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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Column: Adonis complex

The secret’s out, everybody. It’s spring quarter. That means lying out and looking good on the grassy knoll at the Rec Pool. It means getting drunk and looking good on the deck at HB2K12. For us guys, we get to wear tank tops and scream, “Sun’s out guns out, bro!” while cruising around on longboards and wearing those goofy plastic sunglasses with the colored rims. Are those ironically cool, or just cool? I can never figure it out. Anyways, the bottom line is it’s skin-baring season and it’s time to show that we have the muscle-bound bodies of Greek gods.
Around this time of year, there’s a problem that goes unaddressed. It’s an unwritten rule to ignore an issue that stares back at us from the mirror. Some of us aren’t Greek gods. If Achilles looked like me then he had more soft spots than just around the ankles. The truth is, most of us are more (insert wordplay using god name and fat looks). But fear not, my fellow fat friends, I am here to help with our Adonis complex. I stand before you today round and proud. All we need to do is debunk a few of their myths, and then we mere mortals can compete with the gods.
Up first, the myth that lighter skin always pales in comparison to tanner possibilities. Darker skin provides natural shadows that help highlight muscle definition. It’s why bodybuilders and models tan and oil their bodies before competitions and photo shoots.

Some of you may be thinking, this is great, let’s hit that tanning booth and show off the little muscle definition we have. But not so fast. Those natural shadows may also help highlight the extra baggage we accumulated over the holidays. My advice is to think twice before diving into a pool of spray tan. It may help some of us, but tanning may be an activity best reserved for the immortals.

This next myth, shaving areas that are not on your face, is also up to your own personal judgment. For all you werewolves out there, taking a razor blade or some wax to your back and tops of your feet is probably a practice you should never stop. But what about your chest and your stomach? My theory has always been that the ones who shave have something to show; if you have something to hide let it grow.

Let’s face it: We’re trying to hide our great ability to avoid working out and eating healthy. Your chest and stomach hair are a natural invisibility cloak for the pecs and six pack you don’t have. I’ve also pictured shaving as a Sisyphus-type ordeal — it always grows back so it’s like starting over each time. Again, some manscaping may be needed. After all, a garden left unattended becomes just a collection of plants after a while. But keep things natural. This time your body knows what it’s doing: It’s trying to help you by covering up some of your unsightliness.

The last myth we’ll cover this week may not make sense at first, but trust me when I say I’ve thought this through. We need to stop working out. At least, we need to stop working out and thinking it’ll change how we look this spring. Unfortunately, that ship set sail long ago. Most of the Greek gods and goddesses we’ll see weren’t born into their divine body types. It took hard work and planning. They set out months, maybe even years ago, and started lifting weights, running and doing whatever else it is healthy people do. For this year, at least, we’re out of luck, stuck with what we’ve got right now.
Don’t let that dampen your mood, though. And don’t let me discourage you from working out. Get back in there, get healthy, do your thing. And for those like me who still lack sufficient motivation to go to the gym, it’s OK. These tips will help us get by for now. We won’t become Heracles or Narcissus, but that can be a good thing, right? Those Greek gods had wacky lifestyles and too many problems for my liking anyway. Plus, true beauty goes beyond the surface. We’ll need more than sculpted marble for muscles for our Aphrodite to hang around.If there are other Greek myths you would like debunked, NOLAN SHELDON can be reached at nosheldon@ucdavis.edu.


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