Aug 11, 2016 1:01 AM GMT
NYT: Women and gay men are assumed to be the audience for these displays. The truth is, everybody’s looking. You can judge that by how quickly the image of the shirtless, oil-slicked Pita Taufatofua — the Tongan taekwondo champion with the body of a bendable action figure — as the flag bearer for his country’s Olympics delegation not only stole the show at Friday evening’s Parade of Nations but also soon enough thereafter stoked the internet.
Role reversal has been an unacknowledged dimension of the Summer Games. Now it is the men’s turn to be objectified as hotties: divers like David Boudia, a gold medalist in 2012, or the Briton Tom Daly — each clad in suits so brief that they make the modest swimwear of the 1960s look like girdles — or Michael Phelps, whose anatomical particulars are not only a subject of ceaseless internet exegesis but are also burned into many viewers’ brains.