Do you have Armandic syndrome? I hope so.

The great Napoleon - looking as if he won't quite make it out after pre-drinks.

The great Napoleon – looking as if he won’t quite make it out after pre-drinks.

Time for a brief history lesson. Last Thursday marked the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, where the brilliant Napoleon Bonaparte was finally undone (just sing the ABBA song in your head for the whole story – you probably already are). Defeated by Arthur Wellesly, better known as the 1st Duke of Wellington, on 18 June 1815, Napoleon was, for a time, Europe’s biggest name.

But ‘biggest’, perhaps, for all the wrong reasons. Since his defeat and subsequent exile to the bizarre, volcanic island of Saint Helena in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean, there has been persistent speculation on the reason for Napoleon’s perpetual strive for grandeur, fame, conquest and empire. The most touted answer: he was short.

Napoleonic complex, basically ‘angry little man’ complex, is something we’ve all encountered stood in the queue at Starbucks, Boots or in a theme park (why are they always stood in queues if they’re so easily enraged?) In honour of Napoleonic complex, and all those angry little men out there who secretly need a hug – we thought we’d come up with a new complex named after a misunderstood French guy – Armandic complex!

Armand is the central character in Alain Guiraudie’s (STRANGER BY THE LAKE) rowdy French sex comedy KING OF ESCAPE. In the film the squidgy, loveable tractor salesman Armand has a whole village of randy farmers fall in love with him, completely unwittingly. Everyone has that guy in their life, who’s maybe slightly overweight with a frumpy demeanour, who just doesn’t pick up on his own weird hotness. These are the Armands of the world – and we must cherish them – as the rise of Instagram is turning everyone into pouty-selfie-belfie-gym-monsters hell-bent on a photoshop surreality.

So – Armandic complex. Symptoms: being over-weight (squidgy), smelly (musty), lazy (loveable). Not realising how attractive you are. Frequent running into a forest with a youth. Excessive cravings for under-researched aphrodisiacs (watch the film).

Prescription: Ignore mirrors and beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly. You are not. You are an Armand – stay true to your Armandic complex and, if you have time, have a quick look at the Battle of Waterloo’s page on Wikipedia and learn something, for god’s sake!


The great Armand – looking sexy, and up for anything, as ever.