I like to pretend that I’m unaffected by the social control mechanisms of advertising. I “never” click on click-through ads. I don’t even look at direct mailers before I toss them. But it’s such a superficial self-deception. Put a gorgeous male model in a wrestling singlet, and I’m captured by capitalism and unthinkingly signing over my self-determination and credit card number.
Fashion models in wrestling gear are like a car accident on the highway. I can’t tear my eyes away, and I hate myself a little for it. Dress up Jonathan Jesensky in gear, give him a nice coat of fashion-shoot sweat, and my jaw drops open a little as I stare helplessly, occasionally wiping the drool that escapes the corner of my mouth.
Strip Chad White to his underwear and tell him to lift another hardbody upside down as if he’s about to slam him mercilessly to the ground, and I’m stopped in my tracks.
Taunt me with the suggestion that a male model in gear is, in fact, an actual wrestler, and I become a mindless puppet on a string. Shoot aforementioned Chad White grappling with former high school wrestler-turned-model, Kerry Degman, and I get entirely lost in marveling at the provocative spiral of art imitating life.
Craft your advertisement around another wrestler-turned-model, Brock Harris, and I’m mindlessly clicking-through, a helpless captive of the evil geniuses of advertising. Put young Brock in a singlet underneath a dress shirt and tie, and a new star is born in the continuous wrestling scenarios running through my imagination. The overlapping boundaries of the tamed corporate male, the primal gladiator armed only with his stunning body, and the sexual warrior in the act of stripping off the clothes that disguise his underlying beast… I have no self-control. I am bought and sold at the will of ruthless ad men. I am both consumer and product in a world in which life and art and life imitating art and art imitating life dig the channels of consumption that I sail so obediently.
I’m captured and aroused by the model as wrestler, and I hate myself a little for it.