So this photo appears online of Tom Brady, shirtless and in a bathing suit, on a beach kissing Gisele. Immediately, internet trollers started harping over the fact that Brady looked somewhat out of shape, that he didn't have six-pack abs, that his pecs weren't tight, blah, blah, blah. As if armchair quarterbacking isn't silly enough, people actually waste their time chiming in on another person's body when they themselves are likely far from being a prime physical specimen. I know. I know. "But I'm not paid millions of dollars to be an elite athlete." True, and Tom Brady is. And guess what? Like with every season he's played thus far, this upcoming season, barring injury, I'm fairly confident that he will be among the elites in the NFL. Six-pack abs or rock solid pecs or not.
Before you think I'm a Brady or Patriots fanboy, I'm not. I actually don't like the Patriots nor do I root for Brady. I root for the Giants, though I'm not even all that obsessed with football. Baseball is my sport. But, like Brady or hate him, as he gets older into his forties if he still plays that long, his eventual decline in play will be solely due to the fact that he, like everyone, can't stop Mother Nature. It's truly "Tom Vs. Time". Whether he works out hardcore or slacks a little, his body will gradually break down, and no amount of sit-ups, push-ups, or calisthenics are going to stop or reverse it. And I'm CERTAIN that a little more flab that everyone's talking about (and it's really not much at all) around his waistline this year isn't going to keep him and the Patriots out of the playoffs. The reality is, he's a quarterback. You don't necessarily need the awesome power, speed, and explosiveness of bulging biceps or thighs to play the position well. You need brains, accuracy, good arm strength, and a quick release, all of which Brady still has.
I think all of this body shaming of celebrities and people in general comes from a place of jealousy or a need to feel superior. Someone has accomplished WAY more than you like Brady has with five Super Bowl titles and countless other achievements, knock him down a few pegs by pointing out that he's getting a hint of a gut or "man boobs". Guess what? Your abs are most likely hiding under FAR more layers of fat than Brady's, and your man boobs most likely droop MUCH lower.
It really is sad that we, as a cyber-society, can't just look at a photo that some scumbag paparazzi secretly took of a guy and his wife having what is supposed to be a somewhat private stroll on the beach without later dissecting that photo and pointing out the physical flaws of the parties involved. And, even sadder, taking the time to engage in a comment thread where there is name-calling and jokes and reprobation and admonishing. Who are WE to criticize and judge? To make implications that Brady is out of shape so therefore he's getting old and lazy and therefore his playing days are close to being over? Or when an actor or actress puts on weight and, again, that same scumbag paparazzi hiding behind a bush like a coward snaps a photo of the actor or actress stuffing their face with a cheeseburger? Why must we pay a lick of attention to these images to the point where we take the time to actually log into an account to weigh in on them and mock the subjects?
We all really need to step back and look at ourselves and ask what our motivations are for tearing other people down for the whole world to see. These are fellow human beings. Just because they may be rich or powerful or famous doesn't mean they lack feelings. It's sad that we need to be reminded like kindergartners over and over again but we do: "Be kind to others."
Rather than wasting your life away zombie-eyed in front of a computer screen thinking of a witty comment to body shame Tom Brady or anyone else, take a look at your own flaws instead, starting with your insensitivity and lack of empathy, and start fixing yourself.
If you don't, this time, you're shaming yourself.