Aesthetic important of crunches

A friend of mine who used to be an amateur body builder told me that for someone with my body type(that small layer of tummy fat that us normal guys despise)doing crunches and other ab-specific exercises would only add mass and make my waist look bigger getting me further from my goal of nice abs. I was wondering what you guys thought of the validity of this statement.

depends on just how much fat you have padding your stomach.

you arent going to see any muscle under there if your carrying a load of fat, and you cant spot reduce the fat with stomach excercise.

attack this from the diet angle and you may have more success. (and continue with the core excersises. its not going to make it look That much worse)

So much for my bacon cheeseburger diet

You can eat bacon cheeseburgers if you exercise intensely enough to burn the extra calories and aren't worried about heart disease.

heart disease always sucks

You need to work it from both sides. Weighted crunches will increase the hypertrophy of the muscle (better using weights than banging out 300 crunches) however you won't see them until your body fat is below about 10%. Depends alot on body type as well. Some people have ripped abs very easily, others could diet and work for a lifetime and still look like they are carrying a bit around the waist.