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Yeah, There Are a Lot of Hot Guys in the Olympics, But...

Yeah, There Are a Lot of Hot Guys in the Olympics, But...

Yeah, There Are a Lot of Hot Guys in the Olympics, But...
AP PHOTO

Am I missing something exciting?

buffyonabudget

If there's one thing that the Olympics brings out in people, it's a thirst for physically fit white people. I often wonder what kind of life I'd have if I had a dollar for every time I saw a picture, article, or gay magazine cover and story of Tom Daley. You'd think the guy was an activist or that he's made big strides for the queer community at large, but really, what he's famous for is being an attractive, cisgender man who happens to be gay. You're significantly more likely to hear who he's dating and how great his body looks than what causes he supports.

Now, maybe you need to pay more attention to him to hear about stuff like this, so whether or not he or his team have a hand in his representation by the media is impossible to say. This piece isn't about bashing Tom Daley specifically, who is only one small part of a larger homonormative problem. Don't get me wrong, I'm all about muscular eye candy, but ultimately it's not that exciting.

People spend so much time getting flustered over these jock men and it just reinforces the social construct that muscular, able-bodied men are the best. This leaves skinny, thick, and differently abled men to stare in awe at the "princes" and "kings," without ever being recognized for their own beauty. It'd be one thing if these muscular, able-bodied men were lusted after for their group's individual attractiveness, but too often these men are praised and adored because they're NOT skinny, or fat, or in a wheelchair, among other things. We love them because we're taught to. When do movies, or TV shows, or music videos, or books, or video games, ever push us to love anyone besides the fit Barbie and Ken dolls?

Sadly enough, this Olympic male worship is not exclusive to body type. In fact, it's clear that white men are praised above all else. Where do we see male athletes of color taking the front of magazines or taking center stage in the overwhelming quantity of hot dude Olympic roundup posts? And don't try to tell me or yourself that there just aren't any attractive ones around.

Do any male POC athletes get coverage like Tom Daley? Or Gus Kenworthy? Are they on the edge of everyone's lips? Do we wonder who they're dating? Maybe the better question is, why don't we package and sell POC athletes as stars to the world in the same way we do to white athletes?

The answer is simple. The presumed narrative, fictional or non-fictional, is always that of a white male. It shows in all forms of media in clear, irrefutable evidence. The disparities in representation are ludicrous and beyond comprehension, especially when white men are represented like the majority that they are NOT. Female-identifying people and POC are expected to relate to and follow cis white men, but the same is never expected in reverse.

Is it asking a lot of the media for them to follow people who are, say, not white men? Is white masculinity so fragile that it simply can't handle the consumption of media that doesn't feature them first and foremost? The world has indicated, very clearly, that the answer to both of these is a resounding yes.

At the end of the day, if people want to drool over exactly what society wants them to, exactly when they want them to, that's fine, but I'm still not impressed. Until the representation is more equal, I won't be joining the Olympic drool-fest. May the thirstiest win!

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Buffy Flores

Aries/Taurus cusp, Latinx, vegan, femme person, and the biggest Buffy fan you know. Now writing for Bustle, PRIDE, Everyday Feminism, and The Rumpus. Passionate, deeply feeling, sometimes angry, mostly emotional. Wants to make people feel less lonely in the world. Follow them on Twitter @buffyonabudget.

Aries/Taurus cusp, Latinx, vegan, femme person, and the biggest Buffy fan you know. Now writing for Bustle, PRIDE, Everyday Feminism, and The Rumpus. Passionate, deeply feeling, sometimes angry, mostly emotional. Wants to make people feel less lonely in the world. Follow them on Twitter @buffyonabudget.