If you’ve been anywhere near Twitter or social media in the past few days you’ll have no doubt seen an image of four young men, covered in tattoos on a night out wearing very tight fitting clothing

The photo was taken way back in halcyon days of 2019 when people were still allowed to go on nights out. The image features four friends Jamie, Connor, Kevin and Alex from the West Midlands when they were on a night out in Birmingham

On the surface, this looks like nothing more than a group of friends on a night out, wearing the typical clothes that you would see associated with men of their age, who clearly enjoy staying fit and taking pride in their appearance. It might not be to everyone’s taste but let’s be honest, we’ve all witnessed far worse fashion disasters.

However, for some reason this one picture spiralled out of control and became a meme that has taken over the internet. 

You can see the lads now performing that most viral of 2021 trend; the sea shanty.

Replaced with the heads of politicians, celebrities or footballers.

Or even as women.

Needless to say this meme has exploded but while it is all in good spirits now, it wasn’t always the case. Speaking to Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid on Good Morning Britain on Monday they revealed that there the picture was initially greeted with mockery and trolling but folks online.

"When it was taken and we uploaded it onto our Instagrams it was fine and then after three or four months we started seeing memes about us. It was literally just mocking us and we were getting hate, mockery for probably the last year", said Kevin.

He added that thankfully in the last week things have turned a corner and the world has been a lot nicer to them but it did take its toll. Alex revealed that his work phone number was inundated with prank calls after it was made public adding, “It did have a massive affect on my mental state to be honest. I had to come off social media because they went into my mum's comments trolling. It wasn't nice.”

The men also spoke to Joe Gilmore of LadBible where they revealed that they have now fully embraced the memes. Kevin said, “Some of the comments are just ridiculous, if you were to actually take it on board and take it to heart, what is the point?”

The question that everyone is asking though is quite why those trousers were so tight but Piers Morgan did ask them if they now regret wearing those particular garments. “Absolutely not,” Jamie replied "I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.

Although it’s always fun to engage with a meme it is worth bearing in mind that a real person could often be the brunt of the joke. Thankfully, in this case, while the jokes might have started out in a malicious manner the meme has since found a much more wholesome conclusion.

More: How endurance can lead you to a positive place

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