Articles about people who've lost large amounts of weight are a staple on the internet, and I often find myself clicking on them out of curiosity. It's not that I want to see how different their bodies look, since that's a given. I'm more interested to see how different their faces look afterward.
Sometimes their faces don't change that much, but sometimes they look like completely different people. A couple of days ago I stumbled across this article, which featured two people, one of whom, Austin Shifflett, was unrecognizable after his weight loss:
At first I thought they'd made a mistake; the guy on the right seems to have a different nose and mouth, and darker eyebrows. But then I Google-Imaged Austin Shifflet and came across this triptych, which made it apparent it hadn't been a mistake:
In both sets of pictures, he looks like a different person on the right. I was also struck by the fact that Shifflett somehow looks a little gay after the weight loss, but that may be partially the effect of his Zoolander-style pose in those shots.
In any case, Austin was one of the lucky ones: he looked good afterwards, as opposed to looking like a formerly fatty with saggy skin. The fact that he'd lost the weight while still young undoubtedly helped.
I've said this before, but I think at least 75% of women would be attractive if they were exactly the right weight. Bone structure is a wonderful thing, always better apparent than not. The problem is, very few women -- or men -- hit the appropriate target.
There have certainly been plenty of instances of people going in the other direction. Roberto Duran, the great boxer, went from looking like this --
-- to this:
Granted, we all get old, and granted, our metabolisms slow down as we age. But it seems sort of a shame with Duran; he had a sort of feral beauty when young, and now he's almost unrecognizable.
Duran was famous for his toughness and untamed ferocity in the ring. One of my favorite Duran stories happened after he beat Davey Moore for the junior middleweight title in 1983 in a bruising, bloody battle of attrition. After the fight, instead of taking a shower and changing -- the way a civilized human would -- he simply threw his clothes on over his boxing trunks and went out into the night to celebrate with his friends.
That tends not to be the type of guy who spends the latter half of his life obsessively counting calories. And, it might only diminish Duran's legend if he had.
Still, it seems unfortunate, as it always does when someone loses his or her looks. Better to go in Austin's direction.