WHEN Chris Pratt posted a photo of himself shirtless and newly buffed-up for his role in Guardians of the Galaxy to Instagram we didn’t hear the end of it, until… well, at time of writing, we’re still in the midst of the fall-out. Here was a guy who had been more than chubby for some years, playing the much loved “human Labrador” Andy in Parks and Recreation. Never before has one man’s dedication to working out and eating less so caught the imagination of the public.
And yet, to me, it was the last photo he posted on Instagram — two slices of pepperoni pizza and a beer with the caption “Victory. Press tour completed. Headed home. What a moment” that was, although perhaps not as visually appealing, certainly more interesting.
Because the way Chris has dealt with questions about his physical transformation during the press tour has brought to mind that Ellen DeGeneres interview with Channing Tatum a few months back. The one in which he revealed that his wife calls him — having put on a few pounds and relaxed his usual exercise regime — “fat and happy or fappy.” Jenna Dewan Tatum was quick to confirm in the ensuing media storm that she enjoyed Channing’s new look. Channing was keen to defend the necessity for what he called “downtime” after years of working out consistently.
(sidenote — as Channing and Jenna later discovered, the term “fappy” actually has something to do with masturbation and a dolphin… Google it)
Chris Pratt has also alluded to his regular, pre-Guardians weight as partly the result of his happy marriage to actress Anna Faris. He has been clear that he plans to pack the pounds back on — hence the pepperoni pizza — now that he can. Anna congratulated her husband on Twitter for the success of the blockbuster hit, adding that they would be celebrating with “a big bowl of tater tots.”
When Chris was asked by Chelsea Handler how Anna felt about his weight loss, Chris said she preferred him “fat,” because, “she’s a feeder.” He joked in another interview that when he received the call about winning the role of Star Lord, he immediately requested that his wife “stop baking!”
What this all had me wondering was — could an actress call herself “fat and happy” in her marriage? Could an actress’s husband call her “fat and happy?” Would an actor ever say he preferred his wife “fat?” If she did would she get showered, as Chris has, with reassurances from interviewers and fans alike that she looks great with a bit more weight and that she totally deserves to eat everything she wants?
Last week, Bustle compiled a post about Anna and Chris’ apparent shared love of food. The thing is, though, only one of them could ever have been classed as overweight. Anna is, as Chelsea Handler rightly pointed out, “a tiny girl” who looks like she works very hard to stay that way. Chelsea suggested it was “ironic” that Anna likes her husband “fat” considering her own size, but admitted she could “understand that.” It seems a little more than ironic, no?
Bustle’s post concluded with this quote from Chris: “She (Anna) likes abs, but she likes her fat husband better, because she gets to feed him. She’s a feeder and she wants to keep me locked up in the bedroom all fat and eating Kentucky Fried Chicken.” The writer then remarked, admiringly — “It’s stinkin’ special when you can find someone who will do that.” But again, the thing is, if Anna Faris had said that about her husband we’d be more likely to assume something very weird and unromantic might be going on, something we might see on a TLC special.
We sometimes hear actors say they love their wives “however they look,” but we never hear them say they prefer them “fat.” That’s because what is “fat” for actresses is still way smaller than what is considered “fat” for actors. The parameters of the phrase “however they look” are narrow when a size 10 is considered dangerously huge. When Anna told an interviewer her husband preferred her “butt” the way it was at that time — “a little bigger,” as she saw it — she was referring to her very much below-average-sized butt.
We may hear an actress sing the praises of a pepperoni pizza, but only if she is quite clearly below average weight for her height and has been for a very long time. And she’s at the Oscars. And she’s Jennifer Lawrence. Women can fool around about junk food as long as it is obvious that they’ve not been eating much of it. Even Melissa McCarthy has to remind us she was once a size 6 and is trying, always trying, to lose weight. She says her body is “a work in progress,” but she is always working on it.
A recent study commissioned by the charity Men’s Health Forum claimed that married life does indeed make men gain weight. The researchers suggested that the women doing the food shopping and cooking were to blame for the men eating more — citing the fact that married men eat more yogurt (obviously something only women would buy from the grocery store) as evidence. It was even suggested that women were deliberately “fattening up” their husbands to make sure they were less likely to be attractive to other women.
However, other studies have shown that married men live longer than single men and part of this might be that although they eat more, they also eat healthier — with more fruits and vegetables (and yogurt!) in their diets. Married men are also less likely to smoke, drink heavily, and more likely to exercise. Wives do also in fact put on some weight, but not to the extent of the average husband.
All considered, contrary to social standards, it should be men that are more concerned with tying the knot. At base level marriage gives husbands an extra 1.7 years of life, but takes 1.4 years off the average wife’s lifespan.
The picture of the pepperoni pizza made me wonder something else too — how Chris Pratt felt now that his rising star has been coupled so clearly with his buffed-up body. As an actor, he might have it easier than Anna, but not all that easy. Perhaps part of what makes him so endearing is that we, as women, can feel his pain.