What is it we love about cowboys? Is it the hat? The boots? The jeans? Or is it the man himself?
I think we have to admit the clothes help. A lot. Although most of us love naked cowboys at least as much as we love clothed cowboys.
But rodeo is the only macho sport I can think of where a guy gets to wear the uniform casually on the street. Football players, for example, don’t go to bars in their helmets and pads. If hockey goalies wore their masks into a shopping mall, you can bet the girls would be screaming for all the wrong reasons. And I think baseball players look downright silly if they wear those high socks and tight pants anywhere off the diamond.
But cowboys can stroll the streets in full rodeo regalia and draw nothing but admiring glances. The jeans fit just right, the shirt emphasizes his broad shoulders, and the boots add some swagger. That big belt buckle doesn’t hurt either. The outfit just hollers he-man, and if you hit the Outlaw Bar in Cheyenne on a Friday night, you’ll find lots of women who get the message.
But clothes aren’t everything. Go to any cowboy bar, east or west, and you’ll find plenty of barstool cowboys. Their jeans fit fine too, and sometimes they’re worn white at the thighs and seat as if the guy’s spent his life in the saddle. Their hat brims are tilted just so, and if they’re smart, they’ve let a day’s stubble grow in so it looks like they just rode in from the Goodnight trail. Their boots are slouched at the ankles, and their sleeves are rolled to the elbow like they’ve put in a good day’s work.
But even a tenderfoot can spot the fakes a mile away. There are subtle signals that mark a real cowboy, and I’m betting anybody reading this blog would recognize them, even if you live in Boston or L.A.
Mostly, it’s the walk. Frankly, riding makes a man a little bow-legged and pigeon-toed, so it doesn’t make sense that the cowboy walk defines masculine grace. But that easy, rolling gait is as unmistakable as the smooth stride of a Tennessee Walker. And its lupine, predatory ease is impossible to imitate. I’ve seen romance writers describe it as rolling, hipshot, and loose-hipped. However you describe it, it defines the cowboy mystique.
Then there’s the unique build of a cowboy. Riding develops all the right muscles, and their bodies are lean and natural—not artificially built up in a gym. I don’t have much to say to a guy who’s willing to spend hours on end in the mind-numbing boredom of a weight room, so I don’t get the appeal of those beefcake photos where they slap a Stetson on some shirtless Chippendale model and call him a cowboy.
Give me a real rodeo cowboy any day.
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COWBOY CRAZY BY JOANNE KENNEDY – IN STORES JUNE 2012
Sparks fly when sexy cowboys collide with determined heroines in a West filled with quirky characters and sizzling romance. Acclaimed for delivering “a fresh take on the traditional contemporary Western“ Joanne Kennedy’s books might just be your next great discovery!
From stable to boardroom…
Sarah Landon’s Ivy League scholarship transforms her from a wide-eyed country girl into a poised professional. Until she’s assigned to do damage control with the boss’s rebellious brother Lane, who’s the burr in everybody’s saddle. He’s determined to save his community from oil drilling, and she’s not going back to the ranch she left forever. Spurs will shine in this saucy romp about ranchers and roots, redemption and second chances.