy, but they do visibly perform the masculine gender role, so that they’re of considerable symbolic value.

Transgender men are then doing two things, in different contexts: sometimes they want to present themselves simply as men — to just be, unremarkably, guys. Sometimes there are practical reasons for men to reveal their trans status, but occasionally they want to display it as an accomplishment, as here; they did, after all, put a lot of effort into achieving this concordance between their sense of identity and their appearance.

(more…)

In the cowboys’ locker room

September 24, 2019

In today’s mail, a wonderful conjunction of two images: a vintage ad for Spangles (a classic British sweet, or candy), subject (in modern eyes) to an entire constellation of giggly racy interpretations; and a Daily Jocks ad (quite fairly labeled NSFW) for an item of fetishwear, a Locker Gear jockstrap with an open pouch for easy access. As it happens — surprise! — Spangles bring with them allusions to the adventures of the American screen cowboy Hopalong Cassidy and his young sidekick Lucky Jenkins.

You can see where this is going when all three elements are set in motion.

I’ll start with the Spangles ad, with its unintentional silly sexiness, and then (after a page break) go on to a male couple experiencing raw mutual enjoyment of the Locker Gear jock; the image and my accompanying caption are not suitable for kids or the sexually modest. (It’s the most sexually explicit, and dramatically hot, underwear ad I’ve come across so far.)

But first (hat tip to Tim Evanson): “Handily packed, delicious to eat, SPANGLES are the fruitiest sweet!”:

(#1)

(more…)

The hollow

September 18, 2019

In a comment on my 9/14/19 posting “Clavicular knobs” (aka Ricardo’s acromia), Robert Coren writes about “the hollow space above the inner end of the collar-bone”, and I confess to not knowing a name for it. Roger Phillips (in England) fills in:

It’s not in Merriam-Webster, but all my British dictionaries have “saltcellar” for the collarbone pit. The first OED citation is:

[1870 O. Logan Before Footlights 26] I was a child of the most uninteresting age..a tall scraggy girl, with red elbows, and salt cellars at my collar-bones, which were always exposed, for fashion at that time made girls of this age uncover neck and arms.

The item has a complex social and cultural distribution, but knowing this much eventually led me to the technical term from anatomy: the suprasternal, or jugular, notch. Sometimes referred to in ordinary language as the hollow of the neck or the neck hollow.

(more…)

BOY Party!

September 12, 2019

E-mail from the Stanford linguistics department on the 10th, under the header:

Save the Date: BOY Party 9/27

Whoa! I thought, conjuring up images of a department party featuring attractive young men — as entertainers (maybe some lesser-known boy bands), as guests of honor (very young up-and-coming NLP entrepreneurs, perhaps), as party staff (a phalanx of Ganymedes, in costume), purely as eye candy (twinks on parade), whatever — things are really loosening up in Margaret Jacks Hall!

(more…)

Giovanni in Ferragamo

September 11, 2019

In the NYT Style Magazine (Men’s Style) on-line on 9/5/19 (in print 9/8), a remarkable piece by Hilton Als, “‘Giovanni’s Room’ Revisited”, with the subtitle: “James Baldwin’s 1956 novel is a layered exploration of queer desire — and of the writer’s own sense of self”. The cover:

(#1)

Als’s text comes with an artful photo-essay illustrating a reimagining of the story of Giovanni’s Room as an interracial gay love story, each photo also serving as a men’s high-fashion spread, displaying extraordinarily expensive clothing from famous brands.

A jarring moment in modern culture.

(more…)

Come lay your carnal weapons by

August 31, 2019

… an arresting line from the Sacred Harp (1991 Denson revision), #404, Youth Will Soon Be Gone, suggesting perhaps:

OUR CARNAL WEAPONS

 

(#1)

adj. carnal: relating to physical, especially sexual, needs and activities: carnal desire. (NOAD)

But in SH404 it comes from St. Paul, in 2 Corinthians 10:3-4 (KJV):

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh … For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal

And it all depends on what the compilers of the King James Version meant by carnal, which is evidently not what comes first to modern minds.

(more…)

Il Leopardo di Sparta

August 14, 2019

(About men’s bodies and fetishwear, so not to everyone’s taste.)

Today’s bulletin from the Daily Jocks company, introducing a new brand (Sparta’s) on their site, with the image below — to which I’ve added a caption in free verse:


(#1) Il Leopardo di Sparta

(more…)

Cats in hats

August 11, 2019

Yesterday’s Bizarro, a Wayno/Piraro collabo, an homage to hats:


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 3 in this strip — see this Page.)

Wayno himself, on his Facebook page, titles this his “Sartorial Autobiography”, and provides a thumbnail of himself in the hat.

Meanwhile, I posted the cartoon on the FB page of Steven J. Levine, who is sartorially celebrated on several fronts, including his immense affection for fedora-style hats.

(more…)

Wary

July 27, 2019

(Underwear boys, so not to everyone’s tastes. But not especially raunchy.)

Young men in the, if you know what I mean, pink of life, advertising a Lucas Studios porn sale, with my caption:

Mindful of the
Neighborhood rash of
Bikini brief thefts,
Pongo was fearfully
Protective of
Bongo’s beloved
Magenta Silks

For a change, this is not about men’s bodies, pleasing though these are; nor about pink/purple men’s bikini briefs, though there’s a fabulous array of them on display on the net; but about facial expressions.

(more…)