With the Champions League final imminent, the current threat level of Cristiano Ronaldo finding an opportunity to publicly take off his shirt is rated by UEFA as “there’s nothing more we can do to stop him.”
Were there betting markets on such an outcome, bookies would also have the Real Madrid striker/centre-of-attention massively odds on to remove an item of clothing during the broadcast.
When the near inevitable happens, a minority of design types will reach for the Pantone swatch guide to try and identify exactly which shade of creosote the Portuguese role model is currently rocking, yet millions more, dazzled by the complexity of his ab structure, will be thinking “There’s the solution to all my emotional issues.”
If you are one of those people, who have applied some convoluted 21st century logic to the question of your own unhappiness, and concluded that the answer lies in the acquisition of a set of six-pack abs for yourself – think again.
Because the internet suggests that not a single person has yet found happiness by getting a six pack on.
Indeed, the repository of all wisdom is full of confessionals by people who have embarked on that arduous journey only to end up blessed with this dazzling and bitter revelation:
“No one gives a shit if you have abs.”
And for those who took a more high minded route and did it for themselves, the conclusion on reaching their goal seems to be “Now what?”
So while Saint Peacock is totally and unreservedly in favour of the restorative power of exercise, and its ability to help people feel better about themselves, discover untapped reserves of confidence, take a spectacularly more optimistic perspective on what they consider possible and a long etc, here are some of the reasons why six-packs ≠ happiness.
Very soon, nobody notices
After all that effort to sculpt your body, people are generally quite happy to give you a compliment – once. But when you take your top off at every opportunity to display your epic achievement, you quickly run out of fresh admirers.
No one cares how you got them
You may be ready at the slightest encouragement to evangelise about the sacrifice involved, but not even the greatest raconteur can make protein shakes and body fat percentage exciting. People may even start avoiding you to miss another re-telling of your “journey”.
People will not flock to you demanding sex
If you thought a photogenic set of abdominal muscles was the body’s version of an irresistible chat up line, then huge disappointment awaits. Only 2 per cent of women said abs were their magic musk, or some such bullshit. By all means blame your looks for your lack of action and do something about it, but confidence is the active ingredient, not prominent muscles.
The unnatural demands of six-packery may make you weird
A muscular midsection is only achieved by essentially starving yourself – you’ve got to get your body fat down to a point where it can’t adequately protect your underlying musculature (around 10 per cent in men, 15 per cent in women). Expect the body to react in unusual emotional, physical and hormonal ways as a response to being forced to go without. Sobbing on buses, hair-trigger tempers, tedious hunger cravings – none of these are generally considered as indicative of happiness.
The happiness only comes from realising that a six-pack wasn’t what you wanted at all
The only significant contribution an enhanced ab section seems to make to achieving happiness is as an important step along the way. “Only by doing this did I realise it wasn’t what I wanted, and only then could I see what was truly important to me” is a common refrain. So you could do yourself an enormous favour by listening to these people, taking a short cut around the hugely unpleasant ab-getting section of the path of self-discovery, working out what makes you happy and heading straight for it.