The Curse of the Skinny Jeans

On July 6, 2019, four friends in their mid-twenties from Birmingham, England, met up for a night on the town. Two of them — Alex Lacey and Jamie Phillips — had known each other since high school. Jamie and Kevin Rooney met through work, and the fourth — tattoo artist Connor Humpage — got to know them through their shared love of the gym. As they made their way out, they asked a passerby to take a photo of them in their skinny jeans. The next day, Kevin uploaded the photo to social media, where it was liked by their friends and then forgotten about. The four never imagined what was about to happen, or how big of an impact that innocent photo would have on their lives. A few months later, it had gone viral on Facebook, and before long memes were popping up all over the place. First they were mocked for their fashion sense, but then things took a darker turn. They were unfairly deemed to be shallow and self-absorbed. In a wise move, the four came out in public to show that they were decent men who knew how to laugh at themselves. They did a tour, appearing in nightclubs, and signed commercial deals with fast-food chains and beverage companies. A statue of them was even erected outside the All Bar One, where it all began. Nearly 5 years later, the men posed again for a photograph with their updated looks — now sporting baggy jeans and cargo pants, the trendy thing today. The one thing they learned is that it pays — literally — to be a good sport.