Oliver Bateman:

It should come as little surprise, then, that emails written by Johnson himself, asking for advice about the steroids he was using, were eventually forwarded to the YouTube fitness channel More Plates, More Dates. Written prior to the launch of his assorted online accounts and fitness brands — at a time when he had almost no social media following whatsoever — the Liver King outlined his $11,000-a-month steroid regimen, explaining that he needed to lose his love handles and back fat in advance of launching the “ancestral lifestyle” content that would make him famous.

Far from being the caveman-like “primal” who spent hours a day in the sun and ice-cold water before sleeping eight uninterrupted hours each night, the email correspondence depicted an individual who pinched his tummy in the mirror, watched Marvel movies, and struggled to sleep more than a handful of uninterrupted hours before waking up in a state of discomfort. He was, in other words, another middle-aged man desperately trying to turn back the clock — one of many such cases.
I had never heard of this Liver King guy before, but suddenly everybody’s talking about him. I guess I’m just surprised at the wounded tone of betrayed innocence in so many of these write-ups. Yes, Virginia, your favorite celebrities, from Hollywood to YouTube, are relying on steroids, plastic surgery, professional photography, and who knows how many other tricks of the trade to look the way they do. I remember seeing this image a while back:

I would add that even this is quite optimistic, as it assumes that most of the relevant factors are within your control, but I suppose McElhenney didn’t want to flaunt his privilege too much even as he decries it (giving him the best of both worlds — coincidentally, I’m sure). It would also help if you could remain twenty years old indefinitely and have the right genes. Thankfully, mature adults realize that the middle ground of “good enough” is still attainable and worth striving for, yes? Just because you can’t look like ripped Thor doesn’t mean you’re doomed to look like fat Thor. Diet and exercise will still take you a long way.

I don’t know; as a kid, I watched countless hours of the Saturday morning philosophy roundtables, and yet never believed that I could survive a shotgun blast to the face, or stand suspended in thin air above a cliffside drop. In the tween years, I graduated to the slightly-less-cartoonish world of professional wrestling, and even though the musclebound grapplers who entertained me were all on steroids, I was still inspired to start a lifelong habit of working out because of them. In my later teens, I was rocking out with my heroes on MTV, and the fact that they were often dissolute morons who owed their svelte figures to eight-balls of cocaine wasn’t enough to diminish their mystique in my eyes. I guess what I’m saying is, I thought it was just generally understood that everything you see on TV is a lie, but that’s no reason to get all angsty about it. The source may be corrupted, but what you make of it? That’s still up to you.