The first time I heard the voice, I chose to ignore it. Ryan Lochte is kind of a fratty idiot, Erin, the voice said. All the signs are right there. You're being willfully ignorant. "Shut up, brain!" I replied. "You're not the boss of me! Come on, vagina! Let's get out of here, away from the party pooper trying to ruin our fun." And then we went out for appletinis. But as the Olympics progressed, as more and more montages of Ryan Lochte talking about his sneaker collection or donning a sparkling America grill in his gorgeous mouth filled my TV screen, I couldn't pretend that reality wasn't real anymore. Ryan Lochte, as drool-inducingly hot as he is both in and out of the water, is a raging, throbbing douchebag. And here's why.
10. He has a "signature exclamation."
It's not "VICTORY FOR THE FORCES OF DEMOCRATIC FREEDOM," which would walk the line between gratingly nerdy and amazing. It's not "Zoiks!" either. It's "Jeah!" Like "Yeah," but said in a way that indicates you may have difficulty pronouncing the "y" sound and could benefit from working with a professional speech therapist. The New York Times explains its origins,
He even has a catchphrase: the exhortation "jeah!" - adopted from the rapper Young Jeezy and pronounced like "yeah," but, in Mr. Lochte's case, with a surfer boy slope.
Not only is it totally lame, it's something totally lame that he didn't even make up. But that hasn't stopped Ryan from proliferating it as part of his brand as a dude who co-opts irritating things from rap videos and acts like he was just sitting in the middle of his cul de sac one day and it came to him like a neon pink lightning bolt from the sky. According to his website, he's splashed "Jeah!" over all sorts of stuff, like a pair of bright green rhinestone encrusted sneakers he designed for Speeedo.
It's only fitting that Ryan is well known for his kick, given that he designed his own pair of custom shoes for Speedo. Neon green, covered in rhinestones and complete with Ryan's signature exclamation "Jeah!", this footwear could have come from no one else.
Imagine him yelling that out when you're having sex with him. The thought is positively clit-shrinking.
9. He's fratty as fuck.
So several years ago now, Tom Wolfe wrote a book called I Am Charlotte Simmons, which was about a girl from a poor background who ends up attending college at a prominent private college that sounds a lot of like Duke University. Because she's pretty, she ends up catching the interest of an awful frat boy who wears doo rags and listens to rap with the bass turned way up and pops his collar. Basically, Ryan Lochte is that guy.
More dismaying supporting evidence from the Times,
"I just want to be done," he said on the drive to a nearby Hilton, steering his white Range Rover with his knee, sitting far down in the bucket seats, blasting Lil Wayne.
He lives in a condo with two other dudes, one of whom is in college, in the same town where he graduated from college — 5 years ago. He has a couple of kind of dumb tattoos, one of which is an homage to his alma mater. He told the Times that he's over the college dating scene, which would be something that was a sign of maturity if he wasn't twenty-seven years old and and several years beyond the age where dating people who are still in college starts becoming an expression of a stunted personality.
8. His art.
He enjoys drawing "surrealist nature art," which, uh, looks a lot like stuff the pothead next to you in psych 101 drew when he was super bored.
Lochte himself Tweeted that Bro-na Lisa, announcing, "My new picture I'm drawing, still in progress but its gonna be sick!!! Jeah!!!"
7. This was his contribution to the US Swim Team's Call Me Maybe parody video.
6. Giant fancy shoe collection
Ryan Lochte has 130 pairs of shoes that he keeps in a closet the size of some New York apartments. During an interview with John McEnroe that aired early in NBC's Olympics coverage, Lochte proudly showed his favorite pair of shoes — neon green monstrosities that say "Ryan" on one sole and "Lochte" on the other, so when he walks across the deck after it's been raining, you can see it was him. He also has a pair of America shoes with big wings stitched to the side, which he's bummed he couldn't wear in London because he's restrained to wearing the team uniform.
5. Least original style ever, but can't shut up about how original he is.
After the Olympics are done, he wants to steal P. Diddy's identity and move to Los Angeles.
Mr. Lochte's dream is to eventually become a clothing designer. "I want to be different, and fashion gives me that outlet to do that," he said, lounging on a couch after a practice in loose basketball shorts, a T-shirt that read "Google Me" and black Dolce & Gabbana slippers.
