Summer is just around the corner, which subsequently means gym memberships are being reactivated, “how does keto work?” is being typed into Google and that self-loathing bug has reared its ugly head again. That little thing called ‘inadequacy’ is back yet again, and it won’t STFU. And this time, it’s telling you that your love handles can’t be loved. It’s saying that your arms aren’t big enough. AND it’s asking why you have a six pack in your fridge and not on your stomach. Like damn b**chhhh, right in front of my salad?!
Being a gay man today is significantly easier than it was twenty years ago, but being a Modern Gay (*wink wink* see what we did there) comes with its own struggles. Gays today feel the pressure to have THAT body (you know the one I’m talking about).
Every day we see perfectly chiselled bodies in porn and on Grindr (I’m looking at you ‘masc4masc fit jock’ – you’re not very subtle with the whole ‘no fems, no fats’ thing going on in your bio…), conditioning us to believe that a certain body type is somehow better than another. Oh, and not to mention social media platforms. Who here has felt personally victimised by the Instagram explore page? I know I have. It’s on these platforms like Twitter and Instagram where, again, ‘perfect bodies’ are pushed to the top of the algorithm and photos of your aunt’s dogs are never to be seen. Sorry, Aunty Helen…
Research done by Dalhousie University has shown that the social demand placed upon gay men to eat healthy and have the perfect body has serious mental health consequences. The men in this study talked about how constantly thinking about food and body ideals often leads to losing themselves in feelings of inadequacy, anxiety, low self-esteem and depression.
Friends of mine have often expressed sentiments that they need to have the perfect, plump #humpday booty, the skinniest legend skinny waist or to have the bulging pecs that would even make the Cock Destroyers jealous, just to feel worthy of being loved, wanted, or – in crasser terms – f**kable.
The idea that being fat = being alone is a popular sentiment running rampant within the gay community – a sad social discourse reinforced through media.
So how do we change this?
1. CHANGE THE KIND OF MEDIA WE CONSUME!
Ever see a really ripped guy on Instagram and think “wow, I’m going to go cry now”? Most social media platforms use an algorithm that shows you more of the kind of things that you already interact with. So, if you follow a lot of #instagays with perfect bodies that are somehow always on a yacht in Mykonos, then chances are, you’re probably going to see more of that. #instafacts
2. STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS
Comparison is one of the easiest ways to get yourself down. Let’s also be frank here – A LOT of the things you are comparing yourself to on Instagram are photoshopped. Ever wonder why that fence behind their butt is so wavy?
No, their buns don’t have their own gravitational pull. That’s photoshop, baby!
3. BE YOU – THE BEST YOU!
It’s important to strive to be a healthier, better version of yourself, but you don’t have to look like Hercules with abs on abs to be loved or wanted. Your body is not
something you should be ashamed of. Your body is valid and guess what? Your body is beautiful. Say that over and over until you believe it!
So this summer, know that you’re HOT, because guess what?
The hottest trait of all is confidence.