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Sundries
...a sweatshop of moxie

Saturday, September 23, 2006

So Not Sexy

Have you ever seen a photograph, or a television advert, or perhaps just a person across from you in an obviously sexy pose, and thought:

This is SO not sexy.

Meet Luis Figo, Portugal's iconic midfield soccer player.



I mean, where does one start?

An internet pal once questioned why I had once thought Figo was handsome, because in her estimation, "dude, he looks like the Fonz".

I have to admit for a fondness for Portuguese men, who are a poor woman's Italian version of a beefcake:

Every bit as swarthily handsome as their fellow Latins, but without the self-aware narcissism of the young, studly, Italian male.

But, and no offence to any Portuguese and Italian reading this, neither Portuguese nor Italian men retain their outrageously good looks, as they grow older.

In fact, they become hideous.

The features which once stood out as beacons to us hovering, female gypsy moths, become overly pronounced, heavy, too Magnon, without the Cro.

Poor old Figo (pronounced Fee-gu) is a case in point.

Sure, once upon a ransom, he might've been quite the dish.



But unlike British or French men, whose beaky or horsey-faced appearance seems to age more gracefully with the years, other nationalities just become a shadow of themselves.

Before you know it, they DO become the Fonz.



Ayyyy.

But let's get back to that first photo, up top.

I don't know how it is with you, but in my 31st year, my face is still recognisably "me".

And yet, that "me" is not the one you would see before you now, if you were to meet me.

That person I see, is the me I remember, at 16.

For you see, all of us have in our mind's eye, a picture frozen in time, of how we look like to ourselves.

This goes a long way to explaining why men like Figo and women like Sharon Stone, continue to believe they are in their physical prime, and pose in overtly sexy ways long after those cheesecake shots made anyone's pulses race.

It's a psychological impasse which prevents us from seeing how different we look, as we age, just as it takes a special record-playback audio device, to hear our voices as they sound to others.

For Figo, he is the eternal dashing footballer from Portugal, lying recumbent on the floor, as a smoke machine juts out fumes, trying its level best to envelop him with an aura of hunkhood, which that chinese moutache, those pendulous jowls, that Morticia Addams widow's peak, sadly belies.

The whole pose looks straight out of a film noir potboiler, taking itself much too seriously -- not a saucy cat like Joe Namath wearing hose, conscious of his own ridiculousness, and therefore, the sexier for it.

So, here's a tip for Figo.

Relax.

Enjoy your blonde Swedish wife who will be with you even when your jowls drop to the floor, and your eyebrows grow bushier than Leonid Brezhnev's.

Just for God's sake, enough already with the sexy pics.



I may hurl.


RELATED READING

A Female Football Fan Names Her Top 11 Best-Looking Footballers of World Cup 2006

Yes. Figo made it.

Consider yourself warned.

17 Comments:

  • At first I thought that top pic was Gregory Peck! Then I thought the Fonz, then read your comment!

    I wonder how much our self-images remain frozen at the time when we perceive ourselves as most attractive -- perhaps even with a degree of severity -- such that that is the age we wish to remain.

    In that bottom pic, (note to self: never buy gold pants unless I plan to install a stripper pole in the bedroom) his chest hair looks, well, feathered, like two bad toupees that planted themselves there!

    By Blogger Ron, at Sat Sep 23, 08:25:00 am GMT-4  

  • Sounds like reverse anorexia.

    You know, anorexics look at themselves in the mirror and see "fat" no matter how skeletor they've become.

    This guy sees "sexy" no matter how un-sexy he's become. Great post!

    By Blogger Ruth Anne Adams, at Sat Sep 23, 09:56:00 am GMT-4  

  • By Blogger Ruth Anne Adams, at Sat Sep 23, 09:58:00 am GMT-4  

  • I'd say the explanation for your feelings is that the better men tend to view females as holy. Why? Because girls have such fear of being deceived, they are especially sexually turned on by men having holy emotion, which suggests virtue and thus lack of deceptive qualities, and virtuous males tend to be into girls (but unlike the worst sort of males, are into girls in a clean, holy way). The better sort of women either tend to be into boys, who properly should only be holy when they are majorly in love, or into obtaining vicariously (say via bisexuality) the love of older virtuous holy males for girls; the former predilection being caused by the woman's sense of what is beautiful, the latter more by her sense of what is pleasant (and what is good if she deserves the pleasure). Anyway, a man who projects an unholy lust look obviously doesn't care much what girls need, and so is not something a female who wants a mate who is unselfish in a good way would want.

    I don't think the significance of holiness is religious; I'm quite convinced the significance of holiness in males is that it restricts genetic crossover in spermatogenesis, which restriction it is easy to see (for evolutionary reasons) that females would get sexual pleasure out of if they can sense it. I don't know enough about the countries to determine if your observation about Italy and Portugal is onto something, but if so, maybe French and English culture is more into viewing girls sexually in a holy way?

    By Blogger step314, at Sat Sep 23, 12:18:00 pm GMT-4  

  • Off Topic...

