Will Smith's Whole Dad Bod Situation Is Depressing

Reactions to the actor sharing that his pretty typical body is 'the worst shape' of his life
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 7, 2021 4:16 AM CDT
Will Smith's Dad Bod Reveal Was Not 'Brave'
In this Oct. 6, 2019 file photo, Jada Pinkett Smith, left, and her husband Will Smith attend the premiere of "Gemini Man" in Los Angeles.   (Photo by Phil McCarten/Invision/AP, File)

Will Smith got a lot of love for revealing his quarantine body on Instagram, but he immediately followed that up by announcing he'd be ditching the dad bod in a new YouTube series tentatively titled, Best Shape of My Life. The "whiplash" has Kyndall Cunningham bemoaning the "cynical truth" of Smith's move in the Daily Beast: It took Smith no time at all to go from supposedly putting himself out there in a "real," "refreshing" way to announcing "a corporate-sponsored body transformation," Cunningham writes. This dark side of "celebrity over-sharing" is nothing new, but these days, celebrities are careful to couch their journeys as being more about health than weight loss, insisting they love their bodies even while working hard to change them. The move "is maybe a more depressing indicator of the future of the fat acceptance and body-positivity movements" than the corporate endorsement. Cunningham's full piece is here, or check out more reactions to Smith below:

  • Cunningham got this quote from activist Dana White: "Will Smith is not 'embracing his body.' He's seeing his pretty common body type as 'the worst shape' of his life and publicly stating, as one of the highest profile celebrities in the world, that his body needs fixing because he doesn’t have visible abs as millions died around us."
  • Reactions on Twitter were split between those applauding Smith's honesty about his body and those who were a bit more skeptical. "It's so scary to me that body politics have gotten to a stage where people think that showing off a very slim, still slightly muscular body like this is brave ... Fatphobia has us in a deathgrip but he's not even fat. Our ideas about bodies are very twisted," reads one tweet in the latter camp.
  • Put Meghan McCain, however, in the former camp ... and then some. "Not to be crass again but like, he can get it any time he wants," she said Thursday on the View, per Yahoo News. "I don’t care what his body looks like."
  • Smith posted a photo gallery on Instagram featuring fans who submitted their own pictures of their own quarantine bods, using the hashtag #BigWillieChallenge to ask for "after" photos in 12 weeks. Marlon Wayans and other celebs are included in the gallery, BET reports.
  • Jamie Lee Curtis also backed Smith, Today reports, posting (but later apparently deleting) an untouched photo she posed for in 2002 during a magazine shoot to illustrate just how retouched celebrity photos typically are. "My old MORE @_moremagazine story was both a testament to 'The way things were for me' as well as a way to show the artifice of magazine advertising and air brushing but also a chance to look in the mirror and make some changes," she wrote. "None of us should be unhealthy. We ALL have fallen into bad habits. The GOAL is self acceptance, self love. Realistic, attainable self acceptance."
(Read more Will Smith stories.)

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