image conscious and being gay

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    Sep 07, 2010 4:51 AM GMT
    First of all, if this doesn't apply to you, and you have nothing good to say... then you probably should just ignore it. No need to continue the rude/shallow attitude that's out there enough already.

    That said, as gay males are highly conscious of their appearances and have a good amount of pressure to be "hott" so other guys will notice them... how has this pressure affected you guys? Has it gotten to any of you so bad that you've jeopardized your health to have a hott body? Has anyone eschewed other responsibilities, friendships, opportunities in order to achieve looking good? Maybe developed bad habits that are either pre-eating disorder or all the way into a full blown eating disorder? Does anyone have a deflated ego or low self esteem related to this? How does the common judgmental attitude toward gay men by other gay men affect you?

    On the flip side, if you find yourself priding yourself in your body and appearance, first off congratulations, but secondly, how would you feel about yourself if that was taken away? Or if that all of a sudden didn't matter whatsoever?

    I ask because I feel the pressure to look a certain way to be desired, to be listened to, to be accepted, and as a result have taken up some bad practices that have taken on a life of their own with the end goal of looking like a Greek athlete or a porn star. I wondered what others' thoughts were.
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    Sep 07, 2010 5:26 AM GMT
    I'll be honest. Yes, I would like to look good and I'm working on it right now because my body and mindset allows me to do so. I've had self-esteem issues and wanting to fit in, and done stupid stuff in order to do so when I was younger. When I started seriously working out and all, I over-worked myself to the point of exhaustion thinking that was what I needed to do, but realized after researching a bit to take a step back, re-evaluate and consult. But, hey, I'm still learning about myself, what I'm comfortable with, etc. It's all a learning process, but I don't think it's a bad thing that people should work to look better or feel better about themselves if they can do it.

    As to the whole issue of eating disorders and mental health issues, the best anyone can do is to recognize the signs and symptoms and help each other out...be compassionate to one another.

    To answer your other question, what would happen if it was taken away...since I've been in the world of being called a geek and ignored when I was younger, I'd just find a way to come to terms with what I can accomplish and what I can't (especially when age and Mother Nature won't allow you to do things). One of my favorite books is "Tuesdays With Morrie"...it's a great book about living life to the fullest and, as the cliche goes, having the wisdom to recognize what can be changed and what cannot be changed (or something along those lines).
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    Sep 07, 2010 5:41 AM GMT
    Started working out for joint pain (worked great) but I'll be honest, its a vanity thing that keeps me motivated. Also checking out hot guys. Doesn't hurt that its healthy. But for me the vanity thing is about me and not what somebody else thinks of me. Because the truth is that unless someone is hopelessly in love/lust with you they aren't going to spend a lot of energy thinking about you. To me that's just logical - everybody has limited time to contemplate other people's bodies and if they use that time judging then they are fucking idiots.

    If I woke up one day and looked disfigured? I would hate it and I would be very sad. I think your appearance is part of your identity and identity is the worst thing to be attacked on.
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    Sep 07, 2010 5:44 AM GMT
    I'm pretty sure everyone tries even a little bit to try and look for other guys, its human nature, we're all that way, its part of life...
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    Sep 07, 2010 8:11 AM GMT
    Clones

    "They operate on the principle that to find their great dark man, they must first look like him, since clones are exclusively attracted to other clones it is impossible to rope one in without first becoming one, but which of these clones are the original, the archetype and how many of these are pretenders, clone admirers in disguise?

    Quentin Crisp From "An Englishman in New York"
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    Sep 07, 2010 8:13 AM GMT
    fudgepacket07 saidThat said, as gay males are highly conscious of their appearances and have a good amount of pressure to be "hott" so other guys will notice them... how has this pressure affected you guys?


    I'm smart enough to not be one of the sheep, and in fact find out that (ironically) the more I don't care about my image, the more I get laid. In fact, I rarely get hair cuts, rarely shave, rarely buy new clothes, and I'm still hot.

    Problem is the more you try, the more you look like a fucking girl, and that's disgusting.
  • Space_Cowboy_...

    Posts: 3738

    Sep 07, 2010 8:22 AM GMT
    *nods* I'd hit it icon_cool.gif
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    Sep 07, 2010 8:23 AM GMT
    hahahahahah
  • Space_Cowboy_...

