One of the most talked-about outfits this year was Rob’s Batman shirtless back. Unfortunately, due to certain legal reasons, we weren’t able to show you guys the whole scene. But, as you may know, a celebrity’s wardrobe is always on display, and so we were able to get our hands on some high-quality images of Rob’s shirtless back.

The photos immediately went viral, becoming one of the year’s most searched-for topics. People were shocked by the sight of Rob’s bare back, which caused a massive social media backlash. Celebrities and fans alike accused him of being too cold, of being an underdressed superhero, and of not caring about his looks. But Rob defended himself, saying, “I don’t know. I can’t help if people think I’m hot or not.” So he ended up in the middle of a massive Twitter debate.

But this wasn’t the first time a tattooed man in leather came under fire for his physique. We seem to remember a similar controversy surrounding Scott Haze’s Scott Haze photo album, where he exposed his huge chest and abs while playing the part of a zombie.

Looking Back

When we think about 2017, the first thing that comes to mind is Rob. As we previously mentioned, his shirtless back became one of the biggest talking points this year, not just because of its shocking appearance but also because of what happened afterwards.

After the viral success of those photos, fans started demanding more and more shirtless photos from Rob (and the rest of the Twilight Saga cast). So, to satisfy his growing fan base, he started posting more and more shirtless images. And wow, did he ever satisfy them!

Over the past year, we’ve seen countless pictures of Rob’s bare back, mostly taken while he was filming the final installment of the Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn – Part 2. And judging by the number of search results for “robert pattinson shirtless”, you can see that these photos truly are the talk of the town. But even before the Breaking Dawn – Part 2 filming began, fans were already making a scene at his everyday activities. During one of our recent interviews with the actor, we asked if he gets recognized a lot on the street, and he replied, “Sometimes. Not really. People seem to like the Twilight photos more than anything else. So, I guess that’s why.”

Why Now?

Let’s face it, when it comes to social media and the internet, we live in a world dominated by millennials. So, to reach this audience, celebrities and brands will often play on their emotions — especially regarding body positivity and self-expression — to get them to engage with their content. In this case, the backlash against Rob’s shirtless back isn’t that he’s too cold but, rather, that he’s too accepting of society’s standards regarding what constitutes “attractive.”

Also, as we mentioned, this isn’t the first time that a tattooed man’s physique has caused controversy. In the eighties and nineties, big hair and baggy jeans were in, and suddenly people were paying attention to arms as well as legs. So, maybe this is a trend that will come back again. After all, nothing stops a celebrity from dressing up like a superhero now-a-days. With the right prosthetics and lots of face paint, anything is possible.

Ultimately, it’s great to have a back that you can show off. And, believe it or not, having lots of skin is good for your health. So, instead of criticizing Rob for his incredible physique, we should be thanking him for the great photo opportunity he provides us. And, as a side note, if you really want to thank someone, you can’t beat a hug. So, instead of criticizing Rob, let’s give him a hug.

But, of course, the Internet never sleeps, and so the discussion regarding Rob’s shirtless back continues to this day. As of this writing, the search results for “robert pattinson shirtless” reveal that the conversation continues to be active on Twitter, where people are still arguing about the topic.

What’s Next?

What will 2018 bring for Robert Pattinson? It’s hard to say, as we don’t know what role he will play in the coming year or how much time he will be able to spend with his family (his twin sons, Zack and Luke, were born in April 2017). But, given that he survived the controversial summer of ’17, we’re sure he’ll be fine. And, as he said in our interview, “Now is not the time for regrets, but looking back you can’t help but feel a little bit sad.” Still, despite the hardships he’s faced in the past year, we’re sure he feels grateful to be in a position to help his sons grow up knowing how amazing the world can be. And let’s face it, they’ll need all the help they can get. Their mother, Kate, recently spoke about how she’s responsible for raising the twins and how much she appreciates Rob’s help. “He’s been amazing, putting his life on hold to be there for us,” she said. And, as we mentioned, it’s not just about the family as Rob is also actively supporting various charities, including the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund and the Dodi Yule Widows & Orphans Fund. In addition, he launched his own clothing line, Park Avenue, in collaboration with designer Vince, to benefit the American Foundation for AIDS Research. Hopefully, this will give him some time off to pursue other projects, perhaps even a solo album. But until then, we’ll have these stunning photos to keep talking about.