The Gay Society and Self Image

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 21, 2008 3:06 AM GMT
    I just now fell upon this guy's profile.

    http://www.realjock.com/FlipChef

    He's got killer poses and a nice upper body build.

    If you look down to his stats, he considers himself to be "Overweight".

    Why!?!?!?!?

    I fail to see anything overflowing besides muscle and confidence.

    Why has our gay community become so strict that one would label themselves overweight when they're clearly not!?

    Yikes!icon_eek.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 21, 2008 10:19 AM GMT
    It's like 70-pound girls complaining about being fat. We just can't get rid easily of how we viewed ourselves earlier.

    Hence why fat people still think of themselves as fat even when they've shriveled to a dry wilted stick from dieting. icon_sad.gif
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    Feb 21, 2008 1:42 PM GMT
    it's so sad.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 21, 2008 2:02 PM GMT
    Well being 243 pounds and 6'2 gives him a boy mass index of 31.2 qualifying medically as obese and with a 38 inch waist from his stats I'd put him could lose a few pounds for the sake of his health catagory.



  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 21, 2008 2:03 PM GMT
    "I believe beauty magazines promote low self-esteem."
  • ShawnTX

    Posts: 2484

    Feb 21, 2008 3:01 PM GMT
    lilmaninsc said"I believe beauty magazines promote low self-esteem."


    I really have to disagree with this. I may have a slightly biased opinion as I work in the fashion industry, but I'm also realistic.

    I've worked in the industry for 10 years, and during all that time I've never met anyone in the industry that has every said something akin to 'the only way you can be beautiful is to be a size 2'. The fact is, clothing drapes better on a slimmer frame, making the clothing the focus and not the person. Yes, we want a beautiful face attached to the outfit, but there are also many, many, many 'odd' looking models out there too, that are at the top of their game, and are beautiful in their own way. Let's face it, we're doing this to make money, and a beautiful face will help with that, of course.

    Saying that fashion magazines promote low self-esteem is like saying violent video games and tv shows promote violence in children. If that's the case, everyone who has looked at a fashion magazine has low self-esteem, and every child who has seen violence on tv will be violent. That's just not the case.

    There are some unstable people out there whos self-esteem is affected by those magazines, just like there are some unstable children, or children without supervision, that mimicks what they see on tv. But those are the exception, not the rule.

    We all know that those 'perfect, beautiful' models in those magazines make up 1% of the population, so if you look at them, then look at yourself and think 'I'm not perfect because I don't look like them', you have some issues that started long before you opened that mag.

    This site is a good example as well. RealJock promotes fitness and beautiful, well developed male bodies. Does that mean that all of us on here that aren't 'perfectly ripped' will have our self-esteeem destroyed by being on here? Absolutely not. If coming on here, or looking through the pages of GQ and Men's Health makes you disgusted by your own body, you have issues that started long before clicking on the 'sign up now' button.
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    Feb 21, 2008 5:50 PM GMT
    ShawnTO, I agree with you inasmuch as the media shouldn't influence our perceptions of who we are or think we should be/look like, etc. However, the fact remains that some people do have a skewed perspective regarding their self-image, and it has to come from somewhere. We judge ourselves through comparisons to others - whether that be the next guy in the gym, the weird little world of Hollywood, or what we see in the media. Undeniably, the fashion industry understands this, and in perpetuating images of beauty, the industry does have an influence on peoples' ideals of beauty and therefore their own self-image or self-worth.

    lilmaninsc: Darren Hayes fan, huh?

  • jarhead5536

    Posts: 1348

    Feb 21, 2008 5:59 PM GMT
    We (okay, I) read too many fitness mags and watch too much porn. Like women reading fashion magazines, we hold up these unreal men as the masculine ideal, and if we miss the mark in any small way, we are inadequate. Like anorexic girls, we no longer see ourselves clearly.

    If we knew what sex actors and fitness models actually did to themselves to look like that, we would think twice about trying to emulate them...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 21, 2008 6:04 PM GMT
    Society is cruel when it comes to the self. And mainstream medias and the status quo drive people to believe that they have to meet a certain criteria in order to be accept. I think it's huge crock of bull, but somehow people think it serves a purpose. Note: I don't think I better than anyone who lives like that. I think that I can benefit better from living that way myself. This is all can come up right now... thinking on an empty stomach makes me spacey. So, I'll be back with a more helpful answer later... hope this did help some.
  • fitnfunmich

    Posts: 181

    Feb 21, 2008 6:40 PM GMT
    Self-esteem comes from within, not from without. There are just as many seemingly ripped guys on here who suffer from terrible self-esteem. One might argue that this is what drives them in their quest for the perfect body.

    As for the profile mentioned at the beginning of this thread, I would suggest that this guy is simply being honest when he describes himself as "overweight," and not necessarily lacking in self-esteem or having a poor self image.
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    Feb 21, 2008 7:11 PM GMT
    I just wrote an article on this subject not so long ago. In my research, I found several studies showing gay men as having greater obsession with their bodies than any other group (straight women, lesbians, straight men, etc.). Another study found that a significant percentage of gay men valued appearance over personality and intelligence in potential partners. While you want to be physically attracted to your partner, it seems some gay men take it to the extreme. Then, when you don't fit that hyper-masculine, well-muscled mold, body image issues can develop. Consequently, research has shown that the gay male population has the highest incidence of reported eating disorders and a high percentage of drug abuse. All I can say is that it's important to resist societal norms and work to be the best that YOU can be.
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    Feb 21, 2008 7:29 PM GMT
    I have one more thing to add:
    While this evidence is purely anecdotal, if you happen to browse around the profiles of many of the men on this site, what do you find? The average "Hot List" is filled to the brim with well-muscled, six-pack bearing bodies--many of them without headsicon_exclaim.gif Apparently it's not even necessary to have a head to be considered hot.
    Ok, I'll now come down from my soapbox.
  • fitnfunmich

    Posts: 181

    Feb 21, 2008 7:31 PM GMT
    I dunno, SDtrainer...I just don't buy this supposed research proving gay men are so different than heteros. I mean think about it: we homos obsess about the male physique because that is what we are attracted to. Str8 boys most certainly obsess about the female body just as much. And they probably care more about a nice set of racks on a chick more than how smart she is too.

