Well fucking hell. It's happened. It has only gone and happened. The Fittest Photo Ever has been taken. We can all stop trying. Instagram could literally cease to exist – it could fully disappear in a cloud of Flat Tummy Tea #sponcon farts, right now – and it wouldn’t matter anymore, for humanity’s pursuit of fitness is complete. Un-pout thine face, disassemble thine ill-advisedly purchased, selfie-optimising ring light, and gaze upon your victor:
When I saw this photograph of Antoni Porowski, the "food expert" (translation: "man who can make grilled cheese and Just So Happens to be genital-flutteringly, hand-carved-by-the-gods attractive????") from Netflix's beautiful and gorgeous Queer Eye reboot, I immediately sent it to multiple friends in what was possibly the fastest use of the Instagram "Share Post" feature in history. I had to unload the burden of what I had seen.
As a keen scholar of hotties, I was curious as to what exactly provoked my visceral reaction to this One Thirst Trap to Rule Them All (and, in fact, also the reaction of 208,240 others at the time of writing). I would like to share with you now the results of my investigation.
Throughout my process, I discovered that this photo is so special because it achieves something that science previously thought to be impossible. It brings together two elements that we usually think of as totally disparate when assessing a person’s eligibility for fancying, and in doing so, it also brings humans together. This photo – nay, this sponsored post featuring Antoni Porowski standing in a tastefully furnished room in his lovely new knickers – some way, somehow, is: both cute and hot.
There have, of course, been other examples of this rare combination, other blazers of this rocky trail. Recently: Manny Jacinto’s GQ photoshoot, or – if vintage is your thing – The Photo of yung Bruce Springsteen (there are others, of course, and they are unique to each of us: those are just a couple of favourites of mine from the figurative filing cabinet labelled :'), which is kept somewhere in the back of my brain). Antoni, however, has created what is potentially the most aggressive strain of what I will term "cutehot" in recorded history.
Appreciating the complexity of this photo is a complex journey. It is like tasting a fine wine: there are top notes and subtle undertones. Let me, an expert, take you through it.
Initially, of course, when you look at it, your eye is drawn to Antoni's glistening torso – his six-pack made of marble, his pecs of solid gold and just fucking loads of protein powder – and you think you understand. You think, 'Ah, here is a hot photo. I am familiar with these. I too have seen the Naomi Campbell and Skepta pics. I get it. I know hotness.' But then – because you’re definitely still looking at it, aren’t you? – your eye travels. It moves up. And there it is: Antoni’s face. A face that, yes, obviously looks like it was sculpted by Michelangelo himself, but which can, absolutely and inarguably, also only ever be described as cute.
There’s something of the puppy in that face: the almost melancholy expression, the perfect head tilt that gives the whole pose an aura of shyness, even though you know he’s standing there in his kecks. It says, "Hey." It says, "I know you’ve had a long day, so I made you this grapefruit and avocado salad." And, as if he were a kitten who has brought a dead frog into the house as a show of love and appreciation for you, all you can feel is a rush of joy, and a little protectiveness. By some alchemy, Antoni’s face – almost in spite of his outrageous conventional hotness – makes me (and, I would wager, those 208,240 others) want to wrap him in a blanket and feed him soup with a teaspoon. Truly, this is rare magic.
What I am trying to say is that, really, this photo is the great leveller: it is so objectively and exquisitely fit that it brings us all together. Regardless of our differences, we can gather round this photo of this man in some frankly very soft and high-quality looking boxers, and we can link arms, and smile to each other, and we can simply say: "Yes. Absolutely yes."