There’s a new addition to the Brooklyn hipster’s “male uniform” this summer: a “burgeoning potbelly,” said Guy Trebay in The New York Times. We’ll call this modest bulge “the Ralph Kramden,” and there are various theories to explain the phenomenon. Perhaps six-pack abs have became “prissy,” or the gut a resurgent sign of prosperity. Or maybe the Ralph Kramden is a “contrarian” hipster reaction to the “conspicuously flat belly” of our new president.
If “the age of the metrosexual” is finally over, that’s not a bad thing in itself, said Amy Odell in New York Magazine. But to the extent that a potbelly is a choice Brooklyn hipsters are “consciously making,” it’s “not fair and it should not stand.” At least not while “women diet, exercise, pluck, and apply face cream to the point of misery.”
“Women have not embraced the Kramden,” said Sadie Stein in Jezebel, we’re just being “nice about it.” Me, I’m tempted to blame the hipster gut on the “shlub-with-hottie phenom in pop culture,” but it’s probably “a lot more straightforward: the hipsters who used to be really scrawny are now older, and can’t drink as much PBR without it showing.”
Right, “you only need a reason not to have a potbelly,” said blogger Ann Althouse, and it has to be a good enough reason to make you fight nature. Well, men, here’s a good reason: “a round belly is feminizing. It speaks of fertility and pregnancy.” And guys, “the ‘pregnant man’ has never been a good look.”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The mystery behind China's aggressive push into space
- Yes, Republicans can impeach President Obama
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- Why Texas' abortion rates aren't falling as quickly as everyone expected
- What religious traditionalists can teach us about sex
- The 5 best and worst states for a well-lived life
- Why all drugs should be legal. (Yes, even heroin.)
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- 7 ideas from ancient thinkers that will improve your modern life
- The 6 best low-cost smartphones
Subscribe to the Week