According to yesterday’s Daily Mail Jemima Khan and Hugh Grant are back together. I’d like to give Ms Khan just one piece of advice. Never trust a man who has shoulders smaller than you do.
When I was in LA recently I had the misfortune of seeing Hugh Grant’s latest film; Music & Lyrics. I went with my screenwriting friend Jennifer (who lost the will to live after the first scene) and Constance, a legal secretary who moonlights as a pilates teacher, actress and stand-up comedienne (only in LA). Anyway, just as we thought things couldn’t get any worse, there was Hugh, naked from the waist up.
“Ugh,” said Constance, burying her head in her popcorn. “He’s soooo British.”
Jennifer nodded. “He has the body of a fourteen-year-old.”
Next day I was wandering down Venice Beach. Apart from the clinically obese men (and there were a few) everyone else seemed to have a decent body. OK, so some of them were young, like the surfer who walked towards me unzipping his wet suit revealing a rather well-formed chest and a six-pack.
That six-pack really got me thinking. And I realised it was the first time I had ever seen one in REAL LIFE. How deprived is that? Growing up in England, you just don’t come across them. Six-packs are not on general view, unless they’re made of hops and malt.
So why is this? Are they much more intellectual? Or just too busy to get to the gym? Do English women not care? Jemima clearly doesn’t.
Copyright:Helena Frith Powell 2007
Your comment about seeing a six pack in real life brings to mind the first time I saw a real life six pack – at a gay pride march I happened to come across in Brussels. No heterosexual males in sight so maybe it’s a sexuality thing? Oh, I hope not! Tell me I’m wrong…PLEASE.
Oh, I forgot to add I am typing this as my boyfriend (with beer belly – better not tell him) is watching England “play” football drinking beer. Do you get this in France….or LA?
Yes, we do get this in France. As I was writing my blog last night my husband was in the next room shouting “useless” at the television. This happens a lot when England plays. But thankfully he doesn’t have a beer belly. Hx
Yeh, couldn’t agree more, especially sloping shoulders! Yuk yuk!
Here in the Languedoc, it may be more the wine guzzler than the beer guzzler but boy, it is full of shorties! If you are looking for tall men, don’t come here!
Thankfully, my cheri is tall, has broad square shoulders & the washboard stomach! (ps 100% English)
Interesting blog! I think that this is an American thing actually. In USA body image seems to be all about bulk – size is everything in America. So all the guys have huge chests and great abs. Here in France the look tends to be more lean and in fact most of the guys are fit but don’t bother so much with the artificial gym look.
However where the sexuality thing creeps in is that gay men tend to keep in trim where as the straight blokes let themselves go once they have paired up.
How many well-preserved and fit 50 year olds do you see that are straight?
Reason being that both gay men (and straight women) tend to make more of an effort with the way they look as they are responding to male ‘lust’ which is more object-oriented, where as straight men (and lesbians) can get away with looking more shoddy – as female lust is more emotional and subject-oriented.
This debate clearly proves that men, straight or not, are shallow creatures, influenced by large breasts, cute bottoms and six-packs. Women, the fairer sex, are much deeper: they are willing to put up with the odd bulge in a strange place, assuming that it hides a fat wallet.
I think it’s a class thing in gloriously class-ridden England. Or it was when I was growing up – admittedly a long time ago – I remember noticing that the young navvies (as we called them) had lovely muscles, but nobody else did, because manual labour (no gyms in those days), was beneath anyone with an education.
Nowadays, its more of a gay thing to be really buff, I agree, so straight men may avoid that identification.
Plus, if you live somewhere the sun don’t shine too much, it’s a real chore to maintain a bod to die for, for the sake of 2 weeks exposure a year.
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