Understand this, I am a natural-born hugger. I hug everyone especially my female friends and acquaintances. It could be a fallout of a childhood deficiency or the excesses of my female relations smothering you to near-death with hugs and kisses as a child. Whatever.

Not much has changed as an adult. I still hug, helped more so by the work I do which opens up more opportunities for hugs.

So when I begin to lose the joys of hugs, I wonder why and I have discovered the cause of my waning guilty pleasure of hugs. It’s the Body Armour.

You see, hugs mean warmth, cosiness, closeness and feeling. These days however, those attributes are fast disappearing as girlfriend now goes around in full body armour underneath all that clothing.

I understand her desire for a bodyline she either once had or wants to have today. It tells me that, aside from health reasons, girlfriend wasted all previous opportunities to shape and keep the body she now craves.

What’s that full metal jacket you’ve got under there! I am beginning to forget what you feel like!

Having left it rather late, girlfriend’s problem is compounded by the inevitable arrival of age. You know, that number that creeps up on you while you are wasting valuable time doing and eating what you should not have been doing or eating.

Looking around, girlfriend is in competition with self, other girlfriends and especially those ones who now want to rule the roost while girlfriend and co are still very much around.

You know those ones. They are often younger, more sprightly jumping up and down at the very slightest encouragement and who cannot seem to obey the simple rules of keeping out of sight when girlfriend and her friends or her man is around.

The difference with girlfriend’s generation and those ones today is that these ones, like girlfriend, know they are beautiful. However, in girlfriend’s days, women did not make a big deal out of it. They took their natural beauty and attractiveness for granted and as normal. Little effort was needed or required to show it.

Those ones, on the other hand, work at it every day. From what they eat, what they wear, where they go and they make sure everyone gets to notice or hear about it, thanks to their numerous Social Media handles available. They simply set out to slay as they say and some even rise to the rank of Slay Queen.

Girlfriend is not done just yet, she tells herself. She sets out to get back her, pre-baby, pre-relationship and pre-everything else body. Life can be such a self-imposed struggle sometimes.

Some others make the best of their evolution. Big is good for many. Full-bodied is attractive to a whole lot of people and most importantly very comfortable for the carriers.

It has been argued whom the battle is for and who benefits ultimately. Girlfriend will tell you women do it in competition with other women. Those ones will claim the same but admit privately that men are the ultimate targets. Whatever.

It has been said that those ridiculously expensive designer outfits are made for certain body types because the makers say they suit better that way. Who in his or her rational mind would want their work of genius displayed or projected in a different and sometimes awkward way? Whatever.

Girlfriend will scream herself blue insisting “it’s all about the inside!” while those ones will tell you that today’s ‘market’ trades on wares that are fully displayed on the outside. Whatever.

The more academic of women will relentlessly hound you with theories of psychological well-being. Inner peace, self-esteem, self-loathing, body-awareness blah blah blah. Whatever!

I know one thing for sure. Men are not mind readers but very visual. We see, we like, we move. The principles of attraction are really quite that simple. No academic complications.

So I have to contend with a protective material, rubber, plastic and stiff underwear, the little bits of metal become a hazard to avoid. This hugging thing is fast losing its value and fun. It’s like going to war and cosying up to the enemy who was battle prepared with full torso protection.

I don’t want stiff hugs anymore! As long as there is hot blood running through you, give me back my warm cuddly hugs or the dog gets it!

Next time I see you, a wave and a smile will have to do.

Frank Anonymous

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