On balance…

I note that Tom has a splurge of publicity of late with the impending release of his new movie Cherry and including a front cover for Esquire and looking suitably sultry.

More on Esquire to conclude – the word I mean and not the magazine.

I’m not much of a reader of such mags and I suspect I am not alone. They are more to be flicked through rather than read, no?

There was a time when projects for Tom would pass my desk for approval/advice but no longer. He has people now and they guard/guide him well. But had the Esquire offer hit my in-tray then I suppose I would have waved it through. Not for me particularly but I’m not a movie actor and it’s all part of the process I guess.

That said, there is one magazine cover I would dissuade Tom from doing and even though he has the requisite bumps. I refer to Men’s Health and the unfailing Abs shot. The man on the every cover, not necessarily famous but he must have a washboard stomach and an easy smile.

I have never bought a copy of Men’s Health but I have flicked through it on occasion and usually at the doctors surgery. Given how mental health and self-esteem issues are so rampant nowadays and often coupled with obesity, I wonder if Men’s Health is a magazine to leave in waiting rooms?

The same for Country Life magazine – full of beautiful homes which normal people can’t afford and hardly appropriate then for people with depression and waiting to see their doctor.

I wonder if drug companies are not placing such magazines deliberately to get us all hooked on their anti-depressants.

Every month it’s the same with Men’s Health – HOW TO GET KILLER ABS.

Not literally I presume. Can Abs kill?

And yet every edition carries a multi-page feature on how to exercise our stomachs.

Does anyone really need this? Don’t we know already?  Sit ups, right? And more recently, the plank. Surely, we don’t need a manual.

We know about stomach crunches – we just choose not to do them.

Sure, I find a flat stomach alluring and I’d like to have one. I have the required physiology. We all do. We all have the same set of muscles, just that most people’s abs are invisible. Or buried.

But I don’t envy the man with the six-pack because I know what is required to coax said muscles to expose themselves. To break cover if you like.

Namely, sustained amounts of unbearable pain –  not to mention the absence of practically all food stuffs that we enjoy eating and drinking.

This is not the life I want.

It is likely that everyone has at some point embarked on a mission for Killer Abs.

And we abandon such missions when we realise how much pain is involved. Plus our abdominal muscles already function as nature intended. They seem to serve their purpose.  It’s just that we can’t see them.

I imagine we’d all like to have a phwoar core – but happily forego it to avoid the pain.

“Hey man, what are you doing tomorrow?”

“Me? I’m an abs model. What do you think I’m doing? Same as today. I’m doing crunches…”

Not for me, thank you.

And finally back to Esquire and one of the biggest laughs in the show, Billy Elliot the Musical where this blog began many years ago.

Billy has done his audition and is anxiously waiting to hear if he has been successful. A letter arrives in the post addressed to, William Elliot Esq

Which in the show is misinterpreted and read out as,

“William Elliot is queer”.

At which the audience fell about laughing. It’s an old gag and a lazy laugh but an interesting one.

Some things are never changing – like physical attraction and killer abs. But other things are changing all the time, like words which are nuanced and can be very dangerous.

“Willian Elliot is queer”

Make of this what you will but don’t shoot the messenger. It is a joke, a slight and a political statement all in one and depending on one’s interpretation. These are complicated times. The sands are constantly shifting and we must be nimble to keep our balance.

And speaking of which – do you know what is a key component of good balance?

Yep, you’ve guessed it…

Killer Abs.





17 thoughts on “On balance…

    • Danny Franco says:

      Hi Dom read your article and I totally agree I’m the same age as Tom and everywhere I look weather it’s in the shops or on social media all I see is abs abs abs and how to get fit, and for someone who suffers with depression like myself makes me feel like that I have to get killers abs so I can fit in which then leaves me to the point of depression when then I feel like that I’m worthless and not good enough to be walking in the streets with another people, like with Tom’s fans all I seem to see are photos of his body and booty which tells me that you have to look like Tom to be liked. Don’t get me wrong I love Tom like I said at the start were the same age and his has achieved so much in his life since his mom sent him to a different school as you mentioned in your podcast but people are not seeing that there is much more to Tom than just his body (and booty). You are right I have embarked on a mission to get killer abs by searching through YouTube but all I see is what people are putting themselfs through just so they can be noticed. I fight everyday to keep telling myself that I’m fine with the way I good. I will be buying Esquire magazine because I like to know more about the people I’m interested in and i hope other people does the same. Thank you for reading and stay safe. And Happy Birthday to the twins.