Seriously, the only thing distinguishing Lochte's aspirations from P. Diddy's career is a lack of desire to sample entire tracks, then say "Uh huh. Yeah" over them, and sell them off as singles. His style is ganked from hip hop artists and other fratty dudes who fratted before him. The only thing original about Ryan Lochte is his superhuman swimming ability — but he "hates" talking about that. He'd rather talk about stuff other people made up. Ugh, Ryan. Take your pants off right now and stop that.
4. His taste in women is less nuanced and restrained than his taste in clothing.
If you like going out and having no-strings-attached sex just for fun and tension release, I ain't mad. Sometimes one night stands can be fun (I hear), and there's no reason to assume that every one night stand involves two insufferable douchebags trying to catch glimpses of themselves in a full length mirror, Patrick Bateman style. However, while not all one night stands involve douchebags, most of the douchebags I've had the pleasure of meeting in life really, really love one night stands. One night stands are such an important part of Ryan Lochte's dating life, apparently, that even his mom knows they're all he ever does. Yesterday, she told Today,
He goes out on one-night stands. He's not able to give fully to a relationship because he's always on the go.
But Lochte didn't used to be way too busy for forming an emotional bond with another human being — when he competed in Beijing, he had a girlfriend, which he now thinks was bad, as it interfered with his penis's activities. Earlier this summer, he told ESPN,
My last Olympics, I had a girlfriend — big mistake. Now I'm single, so London should be really good. I'm excited.
A sick, sad part of me read about Ryan's gregarious genitalia and felt momentarily encouraged — MAYBE THAT MEANS THAT HE'LL SLEEP WITH ME — but then my hormone haze dissipated and I realized that 1- I'm engaged to marry a guy who I like an awful lot and 2- Gross.
3. He calls himself a "rock star"...
When asked to explain what The Atlantic calls his "hip hop tropical frat boy wardrobe," Lochte offered the following insight:
All the stuff that I do, like, the crazy shoes I wear — like the grills I wear on the podium, the crazy shoes, all that crazy stuff — like, rock star.
Read that while looking at this picture of him. Just do it. It will be your most sexually confusing moment of the day. This is the moment that Christina Aguilera was singing about in her late 90's debut Genie in a Bottle — "My body's saying 'let's go!' But my heart is saying 'no.'" Ugh, Ryan. You are rubbing me the wrong way.
But the self-congratulatory assertions that his derivative NBA rookie meets The Situation style is indicative of his creative awesomeness doesn't just occur in the first person. The first lines in Lochte's bio on his own website mention that he's a totally laid back, original bro.
It's no secret in the swimming community that Ryan Lochte is a bonafide free spirit. Between appearing at the Golden Goggle Awards in an all-white leisure suit and posing on the podium with a blinged-out grill, Lochte makes it clear that he's out to have a good time.
2. ... but even his teammates think he's a douche.
Rookies on the USA Swimming team perform skits as part of their initiation to the team, and when Connor Dwyer was assigned to play Lochte, he dressed the part. USA Today, with the hard news that matters, reported,
"Played my teammate @ryanlochte in our rookie skits last night," tweeted Conor Dwyer, who included a photo of himself as Ryan Lochte complete with lime-green kicks, camouflage shorts and chain around his neck.
In the accompanying picture, it's important to mention that Dwyer is making a sideways peace sign.
1. The America grill.
After winning gold in the 400 meter individual medley — an impressive physical feat, certainly — Lochte crowned himself Olympic Douche Champion, grabbing his $25,000 diamond and ruby grill custom designed by rapper Paul Wall to look like the American flag and attempting to wear it to the medal stand. He was forced to take it out, since it wasn't officially part of Team USA's uniforms, but according to MTV, that wasn't the first time Lochte ascended the podium with his mouth glittered up like Toby Keith's USB tour thong. Ryan Lochte has had that America bling for more than a fucking year. HOW has he not gotten punched squarely in that smirking, adorable, grill-sporting jaw at least once a week?
This isn't the end of Lochte's douchiness, though — just missing this list's cutoff is his forthcoming series of workout videos, the fact that he sells custom-designed sunglasses that say LOCHTE on one lens and have the American flag over the other, and his secondary signature exclamation, which is the nonsensical sentence starter "Ho!" as in "Ho, look over there at that gigantic sexy gold medal winning dbag."