Explores the cultural significance of the metrosexual in sports.
How do you explain Dennis Rodman’s dyed hair, tattoos, and pierced body parts? Why are there so many athletes stripping for men’s underwear ads? Besides sport, what do Pat Riley, Alex Rodriguez, and Ian Thorpe have in common? And why has David Beckham been compared to Louis XIV?
In this fascinating exploration of past and present celebrity athletes, David Coad shows how gender roles for men are undergoing a revolutionary change. Once famous for their lack of style off the field, professional players are now fashion-conscious trendsetters. Looking at certain stellar sports figures of the past, such as Joe Namath and Jim Palmer, who were at the vanguard of reinterpreting gender roles, Coad goes on to examine their primped out and “pimped out” contemporary successors—those athletic peacocks in their furs, silks, and diamonds who embody metrosexuality, widen its focus, and demonstrate the range of experiences open to today’s male.
“…Coad’s comprehensive overview of the term and the phenomenon, their roots and evolution, accounting, for example, for how metrosexuality differs from earlier similar phenomena and how it appears in men’s lifestyle magazines, comes as a welcome and timely reminder of the importance of continued analysis of embodied and sexually defined masculinities in popular culture.” — Men and Masculinities
“…recommend[ed] … for anyone who has a Gender, Women’s Studies, or Men’s Studies program, or anyone who is a marketing or management major. There is something for all of them, as well as the general public, to see how we are being manipulated in our view of sex, sexuality, and image in advertising.” — Southwest Journal of Cultures
“…an important commentary on the range of experiences available to US and European men, extending beyond the narrow confines of traditional masculinity.” — CHOICE
“At last someone rescues the metrosexual from the mendacious marketers and gives him what he craved all along but hardly ever got: serious attention.” — Mark Simpson, author of Male Impersonators: Men Performing Masculinity
David Coad is Associate Professor of English at the Université de Valenciennes, France, and the author of Gender Trouble Down Under: Australian Masculinities.