Kumail Nanjiani was the subject of a flurry of activity on Twitter after posting a picture to Instagram where he looked, well, jacked beyond belief.
Kumail Nanjiani is hardly the first Hollywood star to bulk up for a role, but he does come under harsh and unjustified scrutiny due to his race. The haters were out in full force over Twitter this weekend after he posted an extremely innocent photo eating cake at his dinner table. You can check out the incendiary post below.
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People immediately started accusing him of using steroids and of being (I guess) too in shape?
wow i can’t believe kumail nanjiani’s transformation for this marvel movie pic.twitter.com/foytALg9Rx
— krat (@KWholesaler) January 3, 2021
However, many fans and media critics were quick to point out that white movie stars are rarely treated with the same skepticism and disdain when they bulk up for roles.
I'm confused. Are y'all really mad about how Kumail Nanjiani looks in an upcoming Marvel movie?
Does nobody remember what Chris Pratt or Chris Evans looked like before landing superhero roles? Or do we just reserve that kind of criticism for people of color?
— Danielle Ames 🇺🇸🌊🌈 (@DanielleAmes10) January 3, 2021
Chris Evans gets jacked for Captain America: “😍🤩😍🤩”
Chris Hemsworth gets jacked for Thor: “😍🤩😍🤩”
Chris Pratt gets jacked for Star-Lord: “😍🤩😍🤩”
Kumail Nanjiani gets jacked for Eternals: “He’s clearly using steroids”
I can’t qwhite see what’s the difference.
— alias (@itsjustanx) January 3, 2021
The truth is, A-list actors live in such an incredible world of wealth and privilege that they can afford to devote endless hours to their fitness that the average person with a job can’t. Kumail Nanjiani’s job literally was to get jacked so he could look good in this movie and it’s entirely possible that he did it without steroids. The real depressing core of the whole situation is knowing that every guy out there could achieve that, too, if they had access to things like personal trainers, private chefs, and a multi-billion dollar production company paying them to work out.
However, the counter-point from Team “Kumail-Definitely-Took-Steroids” involves a closer analysis of his jaw in the photograph. Kumail’s jaw is noticeably wider than it was before he started working out and the jaw is not typically a muscle group you pay attention to in the gym. Many Twitter users who knew people who abused steroids were quick to mention that a noticeable increase in jaw thickness is one of the telltale signs of someone who’s abusing performance-enhancing drugs.
Whatever your opinion is on the subject, the truth is: it’s Kumail Nanjiani’s business and not ours. If the man wants to sit down in his kitchen and eat a slice of cake, let him do that in peace. Focus instead on what you could achieve if you tried to maximize your own potential the way that he did. For example, Nanjiani has often mentioned on his own Instagram that diet, not exercise, ended up playing a bigger role in developing his physique. How could you change your diet to be a better athlete and bodybuilder? You would be surprised what types of chemicals and preservatives might be in your food and holding up your gains. You might not get totally Kumail Nanjiani-style ripped without a personal trainer or chef, but with the right attitude, your own hard work can take you almost as far.
*All images and media courtesy of Instagram and Twitter.