Bedazzling, Guilty Pleasures, and Male Virility

I have to thank Google reader for this post. I came across this article about the props needed for the new film Rock of Ages while I was reading this morning. What really caught my eye was reading the word codpiece.

So if you don’t have a chance to read the article, let me sum it up for you. There is a man who makes script specific props for Hollywood, and for the new movie Rock of Ages he was asked to make a jeweled codpiece for Tom Cruise’s character Stacee Jaxx.

 I’ve been looking for an image of the prop, and I haven’t been able to find one.

The reason this really made me stop and do a double take is that first and foremost, I am a child of the 80s. I love 80s music. I will unabashedly admit to it. It’s my guilty pleasure. Just watching the trailer made me nostalgic. Second, I’ve never paid much attention to what rockers wear in concert because I’ve never been to a rock concert. When I read that Tom’s character was wearing a codpiece, I was surprised to say the least.  (By the way, I’ve never been to a concert because I’d rather spend $100 or more dollars on shoes, a handbag, or cosmetics.)

When I hear the word codpiece, I think courtiers in the time of King Henry VIII of England. It’s not that the codpiece wasn’t around long before, but I know lots about English renaissance court fashion. I learned about this during my misspent youth following my parents around to renaissance fairs and renaissance costume workshops in my tween years. My dad has a beautifully detailed King Henry VIII costume. He also plays the renaissance lute. Back in the 80s, when my dad was in his 30s, and had a full beard, he could easily have played Henry VIII.

In all the costume workshops I went to, I learned that men (especially King Henry VIII) used the codpiece to show off their junk to the ladies. It was a sign of male virility. The larger the codpiece, the more virile the man. Of course, there came a time when it became a piece of jewelry as well. To attract more attention to the codpieces, courtiers would pin on expensive jewels. Of course, not to be out done, there is an anecdotal story of King Henry VIII saying that no one was allowed to have a larger or more bejeweled codpiece than him.

So why am I surprised to find that many male rock stars have worn codpieces? I suppose now that I think of it, I’m not. Men of prestige and riches calling attention to their supposed male virility. Why wouldn’t you strap on a bejeweled cock pocket when you have thousands of screaming fans yelling your name?

I’m trying to think if we women have an equivalent. The Million Dollar Bra? I’m not sure it’s the same. What do you think?

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3 thoughts on “Bedazzling, Guilty Pleasures, and Male Virility

  1. Trust Henry VIII to be over the top. Subtlety wasn’t his strong point, was it?

  2. […] shape could be more perfect for my blog entry “Bedazzling, Guilty Pleasures, and Male Virility” than a rooster? Maybe I should call it a cock? Either way, it’s struts around just […]

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