    • Faaiz says:

      Tom’s esquire shots really surprised me. But not more than his shot of vistual press and him being pantless. I was quite surprised. He look so comfortable knowing the whole world watching the skin and muscles right below his bum! lmao.

  1. Márcia Malaquias says:

    I also dispense …
    I prefer to eat well and in health and I prefer outdoor exercises like running and walking …

    Note: I hope that these people who take care of Tom’s professional life do not stop him from being himself, because you know this people sells a fake life and full of fantasies


  2. Lorraine says:

    Fab blog today Dom. I love that scene in Billy Elliott. It’s set up so well and so unexpected I do not have a six pack and can only purchase one at the supermarket!! I’m so glad that I don’t have to worry about it. Have a good week Dom. Happy birthday to Harry and Sam

  3. Sydnee Coleman says:

    Lovely blog Mr. H, as always. On the killer Abs topic, I wanted killer abs or at least a flat-er stomach as a female, mostly wanted them to help find a guy. But with all the work and the stuff you have to give up, I like you said no thank you. Also, I can understand why you don’t want Tom doing Men’s health, the killer abs; are just that killers. People want so much to look a certain way that they would kill themselves to get like that. Plus, My dad alway said “the guys with the (killer)abs are great to look at until they spend more time at the gym then with you.” and with that quote I see things in a whole different light, lol.

    • Paola C says:

      Hello Mr. Dom. I hope you’re well. Greetings from Colombia.
      It’s the first time that I read one of your blogs, however, from now on I will not stop reading them.
      Personally, when I was younger than I’m now, I lived to look like the girls in the magazines with their standard measurements. Until I understood that we cannot standardize a body, because we’re all different, what is not that fantastic about life?
      Because to be honest, if we were all the same, then we would not have evolved and we would still think that we must have killer abs to look fantastic.

  4. Isabella Benz says:

    Another lovely start to my day thanks to you, Mr. Holland. Your quips caused an abundance of laughter, which in turn brought forth questioning stares and further explanation for the rest of the household. Thank you, as always, for making me smile.
    Please wish the twins the happiest of birthdays, and give them an extra hug (virtually, when necessary) from me. Cheers!

  5. Yuna says:

    Hi dom ,sou do Brasil ,então peço ,se puder traduza,hj e o primeiro dia que escrevo aqui ,porque antes tinha que mandar no teu direct .adorei o blog,todo domingo leio e quando você posta tarde fico triste …lol… Feliz aniversário aos gênios .amo o tom tenha uma ótima semana feliz Valentine’s day

  6. Rachel says:

    I really enjoyed the blog this week!
    The commentary about certain magazines in waiting rooms was really interesting to me, and something I’d never heard or thought of before. But it makes sense, and it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s just a shameful marketing technique to keep the prescriptions refilling.
    For absolutely shredded abs, all you need is enough fat loss for the tendons crossing rectus abdominis(?) to show up. Some people even have fewer, or less defined tendons, than others (the difference between a six-pack and an eight-pack). Sometimes it’s sustainable, sometimes it’s not. I think a little pouch is always a bit healthy though, especially for women, who have a few more body processes to perform than men.
    Looking forward to next week’s blog!

  7. Paola says:

    Hi Dom. As always, a pleasure reading your blog. As a young teenager, I feel social pressure to have “the perfect body”, and it’s awful to stop eating delicious things just to stop having a belly. I am not someone that likes exercising, and to only do push ups or squats seems ridiculous to me.
    Reading your blog made me realize that it’s okay not to have “killer abs” and that we can do just fine with some exercise, but not in excess.
    Please wish happy birthday to the twins and give them a big hug for me!!

  8. Sebastian says:

    Great blog, I laughed a lot. 🙂 It’s interesting, how funny and /or strange language can be.
    And please, don’t listen to the industry (especially the younger ones of you). To get lucky, you don’t need „killer abs“, big breast or tons of followers and likes on instagram. Don’t be someone, your are not. If you feel comfortable and your are in harmony with yourself, everything is fine.

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