Yesterday, Dave Hughes posted an innocent photo on Instagram of himself seated in an armchair looking rather chuffed.
The comedian and KIIS FM radio host is pictured with his shirt lifted, showing off his tummy in all its pale Melburnian glory. (Seriously, under every white Melburnian’s top lies proof of how cold and rainy our spring has been.)
“Don’t know who positioned the mirror, but I took and posted this happy snap all on my own,” he captioned the photo.
The picture attracted a flurry of comments from his followers amused by the lighthearted post.
I challenge you to show me one single human being who can take a flattering photo from that exact angle. Even supermodel Adriana Lima would struggle.
… I wish. Remember, this is the internet and it is an unforgiving, unforgetting beast.
Nek minit, the very same picture was plastered on the Daily Mail with the headline, “Dave Hughes shows off his ballooning belly in a revealing selfie… months after the comedian celebrated his 9kg weight loss.”
Woah, woah, woah.
We haven’t seen this before. Twisting someone’s perfectly harmless social media post into fodder for a body shaming article? Who’da thunk it?
While any female celebrity – or in fact any woman with a semi-strong social media presence – would have seen it coming from 100 kilometres away, blindfolded, and the bottom of the ocean, Hughesy clearly wasn’t anticipating the news coverage. He tweeted this morning:
I was dying to know how he felt about it in more than 140 Twitter characters. It wasn’t long ago that one of Mamamia‘s favourite blokes, Bachie host and TV/radio personality Osher Gunsberg, was sniffed out by the charming papparazzi while in Indonesia and shamed for his “Bali belly”.
At the time, Gunsberg told Mamamia he was mighty pissed off. Men are rarely body shamed – especially the fellas whose appearance aren’t intrinsic to their careers – and Gunsberg was taken by complete shock.
So I gave Hughes a call.
And I was left stunned. His response couldn’t have been more different than I’d been expecting.
“I’m not angry. I’m just amused by it,” he told me.
Hughes said when his wife Holly showed him the story, he immediately laughed it off.
“I’m not in Osher’s camp of being humiliated by it, to be honest,” he said.
“I can see how people would be humiliated but I haven’t been.”
In fact – so little did he care, he hadn’t even read the full article. He didn’t see the creative language that described his “shapely belly”.
He didn’t see the part that reminisced about his apparently former “slimmer figure”. He just did not give a flying fig.