Who do they think they are?
Adonis assesses archetypal metrosexual, David Beckham
Very occasionally, someone's life can be a question mark. David Beckham's life poses the question that I was meant to answer. Can vanity ever be deserved?
Is he as beautiful as I was? Is he as accomplished at football as I was skilled at hunting? If the answer to both is yes then he is someone all women can love beyond reason and all men envy without resentment.
I don't think he's quite there yet. If he knows anything about me, he won't ever want to get there. The lesson of being loved by all is that you become the payback for other people's crimes and passions. You end up dead way before your time.
I have no expectation that David has ever considered whether he and I are alike. I don't mind that he probably doesn't know anything about me. For him, the classical texts are likely to be found in the Marvel comics not Robert Graves' 'Greek Myths'. No matter, I was not revered for my intellect either.
David Robert Joseph Beckham, OBE
Photo: David Beckham, mty.co.uk
Photo: Adonis, Wiki Commons
Photo: The Callipige Aphrodite, art-prints-on-demand.com
Photo: Victoria Beckham, danielatamayo.com
Made any connections?
If you can link the past to the present, we’d love to hear from you.
Adonis’s opinion was interpreted by Will Coe, October 2011
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Aphrodite and Victoria comparing their best attributes
There's nothing I can teach him.
It's not that he'd be a slow pupil, it's just that you can't learn your way out of fate's clutches. I might be able to help him understand what has happened, what is happening to him, but perhaps it is better for me to help other people to understand him rather than he try to understand himself. When a legend grows around you like a glorious climbing rose it's best not to worry at the prickles that protect the flowers. They cause bleeding, of which I do quite enough for the both of us (I'm responsible for the colour of roses and anemones, if you too haven't read your Greek myths).
When a person looks like you and has the same effect on other people as you did, it doesn't have to mean that they're the same in every way. I can't run away from the fact that I'm a bit of a god clouded in myth while David is all gorgeous flesh and blood.
There's no mystery about David's birth. He's the son of Sandra, a hairdresser, and David "Ted" Beckham, a kitchen fitter. There was nothing unusual about Sandra's confinement. My beginnings are far more remarkable. I came out of a tree and they say my daddy was not only a god but also my grandpappy. Of course, it's not how you come into the world it's what you do when you're there.
David Beckham plays football very well. How significant is that to his fame? Measured in sporting terms, David was never the best footballer in the world. Or anywhere near. Measured in terms of column inches in the world's press, David is the most famous footballer in the world. Other sportsmen only come close when infamy intrudes on their fame (OJ, Tiger, Zizou - need I go on?).
Can you see what I'm driving at?
You can't define David Beckham as a footballer. He's much more than that. He is a legend. Like a Greek god. But not a Greek god because the world has too many of us already and because he doesn't show any of the of the character weaknesses and flaws you come to expect from a Greek god. In that respect, he's very like me. Being without obvious faults, I was a very atypical and short-lived god.
But most of all, David resembles me because he is becoming a female fantasy figure more than a male one.
Please let me explain. David wouldn't be an Adonis figure if Victoria hadn't muscled in on the act. She may be stick thin but you won't find many more powerful women. She's up there with the women in my life, Aphrodite and Persephone. You don't get many heavier hitters than the goddesses of sex and death, yet Victoria seems to be in their league.
When David was transferred from Manchester United to Real Madrid a much more important transfer took place. David ditched the man who had started the Madrid ball rolling, his long-time agent, Tony Stephens of SFX Europe, and bedded down with Simon Fuller and his company 19 Entertainment which already managed Victoria's career. That was when Victoria took over his life entirely and turned him from a boy who kicked a ball into the archetypal metrosexual, a kind of work-in-progress god for both sexes.
She called him 'Goldenballs'. ( A name once given in Latin form to Richard Orescuiltz, Lord of Sharnecote. She should have stuck with Aureis Testiculis, less derogatory, somehow.)
I don't think irony was intended because Victoria has ensured that he lives up to his name.
He is now the lucrative icon much sought after by clothing designers, health and fitness specialists, fashion magazines, perfume and cosmetics manufacturers, hair stylists, exercise promoters, and spa and recreation companies. He's even become a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF's Sports for Development programme and a government propaganda tool. He is wheeled out to boost troop morale in Afghanistan or to persuade foreigners about Britain's suitability for any grossly expensive international sporting event.
If I wasn't above envy, I'd be quite jealous.