One Direction member Liam Payne recently took what looks like a very nice vacation wherein there was a lot of cavorting around half-naked on yachts and hotel balconies. These are all things that make me very jealous (those are my top two half-naked cavorting spots). What makes me less jealous is that Payne probably spent the entire trip trying to ignore the paparazzi cameras shoved in his face and then subsequently had to endure the apparent knee-jerk reaction of the Internet asking him to please keep his shirt on because bodies that were not sculpted by the hand of Zeus himself make people a leeettle bit uncomfortable.
Ahhh, yes, it's the classic story of Internet troll meets paparazzo photo of an un-photoshopped celebrity. The Internet troll says something terrible, the rest of us question humanity. But this time it's with a twist. Usually these kinds of stories center around women — which female celebrity should be hitting the gym a little more frequently, what those messages are teaching young girls, and how those messages affect the women they'll become. We focus these narratives on women for good reason — for every snarky thing someone says about Liam Payne's appearance, I'd be willing to bet there's a thousand snarky things someone has said about the appearance of, say, Kim Kardashian. (Remember her "elbow fat" in July?)
But the reaction to Payne's photos is a bracing reminder that body hate and fat shaming is something that affects everybody, even if it affects some people more often than others.
It looks like Payne is taking the criticism in stride though. He laughed off the haters in a recent Instagram post:
He later followed that up with a second Instagram post about self-acceptance and kindly instructed the haters to the left.
Now, B.M.I. can be a very problematic way to asses personal health for a number of reasons, but I can definitely get down with his general message of "stfu, h8rs."
Liam Payne is so over your body hate — and maybe it's time for the rest of the world to get with the program.
Images: Liam Payne/Instagram