Why is the New Yorker happy to fat-shame Ben Affleck?

·Contributor
The article seemed to compare the actor to Homer Simpson [Photo: PA]
The article seemed to compare the actor to Homer Simpson [Photo: PA]

A few days ago, American magazine the New Yorker published an article which discusses Ben Affleck’s body in minute detail.

And the internet is not happy about it.

The piece – titled The Great Sadness of Ben Affleck – talks about Affleck’s “gut pooching outward”, and even appears to compare the actor and filmmaker to Homer Simpson.

Describing a rather unflattering photo that had recently surfaced of the film star, the article said:

“His gut is pooching outward in a way that, in a more enlightened country like, say, France, would perhaps be considered virile, not unlike the lusty Gérard Depardieu in his prime but, in fitness-fascist America, tends to read as Homer Simpsonesque.

“A blue-gray towel is wrapped protectively around his midsection—recalling a shy teen at the local pool.

“Staring at the water before him, his gaze obscure and empty, Affleck is a defeated Roman senator… The image suggests not just the fall of Affleck but the coming fall of man.”

The focus on his physique and comparison to caricatures of fatness have led internet users to believe that yes, the New Yorker is body-shaming Affleck:

It is the most mean-spirited article I’ve read in a long time,” wrote one Twitter user.

“He has struggled with alcohol addiction which you managed to leave out. So low-level, I will not be subscribing to the New Yorker – ever.”

Another said: “A piece which seemed to have no other point than to body-shame a person who feels depressed. A low moment for anything resembling journalism.”

One added: “This is no article, this is not news, this is you body-shaming a man that works hard.”

Others, however, didn’t agree, and one commenter said that the piece was “beautiful”.

“Laughing out loud for far too long,” said another user. “I love everything about this piece.”

Was the piece body-shaming Affleck, or art for art’s sake?

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