Celebrity sports stars apparently like to play dress up. Over the years several celebrity athletes have donned alternative apparel in videos that have forced their fans to use their imaginations in new ways. Dressing up, à la Johnny Knoxville style, such athletes have challenged people’s perceptions of economic status, stereotypes about ageism, and potentially what the future of humanity might be like.
Take for instance Cristiano Ronaldo, the internationally famed footballer that plays for the Spanish club Real Madrid. In 2015, Ronaldo took to the streets of Spain dressed as a bearded homeless man. To mask his athletic physique he donned a puffy suit under his clothes. After getting dressed up and heading to the streets with a soccer ball he noted that: “People are going to think I’m crazy.” What resulted was the video found above.
These interactions were actually created to promo Ronaldo’s signature headphone line, ROC by Monster, a competitor to Beats By Dre. You can read SuperPosition’s review of Powerbeats3 By Dre below.
Ronaldo’s fiscal motivations aside, what is compelling about the video are the inherent social implications.
Initially, when Ronaldo is playing around with the soccer ball in the street – seeking to engage people – most folks won’t have anything to do with him.Not a dissimilar reaction that many of us might have had if a stranger had approached us. But when he reveals who he actually is, the crowd flocks to him.
Likewise, All-Star NBA basketball star, Kyrie Irving who plays for the Boston Celtics, created a 70-year-old alter ego named Uncle Drew for Pepsi promotion. See the short film below.
The advertisement did so well that it has been made into a major motion picture comedy that has the underlying theme that septuagenarians can still play competitive basketball. Irving’s film contains a host of Hollywood aged basketball superstars including Shaquille O’Neil, Lisa Leslie, Reggie Miller, Chris Webber and more. See the Uncle Drew trailer below.
In the same vein, French football freestyler Sean Garnier created a staged but compelling video that also chimes in on similar themes regarding the presuppositions and stereotypes that society has about senior citizens.
All of these examples though should lead us to question our own presuppositions and behaviors regarding such situations. For instance:
· Are such videos actually a foreshadowing of what emerging tech will allow older people to become?
· In the case of Ronaldo’s video, what is our general predisposition toward others that we don’t recognize? For instance, how would we feel about our regular behavior toward others on the street if we found out that the disguised person was Jesus Christ instead of Ronaldo? How might thinking about people made in the Image of God transform the way we behave towards one another?
· Also in the case of Ronaldo’s video, why do people generally treat celebrities like they can be trusted more than non-celebrities?
Regardless of your answers to the above inquiries, it seems to be the case that such videos are increasing in number in global society. It therefore behooves humanity to consider why this may be. That way, when we meet a new person on the street or someone that is different than us, our imaginations of who a person is or what their potential may be won’t be limited by our mind or by our actions.
Reality Changing Observations:
Q1. Are movies like Uncle Drew a subconscious desire for human longevity?
Q2. Would you consider it redemptive if we ended aging?
Q3. When you watch these videos what questions do they stir in you?