This is my “I’m back” post and my “summer is here” post. It is June first and time to hit the beach. There are some who feel it’s important to focus on the body. To hit the gym nonstop to show off the guns, abs and chest. Then you have those who are just comfortable in their on skin and prefer to let it all hang out regardless of societies body image obsession. I am a fitness guy. I can admit to beginning the gym to help my self-esteem. I was a skinny guy, all ribs and bones and I got teased often. It’s funny how those that are overweight wish to be skinny as a rail, while the skinny just want some cushion.
The other day I was on Facebook and a friend talked about his story. It was a story of body image , the pain he experienced as a child and his entry into the gay community. He use to be a shorter guy with a little bit of weight on him. He never felt comfortable with his body or his height ,but lucky for him puberty hit and he shot up ending at 6’1. There was still a bit of a weight problem that left him with self-esteem issues and being in the gay community is the worst place to have self-esteem issues. He mentioned his tough time mainly because of the image of perfection we place on ourselves. As gay men, we already know we have so much to overcome with society already looking at us as perverts and sinners. In our own community we make it even harder by idealizing every cover model, athlete and porn star out there( let’s not forget about the masculine ideas of Tom of Finland). My friend, now mature and older, was commenting on how sad it was that we make it so difficult on ourselves and how we need to stop wishing for the moon, if for nothing more than to be supportive of our younger gays coming to terms with their sexuality.
Sounds great doesn’t it? Well my friend had to start his story by saying how he was part of the problem. He loves good looking men, muscles, masculine bear type men, daddies, etc. Nothing at all wrong with that. He also enjoys publishing pictures on his page and in Facebook groups illustrating his love of the male form. Again, nothing wrong with that. But he was telling his story in an effort to ask others to stop pushing such high standards of beauty while he does it himself. See my problem?
Of course being the person I am, I applauded his realization but asked now what? Was he going to change how he idealize men and contribute to this idea or was he just trying to sound enlightened while still publishing the next hairy muscle daddy to lust after? Needless to say he felt attacked and I looked like the bad guy but my intent was to say good job and let’s change together. My intent was to say congrats and let’s start a movement of support and a less body obsessed gay community. So I’m here stating my intent and asking my wonderful followers what do you think.
Is it possible to relax on our ideas of male body perfection for the greater good of the young gay men coming up, or are we just hopeless and lustful?