This is awesome beyond all words. ESPN released their annual "Body" issue with six cover variants of nude professional athletes. One of those athletes is Texas Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder, and shocker among shockers he actually dared to take his shirt (and pants) off without having the requisite cheese grater six pack abs.
It's simply amazing. We have a man clearly in excellent physical condition who doesn't necessarily feel the need to chisel each muscle down to bodybuilder perfection. What's more, he knows he doesn't fit the culturally-mandated ideal, and he doesn't care. In an interview with ESPN, Fielder says:
“A lot of people probably think I’m not athletic or don’t even try to work out or whatever, but I do. Just because you’re big doesn’t mean you can’t be an athlete. And just because you work out doesn’t mean you’re going to have a 12-pack. I work out to make sure I can do my job to the best of my ability. Other than that, I’m not going up there trying to be a fitness model.”
People, are of course, chiming in with their own nastiness; the comments in the article on The Daily Beast give a small dose of that (and $50 says none of them are in a fraction of the condition Fielder is). Memes are taking off as well, because the Internet is a very, very strange place, though not all of them are hostile, thankfully.
At the end of the day Fielder has, I believe, done a world of good for no small number of men who feel insecure in their own self-image. Men may not be held to the same beauty standards as women, but the issues exist all the same, so kudos to Fielder for doing his part to help break down those expectations.
In closing, I leave you with my favorite Fielder meme of the moment: