When the rest of Australia casts around for a caricature of Sydney’s superficiality and egocentricity, I reckon they might summon a figure not dissimilar to that of recently deceased bodybuilder Aziz “Zyzz” Sergeyevich Shavershian.
Zyzz, who was apparently something of an online phenomenon thanks to his incredibly chiselled physique and tireless posting of pictures of said slab of meat, died on Friday after suffering a heart attack in a sauna in Bangkok where he was on vacation.
He first sprang to mainstream attention a couple of weeks ago when The Sun-Herald wrote about the arrest of his older brother, Said, 25.
“He was found in possession of an anabolic steroid and pleaded guilty to the charge last week. Said Shavershian, a personal trainer at Fitness First, was fined $479,” according to The Sydney Morning Herald.
I remember picking up the paper that morning thinking “Sweet baby Jesus, this kid is ripped” – which apparently is known as “mirin” aka “admiring” – in the lexicon of Zyzz, his brother and their friends.
I was then swept up with another sensation as I imagined the attention – trashy as it might have been – Zyzz would have copped from women on his innumerable nights and days out at clubs and festivals without his shirt.
It was jealousy – aka “gettin’ jelly” to Zyzz and his mates – and though it was a shortlived feeling, it was the very sequence of emotions Zyzz and his brother so often posted about on their Facebook pages.
“Get shredded, so the chicks be ‘mirin’ and the guys are ‘jelly’.”
As of Thursday night, the story about Zyzz’s death was the most read article and his videos had logged over 50,000 views on the SMH website – which I’m guessing is partly people “mirin”, partly gettin’ “jelly”, with a huge slab of schadenfreude thrown in the mix.
Some of these readers may be thinking ill of Zyzz, some I hope are sparing a thought for his family – but I doubt the kid was much different to thousands of other guys his age – 22 – perhaps a little more self-obsessed, but certainly no more than 500 other dudes you can run into at any music festival nowadays.
In the days to come, the media will almost certainly cast Zyzz’s death as a cautionary tale about the use of steroids and Human Growth Hormones, though his mother, Maria Shavershian, told the SMH “a post-mortem examination had revealed that her youngest son suffered from an undiagnosed heart condition, which triggered cardiac arrest”.
According to the Thai website The Nation, as well as Bangkok-based Aussie blogger Jason Gagliardi, a New Zealand man named Tim Sharky wrote on his Facebook page that he had told Zyzz to “slow down” in the weeks leading up to his death.
“This is a warning for any of you boys coming to Thailand. Thailand is a country with it all … girls, steroids, growth hormone, it’s all here and it’s all cheap. I spoke to him the other day and he looked like a kid in a candy shop,” Sharky said.
Whether that turns out to be the case, I don’t reckon it’s gonna stop too many skinny kids who want to take shortcuts to getting “shredded”, so the rest of us be “mirin” and “jelly”.
Look at the pics of Zyzz as a kid – he was not a genetically gifted specimen when a teen – but he sculpted (and possibly injected) himself into a sex god.
Now, look at his Facebook page sitting at 75,000 plus likes, his YouTube vids nearing a million views, and the page impressions he’s garnering on the Age and SMH websites.
Gettin’ shredded it seems, however you achieve it, certainly attracts attention.
And if it can hook you sophistocumated Fairfax readers, imagine how it goes down with a pinging 20-year-old girl at Good Vibrations?