Jeremy Hazlehurst
Style Counsel

FOR men, there are sure-fire signs that you are getting older. You start getting an urge to ruffle the hair of young boys. Everybody in the England football team is younger than you. And then there is the inevitability of getting fatter. In their 20s, many men can’t put on weight even if they try. Their metabolisms burn their way through pies, Mars bars and beer without breaking sweat. But then you hit 30 and, overnight, even whippety chaps find their trousers becoming mysteriously tight and the tummy starts to swell. And then there is the ultimate indignity: moobs, or “man boobs”.

Anxiety about moobs is now widespread. Women’s magazines rejoice in printing pictures of mooby men. It is hardly surprising that men are getting paranoid about them, and indeed supermarket Asda’s £1 moob vest has become its fastest ever selling item of clothing.

But should you really resort to a moob vest, or a “moob tube” as it is being called? On one hand, this is no different from women wearing support tights, corsets, or even make-up. They’ve been doing it for centuries. But then again, men have been pomading and perfuming themselves, curling their moustaches and primping their beards for just as long. Cavemen undoubtedly combed mammoth grease into their locks in order to look more attractive to their stone-age mates. Vanity is nothing new.

But do moobs call for action? Perhaps surprisingly, a quick survey of our office suggests that moobs are not necessarily unattractive. Being so vain that you want to conceal your true heft is more of a turn-off than the flab itself. In fact, some claim that they like to snuggle up to a nice hairy moob. The general consensus was that if a man wants to lose his moobs, then he should head to the gym, and not Asda. Even better, some say that worrying about your moobs is worse than possessing them. Confidence in how you look trumps lumps and bumps. Men: it’s time to embrace your moobs.