“It makes me look fat…” San Francisco 49ers Alex Boone says of the #NFL’s new Nike “body contoured fit” jerseys. His wife apparently concurred: “it looks like you ate a small baby,” she’s reported to have said.
Gentlemen of football: Welcome to a woman’s world.
Men and perhaps football players in particular,do not carry around the “do I look fat” filter women routinely apply when choosing a clothing purchase. Men are also notorious for dropping ten pounds by merely reducing their consumption of french fries, while some women gain weight by merely looking at full fat mayo. So if men want to shed weight, they usually reduce more easily…but that is another story!
Traditionally–and believe me, I know the terrible path this kind of stereotyping leads to– men have a much easier time with accepting their weight and their bodies. So I laughed heartily, not at Alex Boone but with him – yes, those sleek tight garments meant for the micro faction of the population that look good in them, are — for the general population– a fashion statement that is hard to swallow. (No baby, or python reference intended.)
Big family event this weekend: my sister’s wedding.
As my son and I made last minute adjustments to wedding outfits, I peering to ensure I had tucked and smoothed myself as much as humanly possible into a fitted sheath, I noted that one of the shirts my son had chosen seemed a little tight- just across the biceps I said.
He turned and raised an eyebrow. Then he flexed, adding a cantaloup-sized pull to his arm. You mean you can see my bicep? he grinned. Because I’m not wearing a baggy I’m an out of shape old man shirt?
It’s one part getting older, and two parts weight gain trend. It’s reported that even NFL linemen (Green Bay Packers used as an example) are getting heavier- up from a 1966 average of 250 pounds to current day 312 pound average.
There’s a spirited debate about the new gear. The Wall Street Journal quotes Baltimore lineman Ramon Harewood saying that those who are complaining about the tight new shirts just “like to look pretty”.
I smoothed the fabric of my dress over my quadriceps. I am pushing the boundary. I’m not young and I’m not fit. Maybe next special occasion I’ll admit defeat and wear something baggier. But not today. Today, I just want to look pretty. Maybe those NFL ers are not so much unlike a women after all.