Search icon


17th Jul 2018

Introducing the hardest photograph of our time, featuring Eminem and Ed Sheeran

A hood? On top of a hat? As well as flipping the bird? Surely a harder photograph simply does not exist?

Ciara Knight

*David Brent saying ‘Ooh you’re hard’ voice*

Every so often, something comes along that changes the world. It puts everything into perspective and realigns your priorities that have perhaps fallen asunder of late.

Today, it has arrived. It comes in the form of a photograph and it features two heavyweights of the music industry.

Please stop reading immediately if you are of a nervous disposition or averse to thugs.

The rest of you, behold The Hardest Photograph Of Our Time:

Do not adjust your mobile device. This is a genuine image that is in the public domain right now.

Ed Sheeran appears to be hard now. (Eminem always was).

Let’s break down the precise amount of hard in this photograph to gain an accurate total and verify its title of The Hardest Photograph Of Our Time.

Hood Up Indoors = Hard

Hat Under Hood Indoors = Extremely Hard

Nobody knows what colour Eminem’s hair is anymore, nor should we. An essential requirement of being hard is having an air of mystery about your appearance. Something must be concealed to drive speculation. Marshall ‘Eminem’ Mathers knows this, as he is a very hard man. He’s wearing a hat indoors and he has covered the hat with a hood. You will not be seeing his hair today, no chance. There’s no need for the hat nor the hood. It’s not sunny or raining indoors. Eminem knows that. He is hard. He is doing it for reasons your fragile mind can’t even comprehend right now. Look at his symmetrical beard, look at his partially closed right eye. This is a hard man. No further explanation is necessary.

Rating: 5 hards out of 5 

Chain Tucked Outside T-Shirt = Intimidatingly Hard

That chain probably cost more than the house I will never be able to buy because I like Freddos. Eminem is a wealthy man, he’s worth $190m, so he’s got cash to spend on jewellery. At a guess, I would imagine that Eminem’s chain is worth at the very minimum £12. A general rule of thumb is to show off your jewellery if it’s expensive. A key part of being hard is having lavish items, but pairing them with unlavish things such as a scowl. Mixing a visible chain with a hoodie, t-shirt and cap is standard hard behaviour for a hard man. The integrity of the photograph remains intact. No points lost.

Rating: hards out of 5

Erect Middle Finger = Unbearably Hard

You are 12 years old. You are trying to fraternise with members of the opposite sex in both a real life and online capacity. You need a profile picture that will demonstrate that you are hard as nails, but also desirable. Trying out a few different group poses, you settle on the erect middle finger. It’s edgy, offensive and definitely hard. Within minutes of uploading the image, your inbox is flooded with potential suitors. Everyone wants a piece of you. This is it, you have finally become the desired being you were destined to be. Wait. There’s a buzzing sound. It’s your alarm. Good morning, you pathetic piece of shit. Your dreams are absolutely tragic. But credit where it’s due, they’re hard.

Rating: 5 hards out of 5

Platinum Plaque = Try Hard

Ooh, sold half a million copies of your album, did you? Loser. Try hard. Going off achieving things, are you? Saddo. There’s nothing more hard than sitting around and doing nothing, everyone knows that. If achievements actually meant something, surely everyone would be off getting them? If you’re proper hard, you’ll sit around the house watching The Chase and pestering your friends to see who’s got a Dominos voucher code they’re not using. Selling 500,000 copies of your eagerly-anticipated ninth studio album isn’t hard, it’s try hard. This is the first mark against The Hardest Photograph Of Our Time under grounds of tryhardery.

Rating: 4 hards out of 5

Ed Sheeran = Not Hard, Not Hard At All

Ed Sheeran, by and large, is not a hard man. He sings love songs, he’s got a fairly pleasant personality and he has probably never buried his head into his phone to avoid giving up his bus seat for an elderly person. Team that personality with his expression in this particular image and what we’re dealing with is a soft man. He’s tried to look tough, he’s really genuinely tried, but instead he looks like a Guess Who character. He is not hard. He is letting the entire photograph down. Another point must be docked.

Rating: hards out of 5

Carefully Balancing Something Heavy = Bit Soft

Carrying something heavy, are you? Doing your best not to drop it, is it? Supporting it from the middle so it’s properly balanced, is that right? You are soft, Sheeran. You can pull a gross face, but it will not undo your soft nature. You’ve got a kind heart and that simply won’t pass in the hard community. A true hard man would’ve let that platinum plaque fall to the ground, stubbing toes in its path and smashing to a million smithereens. Holding it up at a delicate angle to achieve true equilibrium is soft. Making sure it fits into the photograph is pathetic. Get out of my sight. You’re ruining everything. We’re down to 2/5.

Rating: 2 hards out of 5

Allowing Your Mate To Do All The Heavy Lifting = Very Hard

Eminem claws back some integrity in the final stages of this race, where it becomes clear that he isn’t supporting the plaque at all. He’s left Sheeran doing all the heavy lifting because he is hard as nails and Sheeran is as soft as asbestos. That’s an incredibly hard man thing to do. Standing there, prioritising an erect middle finger over carrying your own platinum album plaque, enlisting the services of a singer songwriter from Yorkshire, this is very hardcore indeed. Eminem is the hardest man alive. He is harder than The Rock. He has saved this photograph. It’s not his fault it hasn’t achieved a perfect score. He doesn’t deserve this turmoil.

Rating: hards out of 5


This is not the hardest photograph of all time. Sheeran fucked it. It’s three fifths hard, but the hard community doesn’t even recognise fractions. Had Eminem taken the photograph alone, it would be a solid 5 hard out of 5. But that’s not what happened. My initial claim was grossly misguided. It is not The Hardest Photograph Of Our Time.

Wait. I can fix it. This is now The Hardest Photograph Of Our Time:

Thank you.