Dating a footballer is presented as the pinnacle of achievement for some young women, which is not just disappointing, it’s downright sad.
Jesinta Campbell is appalled at some women’s desperate attempts to nab themselves a footballer boyfriend– and as someone who used to date an AFL player myself, so am I.
It’s “very, very disappointing” that some women degrade themselves by throwing themselves at sports stars, AFL star Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin’s fiancée, Jesinta Campbell, said in a recent interview with the Australian Women’s Weekly.
“I have seen things in clubs that would make mothers’ skin crawl” including women lifting up their skirts for men and placing the athlete’s hands over their bodies,” the former Miss Universe Australia told the magazine.
Well I hear you, Jesinta. Because I, too, once dated a footballer, and I saw close-up the way some women would approach athletes at nightclubs and put their hungry, manicured hands right down the athletes’ pants. The desperate, envious look a woman would occasionally get when I mentioned who was taking me for dinner.
The way some girls — yes, I say girls because many were not yet 18 — would actively research where sportsmen were likely to be after a game and make sure they were ‘coincidentally’ there too, propping up the bar in spiky heels that showed off rock-hard calf muscles.
As Jesinta said in the AWW interview, there’s a certain kind of Australian woman who “will do anything to have the glory of being with a footballer”. They’ll stop at almost nothing to have the boasting rights associated with bedding a sports star — and to briefly taste a little bit of star power when they post an end-of-the-night selfie on Instagram, their pouting face peering out from the crook of some rich, drunk athlete’s exceptional arm.
They crave the chance to meet their chosen athlete’s teammates — all those familiar faces! All those revered names that appear in the paper! — at an official function. To one day see their own professionally made-up face beaming from the pages of a gossip magazine. And maybe, just maybe, to ultimately become an official WAG, joining the likes of Jesinta Campbell or Rebecca Judd or Victoria Beckham among those esteemed ranks.
You might well assume I’m about to write these wannabe ‘footy chicks’ off as trashy, tarty or tacky.
But actually, I’m not interested in blaming or shaming them. Because what’s more interesting is the reason why these young women would want to prioritise nabbing a footballer over other pursuits.
And the reason is this: It’s because our society has decided that being an AFL player means being the ultimate man — one who is not only rich, but fit and strong in the way that ticks off every definition of masculinity since the Middle Ages.
Our society has decided that sports stars deserve to win Australian of the Year over and over again; that they should have salaries comparable to that of CEOs, and that they are sometime even above the law.
Related content: ‘Sports stars. Enough with the hero worship.’