Economics of Six-Pack Abs

The recent obsession over developing six-pack abs annoys me… It seems a lot of effort goes into an area of the body that is usually hidden under a veil of clothes. It would appear that the editors of Men’s Health regard chiseled abs as definitive proof of a man’s character, while a lack of them condemns the reader to a lifetime of sorrowful existence alone, devoid of any accomplishments whatsoever. In fact, why live at all if you don’t have rock-hard abs?

Rather than getting all worked up over this, though, I’ll take a cool and rational approach. Should I invest any of my time into this (neglected) area of my body? I’ll let some basic finance metrics help me decide.

Supply and demand
Supposedly, some women find six-pack abs attractive. This is something to keep in mind. Except that my abs are hardly ever exposed—it’s not as if I am a lifeguard or tend bar by a pool in Maui. Anyway. Another insecure male recently posed this question on Yahoo! Answers: “Women, are six pack abs attractive? is there any girl that does not like 6pak [sic] abs? do u wish ur man had em?”

One woman’s reply: “They're nice but not too over the top, or else it just seems plastic and weird.”

Another, Taylor, felt strongly about this critical issue: “Every girl i know likes a toned guy. Not over the top muscles, but a six pack is usually pretty attractive. So start on those crunches!”

Nooooo! So I guess there are women out there—on Yahoo! Answers anyway—who find the six-pack ab thing appealing.

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