Middle Aged Men in Lycra and the performative irony of watching Tour de France

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

Middle Aged Man in Lycra (MAMIL) is a cultural phenomenon associated with a
gendered and conspicuous practice that can be inclusive by attracting individuals not previously engaged in physical activities as well as exclusive due to its gender and socioeconomic conformity. Inspired by the works of Linda Hutcheon and Judith Butler, we argue that the MAMIL is an ironic figure constituting a complex and multifaceted character deeply embedded in a particular cultural context. By analyzing a TV advertising spot for Tour de France 2021 which embraces the MAMIL, the purpose of this study is to illustrate how ironic communication is productive as it leads to multiple performativities of irony. We identify four performativities in the spot which are: Irony as a way to cope with an aging male body; Irony as a way to identify with competitive elite sportsmen; (Self-) irony as enabling an exclusive male community and masculinity through humor; and Irony as legitimizing mass media consumption of cycling. We argue that the irony reaches beyond a mere humorous stance and serves a legitimizing and preservative function of road cycling as a male-dominated terrain.
TidsskriftCommunication and Sport
Udgave nummer6
Sider (fra-til)1102-1120
StatusUdgivet - 2023

Bibliografisk note

CURIS 2023 NEXS 009

ID: 328797606