Sunday Times

WTF is going on?

A pertinent question considerin­g the world we’re living in


Things are looking up for the selfidenti­fying heterosexu­al male. Have I got news for you: this species of human can stop going to the gym with immediate effect, suspend relentless training for the Comrades, give up that place on the Cape Epic held over since before the plague and climb off the Peloton bike. No need to be Cross or Fit any more. Break up with the personal trainer — whose smug body confidence was hated anyway. Sleep in. Rising with the dawn to traverse the hills and vales can be directly suspended.

That on/off relationsh­ip with the deadly carb? Celebrate, my friend — it’s definitely on again. The fridge is a friend — never mind that intermitte­nt-fasting malarkey. Protein shakes be damned. Toss the supplement­s down the toilet. Those secret testostero­ne shots — over. Delete the dealer’s number right now. Today is the first day of the rest of your life.

Why the free pass, you ask? What changed? Are you not meant to carry on in urgent, heart-stopping, muscle-tearing, manic competitio­n with the ever-younger male buck until you shuffle off into middle distance with your carbon fibre Zimmer frame and your Viagra?

No, the only six-pack you need concern yourself with now is the beer varietal.

Single women, it seems, prefer the dad bod. Yes, it’s true. Don’t be fooled by those lasses glazing over with delight at the sight of Jamie the Outlander as they suspend family life to binge-watch the new season, or swoon at the Adonislike Regé-Jean Page — aka Bridgerton’s hottie. They’re clearly misguided and driven by societal stereotype­s. The (not so) hard truth is that 75% of their single sisters have confessed to preferring the dad bod over any other manifestat­ion of maleness.

The survey of more than 2,000 people stressed that soft around the edges and loose around the middle is the infinitely comforting type that beats all others hands down. The ladies want a paunch, and not only in the form of Leonardo DiCaprio and Luke Hemsworth (the lesserbuil­t Hemsworth sibling).

Is this just a case of extreme pragmatism? They say 45% of people put on an average of 13.5kg over the year of Covid; they took the lockdown gap and gapped it to the couch. Whatever the case, stats don’t lie. Love handles are back in. So lay down your Lycra, gentlemen, you can relax now.

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