You'll swoon over the amazing bodies of S'pore's Spornosexuals

3 March 2015 / 1 year 7 months ago
Gurveen Kaur
The Straits Times
1 March 2015

Spornosexuals - the more hardcore, body-obsessed version of metrosexuals - have hit Singapore.

With his six-pack abs, bulging biceps and tanned, smooth skin, Mr Edwin Kon looks every bit the fitness model.

The flight attendant, 29, has been snapping topless selfies ever since he began hitting the gym regularly seven years ago.

Initially, the snaps served merely as a visual chart for him to track his physical development.

Two years ago, however, he began posting them on Instagram.

"I'm proud of the way I look," he says. "And there is nothing wrong with posting photos of myself in swimming trunks on social media."

Since then, he has amassed close to 37,000 followers with photos of his ripped physique - images that leave little to the imagination.

Nearly all of them are tagged: #spornosexual.

Coined last year by British journalist Mark Simpson (the same man who gave the world "metrosexual" in 1994), the term refers to a more hardcore, body-obsessed version of the noughties' appearance- and fashion-conscious man.

Think football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, pop star Justin Bieber and local actors Allan Wu and Zheng Geping.

The spornosexual, with his sculpted hair and moisturised skin, takes pains to attain the perfect body.

Once attained, it is shown off to the world via social media.

More than shirts and suits, the spornosexual's body is the ultimate commodity.

"You don't spot a spornosexual, his body spots you and forces you to look at it," writes Mr Simpson, 49, in an e-mail interview with SundayLife!.

The term, mentioned in global publications including Esquire, GQ and New York Post, has since gone viral.

"When I read about it... I immediately thought, 'that's me!'" says Mr Kon.

Here in Singapore, spornosexuals are easy to spot.

They are either flexing their taut muscles in the gym or rocking them under tight shirts.

One such spornosexual is undergraduate Wesley Ee, 23, who works out every day.

He pumps iron at the gym or does pull-ups at his neighbourhood fitness corner.

For much of his life, he was obese.

But two years ago, he decided that he no longer wanted to be a "wallflower" and began working out and counting calories.

Last year, he was crowned second runner-up at the Manhunt Singapore pageant. He is now a contender in Cleo magazine's 50 Most Eligible Bachelors contest, which will take place later this month.

He has uploaded more than 100 shirtless selfies on Instagram since joining two years ago.

Each of these, he says, garners at least 250 likes.

"With the prevalence of social media and more men hitting the gym... men are taking greater pride in their bodies and are confident enough to show them off," he says of the spornosexual phenomenon, which he identifies with.

Not everyone wants to be a spornosexual, though.

Actor Wu, who fits the bill, does not consider himself one.

In fact, when he first heard the term, he found it ludicrous.

He prefers to label himself "a by-product of healthy living".

For Mr Kon, occasional negative comments on Instagram cannot hurt him.

"I have worked hard, spending many hours at the gym to get my body to this stage.

"It's definitely not easy and shows a person's determination and discipline," he says.

"Why work so hard only to hide it underneath a loose T-shirt?"

Find out more about Singapore's Spornosexuals in the gallery below

This article was first published on March 1, 2015. 

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