Whether it’s building muscle – or losing fat – to pursue what we consider to be our ideal body, many gay men experience body image issues.
Our relationship to our own bodies is a topic that fascinates me. As gay men, issues of body image, self-esteem and self-worth are undeniably closely linked to our sexuality. For some, taking control over our appearance gives us a sense of control in a world where we were/are made to feel bad about who we are. For others, holding negative views about how we look is an extension of the negativity we feel about our sexuality.
Our relationship to our appearance is also inextricably linked to the narcissistically permissive era of social media sharing we find ourselves in. Whether its shirtless selfies shared on Instagram, or dick pics exchanged on a hook up app, our bodies have become our brand. It’s the first view much of the (online/social) world has of us. That means there’s pressure for those bodies to present who we are in the best possible light.
I know these issues aren’t the exclusive domain of gay guys. Straight guys experience them too. But as a gay guy writing a gay blog for a (mainly) gay male audience, my focus will be on how we as gay men experience body image issues.
Do you think we have a healthy relationship with our body images?