New Statesman | Praising a husband for fancying his “curvy” wife shows just how little we expect of men

tripp

Can’t say I’ve ever bought into the idea of penis envy, but man, being a man looks like a goddamn breeze sometimes, and if that’s what having a nob gets you, then heck maybe I am a bit jealous.

Take, for example, looking after your own kids. When a woman does it, no one cares. In fact, she’s just doing what she’s meant to. In actual fact, it’s nice of everyone to let her do it and to be honest isn’t she slightly taking the piss by having time off work, and she’d better not embarrass everyone by showing a bit of nipple. But let a dad so much as pick up a bottle, and watch the world swoon while angel choirs descend to sing oh isn’t he great and isn’t mum lucky that he babysits. Pass the wetwipes, I seem to have been sick.

Low expectations. That’s what I’m talking about. That’s the great bonus of masculinity. But even I was taken aback to see a man getting praised for, um, fancying his wife. Robbie Tripp describes himself as a “wordsmith, public speaker, and creative activist” and the author of “an abstract manifesto for disruptive creativity”, which to be honest sound like the kind of things you’d make up to get worried relatives off your back. (“No grandma, I’m not unemployed, I’m a creative activist.”) He can now add to that CV the impressive achievement of being keen on the woman he married.

Read the full column at the New Statesman

Supersize fibs

Of all the bullshit that is bullshitted, some of the sloppiest, stickiest nonsense is the stuff about diets and exercise, and there’s more of it around in January than at any other time of year. Well, apart from the bikini diets in June, the Christmas party body blitzes, the Easter eggs-ercise routines and, for all I bloody know, the Ascension Day ass-sculpting. The point is, this stuff just goes on and on, accompanied by the low whine of concern about the obesity crisis as journalists wibble on about how the nation got so fat (and meanwhile, picture editors wibble on about how they didn’t get into this business to source endless footage of broad, trembling backsides shuffling down highstreets). Continue reading

[Guest post] A physical education for Liz Jones

Joel Snape is features editor of Men’s Fitness, and he think Liz Jones is wrong about sport

Firstly, let me say that I think Fatima Whitbread is awesome. Secondly: Liz Jones has written one of those Mail columns where she vacillates between self-pity, uninformed opinions, countrywide psychoanalysis and contradictory statements so fast that you finish reading it confused and vaguely angry. Normally the best thing to do in response to this sort of thing is snort and post something cynical on Twitter, but there were enough echoes of things that I’ve heard normal people say about exercise in it that I thought it was worth responding to properly. Continue reading

Normal bodies

After three decades, I have decided that I might have a normal relationship with my body, although it all depends on how you define “normal”. If you mean “non-neurotic”, then no, I do not have a normal relationship with my body – even if I’d say that I’m happier in my own skin now than I’ve been at any time since the great fall of adolescence. I exercise, I eat well, and I’m proud of what my body can accomplish now rather than appalled by its failure to match up to arbitrary aesthetic standards. Continue reading