    Celebrate the 100th post on FluffyStuffin...with The Man in Black!

    http://fluffystuffin.blogspot.com/

    By Blogger Ron, at Sat Sep 23, 12:31:00 pm GMT-4  

  • At first I thought that top pic was Gregory Peck! Then I thought the Fonz, then read your comment!

    My mum says he reminds her of Greg Peck! Good catch.

    I wonder how much our self-images remain frozen at the time when we perceive ourselves as most attractive -- perhaps even with a degree of severity -- such that that is the age we wish to remain.

    I think this is a key element of why women especially, go in for cosmetic surgery.

    (I don't think there have been enough psychological studies on that, BTW. At least my mum says not. I suppose there's an element of judgementalism about it, almost implying that there is something wrong with altering your face to give it a younger appearance. And it is. And yes, it is drastic. But at heart, it is for the same reason that men today take Viagra, and Ponce de Leon explored Florida -- for the "fountain of youth", cough cough)

    Did you ever read John Berend's followup to his Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil?

    The read is so-so, but it did have one vignette of a Venetian lady of American origin, who dresss in all-white, as her trademark since she was 18.

    One day, Mr. Berendt visits her Palazzo when she is gone, and discovers an enormous painting of her -- picturing her as she was in her coming out ball, all in white.

    That is obviously the vision of herself, she has crystallised forever in her mind.

    Not all of us are this extreme, but you know, not for nothing does my mother still a Farah-do...

    In that bottom pic, (note to self: never buy gold pants unless I plan to install a stripper pole in the bedroom) his chest hair looks, well, feathered, like two bad toupees that planted themselves there!

    YES!

    Oh God, can you imagine it -- they actually (or he actually...) took a comb and brushed his manly hirsute curtain.

    The thing of it is, Figo is a Latin male, and as such, we Anglo-Saxons find their expressions of masculinity, rather feminine.

    Gold lamé trousers in a beefcake pose.

    Tell me, which American or British footballer (minus Namath or Beckham) could EVER wear a pair of gold sparklers, like could be found in a bathhouse in Frisco?

    ON A PHOTOGRAPH INTENDED FOR MASS DISTRIBUTION, I mean.

    Roethlisberger. Brady, the hottie, even?

    It's unfathomable.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sat Sep 23, 02:11:00 pm GMT-4  

  • Sounds like reverse anorexia.

    You know, anorexics look at themselves in the mirror and see "fat" no matter how skeletor they've become.


    Anorexia runs in my family, so I feel very close to this subject (don't worry, I can join in the fun of commenting on it, too!).

    There is a dissonance between our image and what we show to the world, at any time of our lives.

    ...for good, and for bad visions of how we are.

    Rarely, I feel, do we get just how we are -- right.

    But you know, people in Figo's position (or say, Prince Charles) have people who groom them, who choose their outfits, who suggest this or that pose, during photo sessions.

    Yes, Figo seems to be stuck-on-hunk long after his sell-by-date, but others are facilitators in this mirage, too.

    Put it that way, he almost becomes a victim, which is obviously, a modern-day Doctor Phil psycho-babble reaction and therefore, stupid.

    He's enjoying EVERY minute of this.

    I'm surprised he didn't suggest a wind machine, and a spritz of water on his temple to suggest "hot for you" passion.

    This guy sees "sexy" no matter how un-sexy he's become. Great post!

    My God, so true.

    I will try to find other examples, of Figo-itis.

    This could get ugly.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sat Sep 23, 02:20:00 pm GMT-4  

  • "Brady, the hottie, even?"

    Maybe if Visa asked him to...

    By Blogger JSU, at Sat Sep 23, 02:44:00 pm GMT-4  

  • They could be brothers.

    The hell.

    That's very close! I've seen him before in many Soprano-like roles, too, a la Chazz Palmentieri.

    But I still can't name you the title of one film.

    Good pickup, Ruth Anne.

    Did you have his name at the tip of your tongue, and suddenly you said, that's who he looks like!...?

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sat Sep 23, 02:50:00 pm GMT-4  

  • I don't think the significance of holiness is religious; I'm quite convinced the significance of holiness in males is that it restricts genetic crossover in spermatogenesis, which restriction it is easy to see (for evolutionary reasons) that females would get sexual pleasure out of if they can sense it. I don't know enough about the countries to determine if your observation about Italy and Portugal is onto something, but if so, maybe French and English culture is more into viewing girls sexually in a holy way?

    I would say on the contrary, that the Madonna/Whore dichotomy is more prevalent in Italy and Portugal.

    But it's not that you're not onto something, Step. Not that I will pretend I understood every ramification of your thesis. ;)

    In fact, your point about Figo being selfish, and giving off an aura of what he wants, rather than what he thinks he wants his female audience to have, is excellent.

    Could it be, using your theory, that Figo really wants to watch HIMSELF in these series of photographs.

    The bit about other people getting a peak then becomes incidental to the process.

    Myself, I loved having photographs taken of myself -- below the age of 25.

    Since then...almost nothing.

    You see, it's started already.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sat Sep 23, 02:57:00 pm GMT-4  

  • Happy 100th post, Ronnie Black!