    Posts: 3738

    Sep 07, 2010 8:27 AM GMT
    JAKEBENSON saidhahahahahah



    I mean I like guys b/c they're guys
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    Sep 07, 2010 8:29 AM GMT
    Space_Cowboy_89 said
    JAKEBENSON saidhahahahahah



    I mean I like guys b/c they're guys


    I like guys with vaginas...got a problem with that?icon_mad.gif
  • Space_Cowboy_...

    Posts: 3738

    Sep 07, 2010 8:35 AM GMT
    JAKEBENSON said
    Space_Cowboy_89 said
    JAKEBENSON saidhahahahahah



    I mean I like guys b/c they're guys


    I like guys with vaginas...got a problem with that?icon_mad.gif



    hahaha a man pussy? dude that's an ass. icon_rolleyes.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 07, 2010 8:41 AM GMT
    When I first came out and started going onto the scene, I really felt the pressure to look good. Actually, good wasn't enough. I felt that if I didn't look like a model, I was roadkill to the rest of the gay world. I started working out, alot, at times to the detriment of my health. I had zero self-esteem.

    I knew that my thinking was all warped. Hell, I did my PhD dissertation investigating body image in men.

    As I've gotten older I've realised what works and what doesn't in my life. Going out on the scene, and being around those who do, does not work for me. It's a toxic environment and I want no part of it. I work out because I enjoy being fit and healthy and sport is now a big part of my life (rather than looking good for the sake of it). And I know that if people don't accept me for who I am, then they're not worth being around. Sadly, it's taken me about 10 years to reach this point but I guess it's the journey and what you learn on it.
  • Space_Cowboy_...

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    Sep 07, 2010 8:44 AM GMT
    what is the scene?
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    Sep 07, 2010 9:04 AM GMT
    Space_Cowboy_89 saidwhat is the scene?


    In Sydney it's Oxford St - where all the gay clubs and bars are.
  • Space_Cowboy_...

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    Sep 07, 2010 9:12 AM GMT
    dash_8 said
    Space_Cowboy_89 saidwhat is the scene?


    In Sydney it's Oxford St - where all the gay clubs and bars are.



    OOH okay never been to a gay club or bad.... don't think I'm missing much then.
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    Sep 07, 2010 10:21 AM GMT
    I dont care what I look like, dont even wanna think about it, because I really dont like the way I look... I used to wear old, un-ironed clothes, not shave, not cut my hair or style it... but I would get so many comments from everyone about my grooming, that I had to start grooming myself, now I do it just to avoid people commenting, and it has worked... now at least people dont have something to say about the way im dressed ....

    But at this point, they still comment on other things in my appearance, Ive lost muscle mass since I stopped weight training, and though I dont really care myself, people are still commenting on how I lost weight, and its always annoying to keep hearing that
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    Sep 07, 2010 11:48 AM GMT
    Space_Cowboy_89 said
    dash_8 said
    Space_Cowboy_89 saidwhat is the scene?


    In Sydney it's Oxford St - where all the gay clubs and bars are.



    OOH okay never been to a gay club or bad.... don't think I'm missing much then.

    I'll take you there sweetie.. there are all sorts of clubs on oxford street from bears to twinks or at least there used to be, but apparently there are now more hetro clubs.

    Tool shed used to be fun icon_biggrin.gif
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    Sep 07, 2010 12:16 PM GMT
    The only reason I got back - and stay - in shape is because of my fetish for muscles. It's 99.9% impossible to find another muscular guy who shares this fetish without paying for a private muscle-worship session, unless you are also muscular. If it weren't for the fetish I'd only workout, exercise, and diet enough be generally healthy, without the extra work involved in becoming more defined.

    And yeah, I've had sports related injuries from working out. I'm currently going through sciatica, with heavy lifting as one of the possible contributors...and sitting in a cramped, small, bumpy, single-seat airplane, 4+ hours/day being another possible contributor.

    My decision (and success) to get in shape has inspired many people around me to do the same. Just knowing that my actions inspired others to be healthy make it worth the pain I'm going through now.
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    Sep 07, 2010 12:23 PM GMT
    lilTanker said
    Space_Cowboy_89 said
    dash_8 said
    Space_Cowboy_89 saidwhat is the scene?


