Fat-Shaming Ben Affleck for his Body and Tattoos is Insensitive

Ben Affleck has hit back at an article which addressed his protruding belly and tattoos on his back “saddening”. In an article published in The New Yorker couple of days ago, the writer called tattoos on the actor’s back “gargantuan” and referred to his belly as “Homer Simpsonesque”. But this isn’t the only article which has torn into Ben Affleck. Many have called Affleck’s latest photos reflect his mid-life crisis. People across the internet cannot get over the fact that the once in shape actor, known for his charming looks was photographed with a towel across his protruding abdomen, gazing sadly at the ocean.

Affleck is all right, thank you very much.

Taking a shot at the now viral article, Affleck tweeted “I’m doing just fine. Thick skin bolstered by garish tattoos.”

Many social media users have also called out the article for fat shaming Affleck. It is insensitive to call his photographs “panic inducing”, especially knowing that the past few years have been tough for him. The macho sculpted and perfect male bodies have become an inseparable part of Hollywood life. So much so that people refuse to accept a 45-year-old man’s natural physique.

Are his tattoos being labelled unattractive because of his age or his physique? Or simply because some people do not find his personal choice, classy enough?

But Affleck isn’t the only male actor to have been fat shamed. Hollywood A-listers like Leonardo DiCaprio and Vin Diesel have also been fat shamed in the past. They had their pictures splashed and shared across media, just because they decided to let themselves go.

The myth of eternal sculpted bodies prevents many people from realising that it is not easy to maintain six packs or toned musculature. There comes a point in every person’s life when physical perfection becomes lesser of a priority. There is just one reason for them to hit the gym, but there may be a thousand to not do it as well.

It seems like, people cannot accept Affleck’s failure to maintain his physique. They find it hard that a man who has so much money and fame, could care less and get a massive tattoo on his back. Is he not afraid of repercussions? Maybe it’s time we accept that he actually does not give a damn about what others think. Maybe he is in a juncture at his life, where he identifies with his tattoos and body more than he cares about paparazzi and social shaming.

As Affleck says in his tweet, he is doing just fine. Probably his definition of fine is a lot different from those who find his paunch and tattoos sad. But in the end, it is his life, and he wants to live by his rules.

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Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section.  The views expressed are author’s own.