    I don't think gays should be singled out as less capable or mature or mentally fit than any man, str8 or otherwise.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 21, 2008 7:37 PM GMT
    The research I found was specifically geared toward gay men. I can't speak about straight men with regard to their view of women. I do know that the straight male population has the least incidence of self body image issues.
    And I'm not, in any way, saying gay men are mentally unfit or incapable. After all, I am a gay man and am very proud of myself. I'm just saying that we need to be careful with ourselves and not get bogged down by this ideal image of beauty because it can be very self destructive.
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    Feb 21, 2008 7:46 PM GMT
    I think the male species (straight or gay) are a shallow breed in general. I mean, take this site for example. Is there an equivalent site where women post hot pics of themselves for hookup and dating purposes?
  • fitnfunmich

    Posts: 181

    Feb 21, 2008 8:12 PM GMT
    SDtrainerthe straight male population has the least incidence of self body image issues


    Well Duh.

    Str8 guy: looks at women as sexual objects.
    Str8 women: obsess about their bodies.

    Gay guy: looks at men as sexual objects.
    Gay men: obsess about their bodies.

    If women were as visually stimulated as men are, then I suspect the str8 men would be inclined to care more about their bodies as much as homos or str8 women do.
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    Feb 21, 2008 8:41 PM GMT
    Many people who obsess over their bodies become miserable and lead sad existences. That's a problem and why I suggest working on letting go of the obsession. There's more to life than bubble butts, abs and biceps.
  • SoDakGuy

    Posts: 1862

    Feb 21, 2008 8:45 PM GMT
    Well ... sometimes I still feel like that chunky, baby fat and baby faced newbie when I go out. I use to dream about looking like a Mens' Health cover and look like those boys I saw in the middle of the dancefloor shirtless at the Saloon.

    Eventually, I did become one of those shirtless boys in the middle of the dancefloor and in all honesty, it was pretty dull. The eye candy is great, but the chatter bored me to tears.

    I always wanted to be one of the bigger boys and I've worked my ass off to get to where I am at now, but still I'm not satisfied. I'm happy what I have, but I want more.

    Crazy, isn't it?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 21, 2008 8:50 PM GMT
    SoDakGuy saidWell ... sometimes I still feel like that chunky, baby fat and baby faced newbie when I go out. I use to dream about looking like a Mens' Health cover and look like those boys I saw in the middle of the dancefloor shirtless at the Saloon.

    Eventually, I did become one of those shirtless boys in the middle of the dancefloor and in all honesty, it was pretty dull. The eye candy is great, but the chatter bored me to tears.

    I always wanted to be one of the bigger boys and I've worked my ass off to get to where I am at now, but still I'm not satisfied. I'm happy what I have, but I want more.

    Crazy, isn't it?


    Excellent examples SoDakGuy.

    I do believe in progression and working towards self improvement--whatever that means for you (and that "you" and all others following are generalized). But I believe that self improvement should be for you and not for anyone else. It's important to feel good about yourself, but you can't do that when you're constantly worried about whether others think you look good or not.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 21, 2008 8:54 PM GMT
    Lol yes, Zdrew... got quite a response from Shawn, though. I never said that the fashion industry tells you that you aren't beautiful unless you're a size 2.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 21, 2008 8:55 PM GMT
    I am in no way a perfectly ripped specimen. I am decently in shape for my age, which is what I want to be, for vanity and for health, but the amount of work required to be a fitness model type, especially for older men, is simply not a good use of my time.

    And I had a very good friend pass away last October. He was a bodybuilder with a hard, large, flawless physique, and a sweet guy. He was also 29, and as someone noted, what he did to achieve that, the steroid usage, killed him.

    I plan to live to be a very old, tiny, wizened homo, thanks.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 21, 2008 9:00 PM GMT
    jprichva said

    I plan to live to be a very old, tiny, wizened homo, thanks.


    We shall henceforth call you Dumbledore, then.

  • justjk

    Posts: 302

    Feb 21, 2008 9:03 PM GMT
    Well being a trainer i should know bwtter, but sadly half low self esteem and poor body image and the fitness magizine models make me want to starve myself and do nothing but work out 7 days a week 24 hours a day, i know i'll never look like them but i will always feel pressured to look better, lose weight, lower body fat and all that, but over all it will be good for me in the long run
  • SoDakGuy

    Posts: 1862

    Feb 21, 2008 9:05 PM GMT
    Oh yeah. The boxing is definitely all for me. Also picking up running is something I love doing. Weight lifting became my first love in college, but I started hating it when I was one of those boys.

    After I changed gyms and disappeared from the scene, I fell back in love with it again.

    And surprisingly (Well, to me, that is), I get hired for modeling gigs (at 30!) for the way I look. I never FATHOMED that ... EVER!

    Strange, strange world, huh?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 21, 2008 9:56 PM GMT
    Even though I know I'm far from being fat, I still feel like a "fat kid" sometimes.

    I'm really happy with the progress I've made because I've been doing it for me. Sure I'd love to have a "Men's Health cover" body...and I'm working on it...but my hard work is being done for ME and no one else. I may not have the genetics to hit the goals I'd really like to, but a man can try.

    icon_biggrin.gif