    In Sydney it's Oxford St - where all the gay clubs and bars are.



    OOH okay never been to a gay club or bad.... don't think I'm missing much then.

    I'll take you there sweetie.. there are all sorts of clubs on oxford street from bears to twinks or at least there used to be, but apparently there are now more hetro clubs.

    Tool shed used to be fun icon_biggrin.gif



    Try stonewall
  • mdswimmer

    Posts: 21

    Sep 07, 2010 12:24 PM GMT
    dash_8 saidWhen I first came out and started going onto the scene, I really felt the pressure to look good. Actually, good wasn't enough. I felt that if I didn't look like a model, I was roadkill to the rest of the gay world. I started working out, alot, at times to the detriment of my health. I had zero self-esteem.

    I knew that my thinking was all warped. Hell, I did my PhD dissertation investigating body image in men.

    As I've gotten older I've realised what works and what doesn't in my life. Going out on the scene, and being around those who do, does not work for me. It's a toxic environment and I want no part of it. I work out because I enjoy being fit and healthy and sport is now a big part of my life (rather than looking good for the sake of it). And I know that if people don't accept me for who I am, then they're not worth being around. Sadly, it's taken me about 10 years to reach this point but I guess it's the journey and what you learn on it.



    I agree! My build is a by product of my lifestyle. I enjoy being active and healthy for the sake of being healthy. I stay lean because of it. I know i will never be a big ripped dude, but that's ok, it would only slow me down in the sports that i love.

  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Sep 07, 2010 12:27 PM GMT
    First and foremost, you need to be comfortable with who you are and not base it on the "shifting sands" of looks.

    What if you were in a car accident and disfigured... or couldn't work out?
    Health and achievement should rank way ahead of looks.

    That said, do I want to be the best I can, sure.. but that applied to most in my life, not just my looks.
  • tigrisblue

    Posts: 113

    Sep 07, 2010 4:15 PM GMT
    paulflexes saidThe only reason I got back - and stay - in shape is because of my fetish for muscles. It's 99.9% impossible to find another muscular guy who shares this fetish without paying for a private muscle-worship session, unless you are also muscular. If it weren't for the fetish I'd only workout, exercise, and diet enough be generally healthy, without the extra work involved in becoming more defined.

    And yeah, I've had sports related injuries from working out. I'm currently going through sciatica, with heavy lifting as one of the possible contributors...and sitting in a cramped, small, bumpy, single-seat airplane, 4+ hours/day being another possible contributor.

    My decision (and success) to get in shape has inspired many people around me to do the same. Just knowing that my actions inspired others to be healthy make it worth the pain I'm going through now.


    I resonate a lot with this. Although I've found I really enjoy the process of staying in shape, meeting goals and milestones. And, it contributes to a better self-image, though of course that's not all that I am.
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    Sep 07, 2010 6:06 PM GMT
    Of course people of all stripes succumb to pressure to look hot and jeopardize their health getting and staying there. But I'm always annoyed by the implication that engaging in risky practices like steroids and diuretics are the only way to achieve it. There's absolutely nothing wrong with taking care of yourself. It's entirely possible to look good and not only be healthy but healthier than you've ever been and if it takes pressure from the gay community to make healthy lifestyle choices to look a certain way then that's a good thing. As it happens if I'm projecting a homo-friendly image it has nothing to do with seeking validation from other gays - it's a byproduct of a prediabetes diagnosis (since beaten) and dropping my blood pressure and cholesterol levels to record healthy lows. As for losing one's hard-won body, been there, done that, and in my case it was diminished mobility and function and not inattention that was frustrating. I've known a lot of people who lost their A-list bodies to illness and had bigger fish to fry than bemoan the ruined state of their physiques. Hopefully, if you start taking care of yourself the right way for the right reasons occasionally letting yourself go to pot due to the inevitability of life will be the least of your worries.
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    Sep 07, 2010 6:54 PM GMT
    I've been told by gay people (in a jokingly way) that a man at my age, my physique and career would be considered a great catch for women....but being the "old" Gay without a "hot body" that I am makes me JUST below average. LOL

    *SHRUGS*
  • OJ89

    Posts: 106

    Sep 07, 2010 7:12 PM GMT
    I'm horrendously image concious.
    I know I shouldn't be, but I am and I'm never happy with how I look.