Internet loses it over Hugh Jackman's recent photo

We may as well give up. It's all over. The Internet has lost its damn mind.

We're going to preface this by noting that it's highly unlikely that Hugh Jackman reads his Instagram comments. The man's got other fish to fry. Quite possibly literally, in this case.

Not to mention a family to cherish, scripts to read and weights to lift.

But since other people read the comments posted on Hugh Jackman's Instagram account, we now know that a picture he posted yesterday sparked the kind of "concern" that usually is more popularly reserved for his female colleagues. Namely, every actress ever, whether she's on social media or not.

See, what happened is, the relentlessly fit actor posted a pic that had commenters and then, in turn, some headlines noting that he looked "dramatically aged" all of a sudden. "Actor appears to look older in photo he shared, reports say," noted Facebook.

Here's a sampling of the comments:

"What happened to you x men ı was shocked when ı saw this photo are u good you look so tired the time had changed you i am so soryy." "He's doing Old Man Logan, man you ppl are clueless." "Sooo he was wearing prosthetics in this right?" "#skincancer."

And then there was the detective of the bunch: "First of all it might be makeup, second he is getting older and third he has skin cancer soo..."

The more comments you see like that, the more we looked at the photo, wondering what the fuss was about, and became convinced how not that big a deal it is. Kinda looks like a guy on vacation to us.

Captioned, "Now that's what I'm talking about!" in response to a tempting looking platter of grilled fish on the counter in front of him, a bearded, untouched Jackman, in a T-shirt, jeans and warm-up jacket, is giving a thumbs-up to the camera. His head does look bigger than usual atop his body, in the way all of our heads look bigger when snapped from a certain angle, accounting for what looked to some like a slighter-looking frame.

So it's not a filtered glamour shot by any means. Still, most people can only dream of looking like anything remotely resembling this man, at 47 or any age.

A week ago Jackman had posted a pic of himself catching a fish—looks like he's been having an outdoorsy adventure—and also yesterday he found himself amid some deer on his morning jog. He looked as beefy as ever (when he's not in full-throttle Wolverine mode) in another pic posted three days ago.

So the commenters gasping for explanations for yesterday's pic can relax now and focus on the fact that they just shamed Hugh Jackman for not getting all gussied up before daring to post a pic of himself on holiday.

Welcome to womanhood, Hugh. If he was ever wondering what a day in the life of one of his leading ladies is like... Ta-da! 

Of course this is hardly the first time the Internet gaze has directed itself at a man's appearance, "Spot the weight gain/loss," "Count the follicles" and "Is it for a role?!" being among the favorite games to play with actors.

With more and more celebs speaking out against the age-old system, it's become increasingly poor in taste to publicly question what's going on with a woman's appearance in such a pointed, shameless way. But a quick scan of the Instagram comments on the pages of the rich and famous still turns up all sorts of biting remarks—from ridiculous comments about aging (you know, the thing every single person on earth is doing) to the frenzy people get themselves into over what a celeb is wearing and what their bodies look like at any given angle.

And, while we don't think about it as much because men have traditionally been allowed a more peaceful aging process in the entertainment business than their female counterparts, the reaction to Jackman's picture is a reminder that the comments are there on the guys' pages as well.

We'll go out on a limb and guess there aren't as many negative comments as there are on the women's pages (a bunch of guys did seem really excited that Jackman might have been in character to play an older Wolverine). But this isn't an "Aha, the tables have turned!" moment.  

Making cracks about someone's appearance, particularly flippant remarks about the potential effects of skin cancer (which Jackman has spoken out about to spread awareness), is just all-around poor, shameful form.

"Too skinny, too fat, showing age, better as a brunette, cellulite thighs, facelift scandal, going bald, fat belly or bump?" Renée Zellweger wrote in a Huffington Post op-ed just last week, itemizing the form of appearance dissection still rampant in headlines about women. "Ugly shoes, ugly feet, ugly smile, ugly hands, ugly dress, ugly laugh; headline material which emphasizes the implied variables meant to determine a person's worth, and serve as parameters around a very narrow suggested margin within which every one of us must exist in order to be considered socially acceptable and professionally valuable, and to avoid painful ridicule."

But though men haven't had to deal with this issue to anywhere near the degree that women have, it doesn't make what amounts to the same treatment any less OK when it's directed at a guy.

As Vin Diesel told the BBC's Newsbeat last year, after the Internet couldn't get over him not having his usual six-pack in a paparazzi pic taken in Miami, "I think that it is ultimately wrong…I think people should be less judgmental and more just loving. You hear people talk about haters all the time, and there are people who process haters differently."

"I feel sorry for people who have to cut other people down to feel better about themselves," added the star of the upcoming Fast 8. "They do it for profit, too, and that's the dark side of fame."

We're betting Jackman, should he ever be asked about the headlines spawned by that innocent photo, would have a similar reaction—albeit with even more bemusement and self-deprecation, as a recent #TBT of a similarly strapping version of himself would suggest.

Overall, it's heartening to see so many women—particularly those who could just as easily cloak themselves in their riches and keep quiet—taking appearance-shaming of all kinds to task. Because while at the worst of times it seems like an impossible battle to win, the only way it's going to get better is if there's a conversation. And the more famous guys that join the fight, the better, since ultimately they're on the same side. 

Here's hoping there's sanity in numbers.

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