All Articles Tagged "Tim Tebow"
A lot of my friends thought I was kidding — or crazy –when they heard that my fiancé and I were not having sex until we got married.
It was a decision we had made separately before we even started dating. The response I got from people who knew of our decision confirmed my suspicion that sex is no longer widely viewed as an option in dating relationships, but a requirement and is actually considered by most as a prerequisite to marriage. This is why celebrity couples like Meagan Good and Devon Franklin made headlines when they announced they were engaged and celibate. We already knew that Meagan had committed to abstain until marriage, but for some odd reason that commitment was expected to be disregarded when in a serious relationship. We believe that celibate women can’t possibly get engaged and when they are, it’s shocking.
In fact, for some odd reason, many believe that celibate women — especially the Christian ones — are sitting in convents, wrapped in nun outfits, proudly announcing they’re married to Jesus.
I first noticed this in my own life when people would ask me if my fiance and I kiss. They figured if we weren’t fornicating then we weren’t kissing either. Granted, there are some people who do wait until their wedding day to have their first kiss and five million people watch them eat each other’s faces. These couples fit squarely into the fallacious stereotype that people who wait until marriage to have sex are young, naive, and childlike.
We’re comfortable with those stereotypes because we’ve been brainwashed to believe that having indiscriminate sex is normal and adults who are celibate are not normal.
Personally, I was faced with my own erroneous beliefs when I learned that my then-boyfriend (now husband) was a virgin. Though I met him at church, I was still thoroughly shocked. I was celibate, but I didn’t think I knew any men who were real-life virgins. “But…you’re handsome, you have a great personality, you’re educated, you have a solid career, you have your own house, you’re over 30…” my list of reasons why he couldn’t possibly be a virgin went on and on. Unbeknownst to me, I had internalized the propaganda that no man hits 25 without dropping trou unless he looks and acts like Steve Carell in “40-Year-Old Virgin”.
Sadly, many people in the nation share this flawed thinking. We are taught that abstaining from sex means abstaining from living. Celibate people — especially virgins — are expected to be prude, unattractive, homely, recluses who are probably asexual. When celebrities like Tim Tebow and Lolo Jones come along with their “I’m a virgin” confession thus publicly catapulting all negative stereotypes into oblivion, the press doesn’t know how to react.
Do you remember when Tim Tebow was chosen by Jockey for an endorsement contract and he was dubbed “the unlikeliest underwear model ever”? Though, many athletes endorse undergarments, apparently, the fact that this athlete wasn’t tossing off his briefs in the presence of groupies made him an odd choice.
In a borderline bitter and excessively harsh piece on Lolo in the New York Times published recently, author Jere Longman said:
Jones has decided she will be whatever anyone wants her to be — vixen, virgin, victim — to draw attention to herself and the many products she endorses.
In 2009, Jones posed nude for ESPN the Magazine. This year, she appeared on the cover of Outside magazine seeming to wear a bathing suit made of nothing but strategically placed ribbon. At the same time, she has proclaimed herself to be a 30-year-old virgin and a Christian.
In that last line, you can practically see the sarcasm dripping off the page as though virginity means anything other than “never had sex”. As far as her Christianity, that’s for another article, but I will say that most of the beef with Lolo on the “virgin and Christian” front isn’t coming from Christians or virgins. The loudest criticism is from those who wish to portray Christians and virgins in a particular fashion and are outright pissed that Lolo Jones isn’t the embarrassing caricature often portrayed on television and instead is actually a normal athlete who happens to refrain from sex. Furthermore, just because she is a virgin doesn’t mean she isn’t a vixen. The term simply means “sexually attractive” and, like we try to explain to rapists, finding a woman Hot doesn’t mean she owes you sex.
It’s not just Lolo Jones either who is criticized for not fitting some arbitrary definition. When Meagan Good announced she was celibate, the tongue-wagging reached epic proportion. One publication asked:
“How exactly do you balance that with being a self-proclaimed party animal and being slizzed on the club scene in [skimpy] outfits all the time?”
Balance what? Not having sex with still having typical Hollywood rich-chicks fun? What activity automatically means sex…except sex? Partying doesn’t. Modeling for an underwear company doesn’t. Even posing nude in ESPN’s famous “Body Issue” doesn’t. Just because someone does these things yet refrains from sex doesn’t make him or her a fraud. It just make the naysayers look like imbeciles.
