If ever there was a man that stood at the forefront of modern masculinity in 2017, it’s Leonardo DiCaprio.
A simple search for the actor’s name alongside “Lad Bible” and “Unilad” brings up the around-the-clock coverage the Oscar winner gets. Comparable only to fellow Revenant star Tom Hardy, he’s emerged as a lifestyle icon for a whole generation of young guys.
Much of that has to do with the fact he doesn’t court fame in the way some stars do. There are no incessant social media updates, no funny appearances on the latest late night US chat show and no Twitter.
He’s an actor, among the very best in his profession, who shies away from fame while embracing a lifestyle that is attractive yet unattainable to most men with DiCaprio surrounding himself with a cabal of models and friends who spend their time on yachts living the high life.
And yet he occupies a position where his every action is scrutinised and mimicked by young men seeking some reflective glory – all of which makes DiCaprio’s latest alleged behaviour all the more intriguing.
According to a report from Page Six, DiCaprio was overheard at a party discussing his “low-key” workout habits in the presence of several young women.
“It was a party at this private estate”, a source claimed. “He was drinking his beer and bragging to these models about how he doesn’t work out.”
Apparently, the girls weren’t impressed.
“The girls were like, ‘Does he think that’s attractive? It’s not like he’s in Titanicshape anymore,'” the source quipped.
Bragging or otherwise, the alleged comments represent a breath of fresh air in 2017, a period when the male body is under the microscope more than ever before.
For decades if not centuries, women have had to adhere to similarly ridiculous image expectations but the reversal something new and similarly unwarranted.
Now, more than ever before, young men are under pressure to work out and develop the kind of six packs you find on the cover of Men’s Health rather than in the average fridge.
That’s not to say there is anything wrong with being fit and healthy; but if you are among those men carrying a little extra weight, or someone that just looks plain average, the world is a far less welcoming place.
Overweight men, even if it’s a marginal amount of excess, are outcasts, failing to adhere to the accepted societal norm for male beauty in 2017. And while loaded totally gets that this is a practice that has been going on around women for some time and is total bullshit, it’s still a woefully misguided.
Young men often grow up uncomfortable in their own skin, awkward in almost every aspect of their lives – piling the pressure of a different kind of expectation onto these developing minds helps no one.
It’s only as time goes on and physical changes manifest, that things change but by then it may already be too late – call someone fat or in possession of a “dad bod” one too many times and you risk damaging confidence, which is only reinforced by the media, creating a stigma that can be difficult to escape.
DiCaprio can make a difference though. He isn’t overweight or even chubby, for that matter – he’s just an ordinary, healthy looking guy who enjoys his life and the wealth his work brings.
He is a rare breed: a young(ish) star promoting a different lifestyle that doesn’t involve protein shakes and 5am gym sessions – and that’s okay. After all, this is a guy who spent pretty much all of his formative years in the spotlight, with his image constantly under scrutiny and his personal life public.
At some point in time, Leo seemingly just decided to be Leo and stop caring what other people and the media thought about him. He’s not let himself go or anything like that but if he wanted to that would be fine too.
It’s okay to be different, to not want to go to the gym, to not feel the need to develop He-Man-like pecks and to brag about all of the above – to loaded’s way of thinking that’s just a different form ofbody confidence.
DiCaprio is championing a state of mind that says it’s okay to be who you are because you are fucking awesome.
Now does that not sound like a message we could all do with getting behind?
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.