To celebrate Christmas, actor Kumail Nanjiani posted a series of photos on Instagram top commemorate a happy holiday spent at home with his wife, Emily Gordon. In one of them, he's seated in front of a plate of food and a gingerbread house, wearing a tight(ish) t-shirt that seemingly showed off his muscular physique (Nanjiani famously packed on muscle for his role in Marvel's upcoming Eternals movie, which he discussed at length with Men's Health for his March 2020 cover story last year).
A week later, the post left the internet up in arms. Literally, this was mostly about his arms (and his face).
On Twitter, a discussion of the reposted picture prompted an explosion of opinions about Nanjiani's appearance, with many users claiming (baselessly) that he was taking steroids to achieve the look. Many of these commenters also claimed that the studios were wrong to "force" the actor to go through the transformation in the first place.
It's really funny that Kumail had to take a bunch of steroids for a movie and then Covid hit so he just kept having to do steroids for a year
— David Spector (@spectordeforce) January 3, 2021
However, many came to his defence, pointing out a double standard people seemed to have for Nanjiani, who is Pakistani-American, and the reception to muscular transformations that white actors have made for superhero movies.
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
Chris Pratt can bulk up for a marvel movie and everyone is cool with is.
Kumail Nanjiani does it and people call him “grotesque” and assume he’s using steroids.
I hate it here. pic.twitter.com/9LSfvreUtc
— Michelle (@meesh_llegos) January 3, 2021
The chatter about Nanjiani's transformation is nothing new, after he debuted his new physique in December 2019 for his role for Marvel Cinematic Universe's latest superheroes in The Eternals.
Nanjiani was subsequently featured on the cover of Men's Health.
Which also included a spread of pics Nanjiani himself was feeling.
"What's kept me going to the gym is changing up the workout, finding exercises I like, and sort of mixing things up all the time," he said about his workout regimen.
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