It's a horse, of course.
Zenyatta is the big girl who kicked ass in the boys’ club. She was 19-0 heading into this weekend’s Breeders’ Cup and a celebrity on par with many B-listers. Her fan base is fiercely loyal and compared to all of the let-down spokesmen from the human sports world, she looks like a smart brand’s dream.
Although she failed to clinch her final race, she will be assured a place in history and hopefully a few product endorsements.
Here are a few reasons to give your slimy quarterbacks and golfers the boot and hook up with an athlete you and your brand can count on.
She has a Facebook “Girl Power“ fanpage. She has a fan wiki where you can buy Zenyatta merchandise. She’s been referred to as a feminist icon and some guy named Richard Dyer took the time to write this: “Star images are always extensive, multimedia, intertextual,” and the proliferation of digital tools and online social platforms enables fan co-creation of stars.” Does this turkey know that he’s writing about a six-year-old horse?
So called veteran turf writer Steve Haskin says, “Zenyatta transcends mere racehorse-ness because of her diva-like presence and prima ballerina moves, her uncanny showmanship and ability to take on human traits.”
She’s even been compared to Lady Gaga. “Both are stars with niche, femininely gendered fandoms; both are symbols of female empowerment; both are subjects of passionate debate; both have fandoms that believe their stars, and thus the fans themselves, occupy marginal social and cultural roles; both are Other yet one of us; both are becoming-human and becoming-animal. Although relatively few people have heard of her, Zenyatta matters.”
There will be no sex scandals
Zenyatta’s sex life will be a clinically supervised series of affairs with the Who’s Who of the stud world. Her lovers will all come from big money, have homes in the country and well-documented pedigree. And she’s a horse. She can’t really sneak out and bang the nanny, so to speak.
There will be no wreckage
Zenyatta will never total her SUV or drive her sports car into a flower shop because she is a horse. She can’t drive. That’s part of her “racehorse-ness” (as the veteran turf writers say). Interestingly, her trainer does allow a pint of Guinness a day. But she still can’t drive. She’s still a horse.
There will be no embarrassing flashes
Paparazzi will never get a 100K photo of Zenyatta exposing her privates, smoking a joint or hanging out on the deck of a yacht with someone else’s man. She’ll put on a few pounds in retirement but no one will care. Sooner or later, there will be shots of her baby bump and speculation about the success of her offspring but it won’t get worse than that.
It’s sad state of affairs when human friend horse on Facebook but it’s sadder that we can’t rely on human heroes to set examples for the kids and show some respect for the brands that make them millionaires.