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Mark Zuckerberg's topless photo stirs emotions

The mere sight of Facebook's CEO without his shirt has left many wondering about the symbolism of the image and how and why it saw daylight.


If there's one thing Vladimir Putin has shown the world, it's that a topless photo can add truth to power.

It can make a man seem more of a man, more 5'4" than 5'3".

Perhaps Mark Zuckerberg also feels the need to appear a little taller, stronger, and manlier.

For a photograph has emerged of Facebook's CEO topless.

My deeply religious reading of TMZ suddenly revealed yesterday the sight of Zuckerberg with his right hand on his bare chest, as if to say: "Sexy? Moi?"

It is impossible to know why Zuckerberg, and, indeed, all the men at this gathering, were half-disrobed.

Instinctively, one imagined that he might be interviewing for Chippendales. However, Gawker helpfully reveals that the picture was taken at the wedding of Facebook product manager Justin Shaffer to Annabel Teal a mere 7 days ago.

It is not totally clear how the topless pose briefly saw the light. Gawker explains that it was uploaded to Imgur and that it had been "accidentally" uploaded onto Facebook for all the world to gawk by Andrew Bosworth, Facebook's director of engineering.

Many might already be shivering at the idea that Facebook's director of engineering has no idea how to use the site's privacy controls.

I am shivering because of all the symbolic possibilities that might surround the picture's "accidental" uploading.

The simplistic will immediately pounce on the notion that this image was artistically suggesting that if you invest in Facebook, you will lose your shirt.

However, perhaps I am not alone in being surprised at Zuckerberg's chest. I had imagined that it would be as smooth as his baby-bottom face. Instead, it is manly. It seems to enjoy as much hair as Seth Rogan's head.

The meaning of this picture might well be that we should all beware of Zuckerberg's nerdy countenance. Beneath that bluff lies a jungle warrior who will eat your young, his young, and Young Frankenstein, should he wander into the neighborhood.

The delicate way in which his hand is placed on his chest reinforces this view. It is as if he is saying to someone off-camera: "See my manliness, feel my manliness, beware my manliness."

It may well be that this photograph may set a trend in these directionless times.

I can certainly see a topless photo emerging of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, posed against a large Midwestern sky, offering the promise of a new, stronger tomorrow.

Equally, I can see Barack Obama and Joe Biden following the same route, but perhaps posing in a doctor's surgery (rather than, say, windsurfing), the picture of caring health.

Before long, male CEOs, concert pianists, and, perhaps, even religious leaders will have come to understand that, without a fine, manly topless shot, you cannot ooze authority.

Who will be next? Barry Diller? Rupert Murdoch? The Archbishop of Canterbury?