Aquaman actor Jason Momoa got fat-shamed on social media for not looking fit as a superhero while on a family vacation. Apparently, fans felt disappointed that Momoa had let go a little and his chiselled abs were, well, a little less chiselled. But keeping up with the trend of going overboard with their outrage, some trolls dubbed Mamoa’s holiday body as ‘dad bod’. If Khal Drogo’s holiday body is dad bod then his fans clearly need a reality check. But one does wonder if Momoa is paying the price of displaying those gleaming packs on screen. With many fans still not knowing how to separate fiction from reality, it doesn’t come as a surprise that they find Momoa’s off screen self ‘fat’.

SOME TAKEAWAYS:

  • Jason Momoa got fat-shamed for his vacation body.
  • Do fans not know how to separate fiction from reality?
  • Do stars like Momoa bring such scrutiny upon themselves by projecting an image of physical perfection?
  • Celebs at the end of the day are people after all. And they deserve a break from strict fitness regimens they follow.

One can argue that these stars have brought it upon themselves, by featuring at their physical best on magazine covers and films.

We do not talk about how the projection of ripping muscles and toned abs on screen leads to unnatural expectations among people, as much as we should. A lot goes behind making those muscles look so toned and beefed up, from proper make-up, to strict exercise regime and diet. But aren’t these actors humans too? Wouldn’t they want to let go of their fitness routine, perhaps just for a family holiday? Our bodies are cruelly unforgiving and all it takes is a few days of slack for them to loosen up. But people have such unreal expectations from celebs that they simply can’t forgive them for letting go on a holiday. One can argue that these stars have brought it upon themselves, by featuring at their physical best on magazine covers and films.

So consumed are we by their onscreen personas, that we forget to look at them as humans. There can be a lot of reasons for a celebrity to not maintain their toned bodies. They can have an injury, fall sick or just not feel upto the task. All of these are valid reasons. What isn’t rational is the scrutiny which their physiques receive. This also once again highlights the huge lapse in understanding among common folks when it comes to fitness. Most of us prioritise physical perfection over other aspects of health such as mental and social well-being. Our fitness icons are men and women with not an iota of fat or muscle mass out of place. What about the other components of health though?

Most of us prioritise physical perfection over other aspects of health such as mental and social well-being.

We have this attitude not just for stars like Momoa but for ourselves and other people around us too. We do not see health, we only see physique. Men get shamed for having a paunch, women get shamed for their postpartum bodies. Girls and boys grow up with false ideas about their body type. Over a lifetime, the zeal to fit into the acceptable body type gives us so much stress and anxiety. It leads to health issues like anorexia and body dysmorphic syndrome. It keeps us from enjoying our lives because we don’t want to be healthy, we want to be perfect.

While the heart goes out to Mamoa (in more ways than one) we must ask what has brought upon this plague of intense body shaming upon us? The fact that Mamoa can’t get away with not having six abs on a holiday is the perfect testimony to our skewered understanding of health. Momoa will get back his Aquaman physique soon, but what about us? When will we begin to see health for what it is?

Picture Credit: Gage Skidmore/ WikiCommons

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

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