(CNN) — As we enter August, there is one definitive accessory making summer headlines: an enviable set of sculpted abs.
On Monday, Adam Driver again went viral for a topless, salt-of-the-earth Burberry campaign promoting the brand’s eau de parfum “Burberry Hero.” Barefoot and — crucially — bare chested, the actor can be seen running across a deserted beach at dusk with a mighty, caramel-colored horse in tow.
The two beings dive into the ocean together and emerge as a single animorph, fusing the romantic hero-on-horseback trope with a healthy dose of Greek mythology. Directed by Jonathan Glazer and photographed by Mario Sorrenti, the fragrance advert is a continuation of the first frenzy-inducing “centaur” commercial released by the brand exactly a year ago.
The actor’s fan base was quick to propose that the rugged campaign images — which show Driver shirtless in waist-deep, crystal blue water — were a unanimous societal response to the question, “What is the female gaze?” (Originating from feminist critical theory, the term is typically used to describe art that deviates from the objectifying male perspective that dominates modern culture.)
But Driver’s ad was by no means the week’s only high-profile torso on show. Nor was it the only one to become a feminist talking point.
On Sunday, during the Women’s Euro 2022 soccer final, England’s Chloe Kelly caused a stir with her shirtless goal celebration at London’s Wembley Stadium. Ecstatic to win the tournament for the first time in her country’s history, Kelly raced across the turf and joyfully whipped off her “Lioness” shirt to reveal a Nike sports bra and lean stomach — a moment that is already being dubbed “the feminist image of the decade.”
Reveling in the team’s achievement, Kelly’s celebration was not “for sex or show,” wrote journalist Lucy Ward, in a tweet that has since been liked more than 154,000 times, but “just for the sheer joy of what she can do and the power and skill she has.”
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