    (Link all you want, in HTML, don't be shy, Ron. You think I mind? Me? Miss I post every other link on Althouse? Come on!)

    And yes, your Johnny Cash is something else. The balls on this guy!

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sat Sep 23, 02:59:00 pm GMT-4  

  • Maybe if Visa asked him to...

    I can't believe you didn't link to the NYT piece on the USMNT posing in Dolce & Gabbana, JSU.

    Come on. Just do it!

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sat Sep 23, 03:00:00 pm GMT-4  

  • I would say on the contrary, that the Madonna/Whore dichotomy is more prevalent in Italy and Portugal.

    If this be true, that doesn't necessarily negate what I was saying, because the females whose feelings are the most holy are not really the females who are most pleased by holy male emotion in their mates, nor are they the ones who most inspire it (at least so far as I would be concerned). Girls, in particular, are particularly lustful and (cleanly) unholy in their thoughts, so if a male doesn't admire that sort of thing, well, he won't be as holy about her as he should be. For a long time, I thought holiness was about marriage and commitment-of-time-and-resource feelings, but I am convinced that was a misconception. A lot of males view female lust and more particularly young female lust as sinister and thus unworthy of unholy thoughts. Lustful girls are viewed rather as Lolita, addicting to the point of being destructive and uninspiring of holiness. And alas books tend to succeed if they reinforce prevailing myths.

    Could it be, using your theory, that Figo really wants to watch HIMSELF in these series of photographs.

    This would surprise me. There is a sense in which a male if he thinks highly of himself can gain a certain piety about him, which piety is attractive to females. But I don't see a lot of piety going on there. If nature or some similar force could encourage it to evolve, it would be better for the best males to not cross over their chromosomes much, since this would greatly increase the females they can get, and it doesn't really hurt them much, inasmuch as so far as the genes are concerned, they just want a reasonably high average rate of crossover over the generations. But there might be something else involved. It does seem to me girls and even females generally do hate male conceitedness more than I can readily explain.

    Perhaps the men you are getting at like to make out like their desire to be studs, i.e., to have sex with scads of females, comes from a reflection about their own desirability. Somehow if a male believes he should f*** scads of females, such belief seems less selfish if he also believes he is great. But it is definitely a mistake for a male to try to convey this with unholy emotion, because that is an emotion which in fact makes it difficult to attract females. Maybe a lot of it has to do with honesty. Many males want to be honest in their emotions. But notwithstanding wives being well-loved tend to inspire holiness, holiness isn't about not wanting to f***, it's about wanting to please the females that one has sex with, which is actually conducive to f***ing. (By f***, I mean sex without male commitment.)

    Probably women often like their mates to imagine them as young, since that can inspire holiness in their mates. Similarly, females like to be emotionally loved even if so far as caring goes, they aren't. It isn't really necessary to literally fool the male; if he has a mind for it, he perhaps will be amenable to willingly fool his emotions, which isn't really dishonest because it only needs be in his emotions.

    By Blogger step314, at Sat Sep 23, 07:48:00 pm GMT-4  

  • Perhaps the men you are getting at like to make out like their desire to be studs, i.e., to have sex with scads of females, comes from a reflection about their own desirability. Somehow if a male believes he should f*** scads of females, such belief seems less selfish if he also believes he is great. But it is definitely a mistake for a male to try to convey this with unholy emotion, because that is an emotion which in fact makes it difficult to attract females. Maybe a lot of it has to do with honesty. Many males want to be honest in their emotions. But notwithstanding wives being well-loved tend to inspire holiness, holiness isn't about not wanting to f***, it's about wanting to please the females that one has sex with, which is actually conducive to f***ing. (By f***, I mean sex without male commitment.)

    Thanks for posting your points, Step.

    I confess to not understanding many of your points as well as I should, but then, it's Saturday night, and I'm just chillin'. :)

    Good stuff though!

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sun Sep 24, 01:01:00 am GMT-4  

  • I can't believe you didn't link to the NYT piece on the USMNT posing in Dolce & Gabbana, JSU.

    I'm too traumatized by the prospect that Queiroz (or worse, Houllier!) might be the next US coach.

    Argh!

    By Blogger JSU, at Sun Sep 24, 02:47:00 am GMT-4  

  • Victoria inquires: Did you have his name at the tip of your tongue, and suddenly you said, that's who he looks like!...?

    I was really studying the changes that you noted, saw the pompadour + widow's peak and the deepening facial creases and it was instantaneous. But I knew Stevie Van Zandt from Bruce Springsteen and the E Street band loooong before he became Silvio on the Sopranos.

    I am told I'm the font of useless information. Shoulda' been a pop culture librarian.

    By Blogger Ruth Anne Adams, at Sun Sep 24, 09:06:00 pm GMT-4  

  • That first picture reminded me of Second City television's Perry Como commercial! Perry Como draped all over the place singing his extremely laid-back songs. It was hilarious!

    This guy is ... Oy!

    By Blogger benning, at Wed Sep 27, 09:44:00 am GMT-4  

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