In my opinion, the instances when someone’s sex life or chastity makes news simply serves to expose the ridiculous and sad ideas that prevail in this nation. When Jada Pinkett and Will Smith talk about enjoying sex with each other, that makes headlines (and draws ire) because we believe that marriage is the end of sex. And when someone who isn’t married isn’t having sex, that makes news (and also draws criticism) because apparently we’re all animals running around foaming at the mouth for our next hump. It’s so backward and bizarre.
Celibacy is not a way of dress or a way of speaking or a description reserved for a man or woman that nobody wants to sleep with. Being celibate simply means abstaining from sex — and there’s absolutely nothing abnormal about that.
Do you think people have preconceived notions about what celibacy looks like?
Follow Alissa on Twitter @AlissaInPink
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There’s something to be said for a person who has their beliefs and sticks to them…or they at least try. Some celebs have made a vow to hold out on giving up their “V card” (virginity card, folks) until they’re married or until they meet the “right one.” Others have tried to stick to these beliefs…and stumbled along the way but hey, I guess they held on as long as they could!
See who had or has held on to their goodies….
At any given time, looking at the sea of pro athletes on the basketball court or football field is almost reminiscent of an NAACP convention. Black faces are everywhere and there’s just a sprinkling of other races as if these were the select few who got a pass to attend the event. African Americans’ dominance in the world of sports cannot be denied, which is why it’s surprising that when Forbes made its list of the 10 most influential athletes, none of them were black. Not a single one.
I’m no sports fanatic or expert. I’m barely even a spectator, so I’m sure many of you can school me on the merits of the men who actually did make the list, which encompasses all pro sports. There’s Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnheart Jr. (Nascar), Manny Pacquiao (Boxing), Jeremy Lin (Linsanity), and then a bunch of NFL players: Drew Brees, Tim Tebow (Tebowing), Peyton and Eli Manning, Tom Brady, and Aaron Rodgers. Athletic ignorance aside, I know that basketball and football are two of the biggest sports in America. I know that black men dominate both of those sports. And I know that if we’re talking about pop culture influence—as this list seems to be—then there surely had to be a place for some negroes. But thinking about the areas where black athletes tend to have influence, I have to wonder, is something wrong with the list or is something wrong with us?
Forbes worked with Nielsen and E-poll to create this list and says over 1,100 adults were surveyed about dozens of well-known athletes to “measure their likeability and whether they’re considered ‘influential,’ an important quality for marketers.” Something as subjective as influence is pretty difficult to define and there’s no mention of who the dozen athletes they used for the survey actually were. On The Grio, Stefen Lovelace argues that pretty much no matter who was surveyed there are three black names that should have shown up on this list: Kobe, Lebron (who did make the list last year), and Tiger Woods. I know Tiger’s in the midst of a comeback, but it may be too soon to start reissuing any sort of influence to him, but the other two players, I couldn’t agree more. Lake show and three kings anybody?
Truthfully, there should be more than three other names being tossed in this discussion of worthy black influencers anyway. This situation makes me think of all the other industries where we talk about needing to have more of us, and in a place where there are plenty of us, we’re still not considered highly marketable or influential by a sampling of the American public? Perhaps some of us are spending too much time focusing on distractors that black pro athletes have become stereotypically known for rather than building our brands. We need to do more than be seen in the game we need to have some influence over it and over the audiences whose attention we’re captivating. I never say it’s an athlete’s job to be a role model but it is important that we’re doing more than entertaining, we need to be influencing.
At the end of the day, a random Forbes list doesn’t hold much weight in the grand scheme of things, especially when no women are on the list, despite this not being a male poll, nor any baseball players—isn’t that still America’s favorite past time? But what this list does possibly provide is a little insight on how strength in numbers doesn’t mean you’re influencing anything. This list could also show Americans’ reluctance to recognize that influence or even downplay it in favor of their own needle in a haystack selection of white pros who dominate in these sports. Lord knows white men have been mad they can’t jump long before Ron Shelton told them they couldn’t. But at the end of the day, those are the men determining the plays while we run them. It’s definitely time to flip the script.
What do you think about this list of influential athletes? Did Forbes miss the mark or did we?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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