i’m pretty sure you could do an entire essay on the male vs female gaze with just gifs of lean af Daniel Craig and Gerald Butler pix vs their swol later selves
This isn’t quite that essay, more a collection of images and quotes.
When I sent that message, along with that lean af Daniel Craig GIF to a friend on the cryptobackchannels I’d just watched the first Tomb Raider the night before – which I’d mistakenly remembered as having Daniel Craig doing a kray workout in a Russian prison. Imagine my surprise tuning in that night for the sequel, to find it’s in fact Gerald Butler with one of the great character introduction scenes [so great I made that GIF]. As Angelina Jolie watches on.
So about ‘that novel I’m writing’. I’ve been doing character development and, as this work assembles itself in my head, one of things I’ve been focusing on is making this ultraviolent, sexed-up tale of anti-fa supersoldiers vs the Collapse have the widest possible appeal such a book could have. So far, I’ve got language battles to reward the global reader and… only swol bad guys. The few male characters are… spornosexual by design. Cause if I’m writing a movie for the mind’s eye, I want it to be as much, if not more, for the female reader as the male. Just as I want this to be a book that right-wing prepper folx who love military shooters, and the crypto-fascist shit that is The Walking Dead, can’t put down. That’s the goal anyway.
If you didn’t already know, Spornosexuality is a term invented by Mark Simpson as a successor to Metrosexual:
With their painstakingly pumped and chiselled bodies, muscle-enhancing tattoos, piercings, adorable beards and plunging necklines it’s eye-catchingly clear that second-generation metrosexuality is less about clothes than it was for the first. Eagerly self-objectifying, second generation metrosexuality is totally tarty. Their own bodies (more than clobber and product) have become the ultimate accessories, fashioning them at the gym into a hot commodity – one that they share and compare in an online marketplace.
This new wave puts the “sexual” into metrosexuality. In fact, a new term is needed to describe them, these pumped-up offspring of those Ronaldo and Beckham lunch-box ads, where sport got into bed with porn while Mr Armani took pictures.
Let’s call them “spornosexuals”.The metrosexual is dead. Long live the ‘spornosexual’
For sporno vs swol see Brad Pitt in, I wanna say Alexander?, vs Gerald Butler in 300.
Brad Pitt’s physique in Fight Club is a constant reference point in articles on the spornosexual, as the write-up on it in Esquire demonstrates with its opening para:
Even now, still, it’s ‘Brad Pitt in Fight Club‘. That’s the body blokes ask for,” says personal trainer Tim Walker. “He looks great but he’s not massive. He’s just got really good abs, good arms and an alright chest. And that’s what people want: to be lean, have a six pack.”The Rise And Rise Of The Spornosexual
So, for no good reason except to make my point, here’s a gallery of him in Fight Club and Snatch:
But if you keep reading that Esquire piece you’ll find the references to ideal male body types getting swol’er and swol’er. From Hugh Jackman jacked up and shredded with each successive Wolverine role to Christian Bale as Bats and so on.
And as this webcomic points out, that swol look is way more about male power fantasies, than spornosexual appeals to the female gaze:
Cribbing from that Esquire piece once more…
That same year, Daniel Craig signed up to inherit the role of James Bond. The spy, an enduring archetype of aspirational Hollywood masculinity, never needed a six-pack before, but in the modern, sporno era it is as essential a tool in Bond’s arsenal as the hover-gondola was to Roger Moore in Moonraker.The Rise And Rise Of The Spornosexual
…seriously, there’s no reason we couldn’t have had a lean af, Tomb Raider era Daniel Craig with a swimmer’s build than a swol one.
Unless, the ‘essential tool’ was that he acted as both a male power fantasy and a sex object. (I’m pretty sure someone pointed this out ages ago, but I couldn’t find the article online – comments are at the bottom for a reason :D)
Apparently the scene in Casino Royale that so closely echoed Dr No. was a complete accident. But, honestly I’m not buying it. And neither was Mark Simpson, when he rated “the iconic 007 on gayness and sex appeal”:
And that’s all I really have to say.
This has been a collection of thoughts assembled into a blog post.
I really should be writing, but I just spent 3 days living my best dogs & scifi life, and need to do more research now.
I really should be working out, ’cause apparently this meat cage of my mine needs structural support, but I have -manflu noises come from nowhere-.
I totally have been watching fitspo clips, and working my way through strong female action movies, obvz, for purely research purposes – why else would you think otherwise?
Just like Zack Snyder did with the 300 cast, I will be training almost as hard as my characters do, just so I can keep bringing them to life – and stop whining about my shoulder and back needing mech upgrades.
Cause I’m all about dat broken warrior fitspo.
These posts on ‘that novel I’m writing will be Patreon only. Unless I choose to unlock them in the future 😉