David Beckham is Britain’s nicest man

Don’t ever change


I don’t like cute. Call it my own private pathology, but I find ‘nice’ boys really unappealing. If you sound like the sort of person who might do something nice for me, I will roll my eyes so loudly you can practically hear the swivel.

So I am confused, on a very essential level, that I fancy David Beckham.

Beckham is definitely ‘nice’. You can cite that Rebecca Loos nonsense, but I will come back at you with David Beckham’s Mothers’ Day Instagram about his wife.

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 15.36.45Obviously, it’s really nice. He uses the words “mummy” and “brood” and “love” and “amazing”, twice. They don’t show up on desktop, but he appended four emoji hearts on the end. This post suggests the sort of suffocating love that, were I to be the object of its direction (unlikely), it would make me feel vaguely panicked.

But for Beckham and Beckham alone, the effusion makes me love him more. I file it away with the many other existing reasons.

For example, there’s that face he pulls when he sits front row at one of his wife’s fashion shows: concentrating, really hard, as though he is going to have to sit a test afterwards. You can tell he’s dressed really carefully – this last fashion week, his dark muted palette mirrored the clothes on his wife’s catwalk. It’s like his style has grown with hers. But I love those wilderness years too – the skirts he wore, presiding on thrones at their tacky wedding, all those perma-tanned photoshoots. The transformation is like a visual history of the last 15 years, and looking at old pictures of the Beckhams make me feel warm and nostalgic.

There was the football, obviously. When I was a little girl I became obsessed with Beckham. When he got sent off in the World Cup 98 I cried, and when my dad scoffed that he deserved the disciplinary action for booting Diego Simeone, I punched him with small, frustrated fists. I was crap at football, but when I played it, I imagined that I was curving the ball with a long, languid stride like Beckham’s. When I heard that Alex Fergusson threw a boot at him, I established a sudden and implacable grudge against Ferguson. David forgives and forgets – because he’s nice – but I can’t bring myself to do it.

When people laughed at him for moving to LA Galaxy, I launched arch, snotty takedowns of their throwaway criticism (using words like “pragmatism” and “longevity”). When he played his last game for PSG I watched YouTube videos of him walking around the pitch, on repeat.

Every time he talks about his children – whether that’s embarrassing Brooklyn on Instagram, or talking about banning Harper from dating – my heart crumples. I love that he goes to Soul Cycle classes with Brooklyn. I love when he Instagrams Harper, and when he does selfies with Brooklyn or Romeo or Cruz. And I know I don’t have a clue – perhaps he and Victoria sleep in separate beds and Brand Beckham is all an illusion – but I love to believe in their love story.

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I love that he congratulated Leo via Instagram whan DiCaprio won an Oscar. To clarify: on that Monday morning after the Oscars, I launched a verbal tirade about those celebrities who heaved onto the bandwagon to throw their congrats at Leo. I think I said it was “virtue signalling at its most superficial”: A listers back-slapping  and nodding at each other. I didn’t feel this about David. For me, his Instagram was perfect.

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I love that new H&M advert where everyone starts dressing like him. I love that smile – knowing, sparkling, almost serious. I love his hair – if I were a boy I would want my hair to look like that. I love that he went on Graham Norton to laugh about his old haircuts.

I love that he has covered his entire body in tattoos of esoteric design. I love when he grew that beard in time to for Wimbledon 2014: a little bit whiskery, very raffish. I love that he explained “naughty” British words to Americans because I EVEN LOVE HIS VOICE. And everyone ridicules that.

David: I don’t understand it. But in this isolated case, a nice guy finishes first in my heart.