What do Tinkerbell and Deion Sanders got in common? Glittery wings.
DirectTV's NFL marketing campaign featuring Deion Sanders as a football fairy has captured my attention. Aside from Sanders' embodiment of the hypersexual black masculine body, I'm curious about how Sanders represents shifting voyeuristic tendencies surrounding the black (male) body and efforts to contextualize the black male body within a shifting cultural landscape where normativity is framed within a transgressive social-cultural space.
On the surface, Sanders satisfies negotiations of the NFL as a voyeuristic space for black male bodies. What is intriguing, however, is how Sanders' performance of black masculinity as a football fairy introduces increasingly popular maneuverings of consuming black masculinity by queering black sexuality. Draping Sanders in fairy wings and a bandanna re-negotiates what is normal and popular conceptions of the homosexual body. Deion Sanders' football fairy performance represents the murkiness of spaces in which hypersexuality and heteronormativity engage public acknowledgement and consumption of the queered black body. Further striking is how Sanders' body is (re)presented to reflect cultural capital associated with the gay community as profitable. I'm curious about the queering of Sanders' body as reflective of a believed profitability of the queer black body because of an increasingly visible place in American public and popular culture. This highly publicized re-negotiation of the black homoerotic complicates discourses about public black gender performances and voyeuristic expectations of normative blackness and highly public spaces of black body consumption like professional sports.