New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady – who turns 41 Aug. 3 – does not have the body of Mr. Universe, with six-pack abs and gigantic muscles. A photo of him shirtless that’s going viral on social media reveals that instead of looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1982 film “Conan the Barbarian,” Brady looks more like Charles the librarian.
But hey, Arnold Schwarzenegger doesn’t look like the muscle-bound Conan anymore either, and Brady can outperform Conan – and 99.99999 percent of American men – on the football field any day, despite being ancient by football standards.
On top of that, Brady has one of the fattest paychecks of anyone around. He’s the third-highest paid player in NFL history, has already earned over $197 million in his career on the field, and brings in about $8 million a year just for endorsements. And his supermodel wife Gisele Bündchen has made even more. “Together the couple is worth $540 million,” Elite Daily reported in January.
Yet on social media, some guys who couldn’t hold a candle to Brady are fat-shaming him for not having the body of Superman as drawn in the comic books.
Even to those of us who are more Tom Brady haters than Tom Brady fans, this seems like a bridge too far. The superstar quarterback isn’t competing in the Olympic weight-lifting competition – he’s a football player who’s earned five Super Bowl rings. Not bad for a supposedly out of shape fat guy.
The offending picture, which features Brady wearing green swim trunks while holding the hand of his wife, is mildly funny-looking. The swim trunks are a weird cut and Brady looks confused.
TMZ posted a better version showing Brady kissing Bündchen, with the caption “Tom Brady & Gisele are a sun-kissed couple and he proves you don’t have to be ripped to shreds to be the G.O.A.T.” (Greatest of All Time.)
The website Ask Men pointed out that people were ripping Tom Brady for not having abs. But the guy they are mocking is – unfortunately for those us who hate the Patriots – at the top of his game.
The mixed messages women have gotten for years – “love yourself! But not too much! Thin is good! Thin is weird! Love yourself as you are, but change a little bit!” – are now being projected to men. For several years the “dad bod,” as popularized by non-dad Leonardo DiCaprio, was the industry standard. Now the dad bod, or the bod of actual dad Tom Brady, is no good. Which is it?
We’re all so addicted to the social media takedown that an imperfect Tom Brady motivates people to joyfully make cutting comments about him. It’s twisted.
As to those guys tweeting that they’re old and out of shape and still look better than Brady – the fact is, you don’t.
A flabby Brady is, sadly for those of us who can’t stand the Patriots, still a force to be reckoned with. A flabby Jim in the accounting department is just a flabby accountant. Only one of them is paid millions of dollars for his body and only one of them gets to be married to Bündchen.
In this Cowboys fan’s opinion, the Patriots are the worst and Tom Brady is worthy of derision. But not for his body. Let’s have some perspective.