Objectify Away!

FBL-WC-2014-USA-PRESSER

Amanda Hess is totally cool with ogling male athletes during the World Cup:

For some, the World Cup field looks like the pinnacle of international soccer competition. But for others, it’s an explosion at the mancandy factory. From  Jezebel to Elle, in Queerty and in Out, images of the World Cup’s sweat-drenched, thick-thighed contestants are being converted into masturbation material at an alarming pace. For years, Jezebel’s long-running thighlights series has inspired its female gawkers to admire the hamstrings, adductors, and quadriceps of the players on the pitch. But this season, BuzzFeed is making a bid to become the sport’s Most Valuable Ogler by drawing out the sexual objectification of male soccer players into so many drool-stained listicles that they have now inspired their own listicle compiling the site’s efforts.

Buzzfeed’s list of the 30 hottest World Cup “beards” was pretty pathetic – but evidently the sport just doesn’t attract many pogonophiles. And who needs beards when you have got white boy dreadlocks? Allison P Davis can’t get enough of Kyle Beckerman, seen above:

One afternoon spent fully succumbing to fantasy and Google-searching returned a treasure trove. Here are Beckerman’s engagement photos, prominently featuring his famed dreads, his then-fiancée (now-wife) Kate, a canoe, and a ridiculous mountain-man hat. Still into it? Me too. What voodoo do you do, Beckerman, that suddenly makes me approve of both tribal tattoos and canoes as romantic settings?

Hess has a broader point:

Paris Saint-Germain FC v Bayer Leverkusen - UEFA Champions League Round of 16These days, clicking through a slideshow of the world’s hottest female soccer players makes you look like a bit of a creep. But admiring the abdominals of male footballers? That just means you have a pulse. On first (uncomfortably lingering) glance, it appears that we’ve swapped one sexual double standard for another. But the trade-off isn’t actually so clear-cut. “We know that commenting on women’s bodies is fraught in a way that content appreciating male … assets … isn’t,” BuzzFeed Deputy Editor-in-Chief Shani Hilton said in an email. “No one assumes a male athlete is only noteworthy because of the way he looks.”

Well, let’s just say “no one” is a bit of an understatement. Legions of gay men would beg to differ.

(Photos: US midfielder Kyle Beckerman speaks during a press conference at the Centro Tecnico Frederico Germano Menzen training ground in Sao Paulo on June 19, 2014 during the 2014 FIFA World Cup football tournament. By Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty Images; Ezequiel Lavezzi of PSG poses prior to the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match between Paris Saint-Germain FC and Bayer Leverkusen in Paris, France on March 12, 2014 . By Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)