There was a news story carried by The Sun recently, the principles of which were contained in its headline: “ABS-OULUTE DOLLAR My man’s spent £20k on Botox, fillers & having fake abs sculpted onto his body - now he’s too poor to take me for dinner”
I won’t go into the details of the story, essentially a disagreement between a couple, Kelly Meyers and her partner Adam Baroni, who had invested heavily in his physical appearance (or male vanity, depending on your point of view).
Baroni, 41, a security guard, apparently started making significant financial investments in his appearance at a key stage in his life. According to his partner, “Adam wanted to have the muscled, gym body without the vast amount of hours in the gym. Now he has had liposuction on his midsection, stomach, flanks and back area. This saw all the unwanted fat sucked out. The remaining fat on his chest and abdomen was carved to look like pecs and abs. Then he had a ‘J-plasma’ procedure. This means the loose skin is literally shrink-wrapped around the remaining fat and muscle.”
Well, you can see where the money went, I guess.
Baroni’s take on his transformation, as reported in the article, is telling.
“I wanted to feel more confident and to make sure I wasn’t flabby and fat at 40. All men worry about turning 40 and losing their body shape. I found a surefire way to prevent that. More blokes should try it. I want blokes to know it's not girly and it works. Muscles and a makeover, it’s a super manly thing to do.”
Now, I’m not one to criticise any man (or, indeed, woman) who invests in surgical procedures to cosmetically change their appearance. If that is the decision a person takes with the finances available to them, then good luck.
As a man approaching his forties I also understand the power of male vanity, particularly in the current visual age and the influence of peer pressure. Many of us want to look our best and to appear attractive. Attaining a high physical standard can also be a challenge which involves hard work in the gym (or outdoors!), as well as making intelligent dietary choices.
Ask any man who prepares for a fitness competition about what they have to do to be competitive on stage and you will get an insight into the sacrifice and discipline that is required, as well as the time and effort that needs to be expended in such an endeavour.
It is not easy, but it can be worth it if this goal is deemed to be important.
For myself, however, I grow concerned with the idea that the appearance of physical fitness can be achieved through expensive shortcuts and cosmetic applications. Sure, a guy might seem to be physically on form and desirable through such processes, but is he actually fit as a result, particularly in the long-run?
One of the principles that I share with my clients is the idea of finding balance between fitness and attractiveness. By this, I mean training for fitness in a way that builds strength and agility for the long-term, whilst achieving an attractive physical form in the process.
This is not a quick or easy accomplishment and it does require intelligent decision-making concerning exercise, rest and diet, but it does pay off. Plus, it will make the person following such a fitness lifestyle feel better about themselves and the world they live in.
It is an authentic fitness goal and one that will get the person aiming for it noticed, for all the right reasons.