Summer 2021 will be here sooner than you know it, and guys are looking for new ways to look good. After a year-plus of Covid-19-induced restrictions, there's a veritable buzz online about how everyone wants to step out into this brave new world not just clutching a fresh vaccination card, but also newly hot.
We can give you pages upon pages of workouts to get into what you might consider peak post-pandemic condition (that's kind of our thing here), but the shape of your body is only part of the equation to hotness. How you present yourself to the outside world—a foreign concept after 13-plus months spent largely avoiding other people—is more than half the battle.
That's why I'm calling for men to consider going all out on shorter shorts once the summer sunshine starts hitting. We observed this trend late in the game last year—but in 2021, it's not just about rocking a 5.5-inch inseam and calling it a day. How you're flashing those gams is what actually matters. Whether at the park or the beach, on social media posts, or anywhere else within reason, let's see some leg with confidence, fellas. Skies out, thighs out. Welcome to Quadsummer.
Thank The Rock for Quadsummer 2021
You can thank The Rock for inspiring this call to legs. As many men's fitness and body image trends go, Dwayne Johnson can be found at the forefront. We can't ignore that both bodybuilders and queer men have also made a big show of flaunting their thighs long before this year, but I'm thinking about this in terms of a figure widely recognized by folks from all walks of life. The man who sparked a full-blown investigation of the prevalence of the Dick Towel is a prime candidate to normalize gam gazing for all kinds of dudes. As a straight guy, I do have to admit that I have taken some cues from Johnson in the past, and this is no different.
As he's prepped for his superhero debut as Black Adam, Johnson has been more candid in sharing training and physique updates on Instagram than just about any other point in his career. The man understands how to use social media to cause a stir, and he's grown more comfortable sharing photos and videos with his spandex hiked up high, putting his quads on full display. You can barely tell he's even wearing anything below the waist at all. That type of confidence is a flex, in more ways than one.
This should come as no surprise, since Johnson came to prominence with a persona that wore little more than briefs in the pro wrestling circuit—but a stage getup is much different than the way one presents oneself in an environment like the gym. Thanks to ingrained norms, you'd more likely see long shorts there, and even the aforementioned Dick Towel for modesty's sake. But Johnson's been more and more likely to show off in form-fitting leggings, so the final step of just putting the quads on full display makes sense.
Big DJ casts a long shadow, but a slightly smaller (but no less strapping) celeb stepped in to serve as a second example of the gams-out lifestyle. Actor Milo Ventimiglia caused a small social media tsunami earlier in the week when he was spotted strutting to his car post-workout in a pair of super short shorts.
Ventimiglia is much more accessible a model for the average man, so the overwhelmingly positive response to the photos should serve as a sign that the world is ready for the emergence of the leg.
How You Can Show Off Your Legs This Summer and Beyond
When it comes time to put this confidence into practice, it helps to have a strategy. Think of your legs in the way that social media has brought prominence to butts. You know that pose that influencers strike in their hiked-up leggings that flaunts their rear just so? Bent over slightly, pushed out hips for full gluteal prominence? Bring that energy to the front to put the quads on full blast. You can go full-on bodybuilder or physique competitor with a flex, like Julian Smith here:
If you're working with a little less leg meat, just put your best leg forward. I hit the track for a workout with my running group sporting a pair of short shorts, and a friend caught me in a perfect pose even when I wasn't actively trying to gam out:
There's even a ready-made emoji for your leg-first thirst traps: 🍗. Yes, there is a leg (and prosthetic!) emoji option available, but lets embrace the 🍑energy and give the folks at home something juicy.
The pose is half of the equation; your choice of garment plays in here as well. You can go with bold prints, cutoffs, gym shorts, khakis—whatever feels comfortable. There have been a few companies that have actively marketed their gear with the gimmick of straight men confidently displaying their legs, like Chubbies. For some guys, brands like that with fratty origins have been a turnoff—and the exclusionary nature of frat culture is not what we're going for here. We want to allow for some exhibitionism, fellas, but not at the expense of anyone else or just to be ironic in some way. You can wear your shorts whichever way you choose, no matter where you get them; don't buy into that hype that only the privileged few can pull off a short fit. Check out these shorts to consider your options.
Once the summer hits, vaccination becomes widespread, and everyone's ready to get outside, the world will feel like a totally different place. Now, thanks to some newfound confidence, the DGAF attitude from months spent indoors, and the examples set by some stellar celebs, you know what you have to do to put your best foot forward: show a whole lot of leg.
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