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Spornosexual, a portmanteau of sports, porn and metrosexual, is a neologism used to describe a new male aesthetic marked by physical fitness, certain types of body art and social media narcissism. in June 2014, the term gained widespread exposure with English pop culture journalist Mark Simpson’s declaration of “spornosexual” as the new metrosexual in an article for The Telegraph.
On June 19th, 2004, Simpson coined the term “sporno” in an article in Out magazine to describe sports stars who were “fetishizing themselves.” On June 10th, 2014, The Telegraph published an article written by Simpson which described a new wave of body conscious men influenced by social media culture with “chiselled bodies, muscle enhancing tattoos, piercing, adorable beards and plunging necklines” labelled as “spornosexuals.” The article included a photograph of Dan Osborne, a cast member of the reality television series The Only Way is Essex, as a an example of the spornosexual aesthetic (shown below, right).
On November 15th, 1994, The Independent published an article written by Simpson, who used the term “metrosexual” to describe men living in urban areas and demonstrate an interest in grooming, fashion and shopping. On July 22nd, 2002, Salon published another article by Simpson titled “Meet the Metrosexual,” which identified soccer player David Beckham as a prime example of the aesthetic.
On the same day, a Wikipedia entry for the term spornosexual was created. Also on June 10th, 2014, The Washington Post’s Style Blog published a reaction to the Simpson article, describing spornosexuals as the “hyper-sexualized, body-obsessed cultural offspring of the metrosexual.” On the following day, The Telegraph published an online quiz titled “Are You Spornosexual?”, which includes questions regarding social media habits, television show preferences and fashion choices. On June 12th, The New York Daily News published an article about the neologism. On the following day, The Daily Mash published a satirical article titled “Britain Hoping ‘Spornosexual’ Just Goes Away.”
Other figures that have been cited as examples of spornosexuals include (from top left, clockwise): professional soccer player David Beckham, professional football player Colin Kaepernick, Maroon 5’s lead vocalist Adam Levine, model Ricki Hall, deceased bodybuilder Aziz Shavershian and actor Zac Efron.
The Telegraph – The metrosexual is dead. Long live the spornosexual
The Washington Post – Step aside, metrosexuals, and make way for the Spornosexual man
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