These days, the Arsenal player has been the topic of conversation. Discover here why
Héctor Bellerín is Spanish and plays as a right back for Arsenal in the Premier League. This soccer player does not look like most of his teammates. He has long hair and shows his passion for fashion and style without any shame.
Leer en español: Héctor Bellerín: el futbolista que rompe estereotipos
This is a world that at first sight seems very distant from soccer, but that occupies the same level in the heart of this player. Bellerín has been the target of ridicule on the part of fans in social networks for some of his statements and for being different.
Héctor Bellerín and fashion
He was seen in London fashion week last month. He is undoubtedly a fashion enthusiast. He has a sewing machine at home and follows the trends with enthusiasm. In addition, he is part of Puma Football, the soccer line of the Puma brand. His instagram is closer to that of a fashion blogger or that of a trendsetter than that of a soccer player.
His social networks are full of photos of recommended outfits or brands of which he is a fan. However, his networks are also plagued by cyber abuse for this same interest in fashion and style.
Many times soccer players are expected to comply with stereotypes of masculinity. Although there are thousands of designers, models and male artists in the world of fashion, the interest in clothes and textiles are still perceived by many fans as a female interest.
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"The problem is that a lot of people have an idea of what a soccer player should look like, how he should behave and what he should talk about, if he acts a little differently, you become a target, there is a pressure to be satisfied, it is very dangerous. In life you should be able to express yourself, people are happier that way," said the soccer player in an interview with The Times.
Fashion, then, in addition to soccer player, is the tool of this athlete to express himself. He is an aficionado of colorful and risky looks and does not hesitate to show it to the world.
How to fight stereotypes?
It is not only because of his interest in fashion that Héctor Bellerín receives insults on social networks. The majority of the cyber abuse consists of homophobic comments, since the player came out of the closet a few weeks ago.
"Most of the abuse is online, but you listen to it at the stadium as well, people call me 'lesbian' for letting me grow hair, there are other homophobic insults, I have learned to be strong but it can affect you. Occasionally you may have a little doubt about yourself," he told The Times.
The soccer player also said that it is very difficult to be openly gay in the world of soccer due to this stereotype of masculinity that the fans and the press seem to demand of the athlete. However, Bellerín has already got over it and has fought the stereotype, without hiding and without masks.
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Bellerín is interested in other ways of breaking stereotypes and of unlearning what we take for granted. The soccer player is also vegan for some time and has said on several occasions that he has felt improvements in his sporting and physical performance.
He is interested in unlearning what we know about nutrition to be healthier. He has also been criticized for this and he himself accepts that it is not for everyone, but that it is another way of conceiving the world of feeling good about himself. In environmental issues he also leads campaigns in the United Kingdom against plastics for only one use.
This soccer player is not afraid to talk about topics that his colleagues do not usually talk about. He has strong opinions about the Brexit and the independence of Catalonia. He is against both and can speak fluently about the environment surrounding Brexit and about racism in English soccer.
He is also thoughtful about soccer and is in favor of the inclusion of the VAR in the Premier League as well as the winter break for soccer players. He is an athlete who breaks stereotypes because he makes people feel uncomfortable, he is different.
LatinAmerican Post | Juliana Rodríguez Pabón
Translated from "Héctor Bellerín: el futbolista que rompe estereotipos"
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