Body Image/Self Image - And Genre Magazine

  • AthleteTO

    Posts: 12

    Jul 01, 2008 4:17 PM GMT
    I received a free copy of Genre magazine in my registration packet at IGLA 2008 in DC this year - and was absolutely mortified by their cover article, "Get Fit for Fashion - What To Eat, How to Think, What to Wear."

    I am really passionate about the body image, self image, and self esteem issues which are rampant in our community - and frankly, the source of *most* of the destructive self and community behaviours we see in our communities these days. To have a mainstream gay publication directly feed into these issues in such a blatant, ignorant way - is appalling.

    Here are some quotes from the article (and my comments following):

    "Place a picture of the body you most admire on your refrigerator and bathroom mirror as inspiration."
    icon_exclaim.gif Or as a continual reminder of what you don't have, so that you don't appreciate who you already are.

    "Go shopping for the fashions you want, and try them on. Set your goal to reward yourself when the clothes fit you well. If you want to wear DSquared, Thom Browne, YSL for Men, or Dior, you gotta be thin. Try them on in the store, and get the motivation."
    icon_exclaim.gif That's right - work hard on changing your body so you can wear these brands, rather than appreciating who you already are and finding clothes that flatter your body today. What the hell?!?

    "Visualize. See yourself having the body you desire. The more you think about it, the more you will do what it takes to make it happen."
    icon_exclaim.gif Do what it takes to get ultra-thin? Does that include developing an eating disorder, of which the gay community has faced escalating rates?

    "Get a dog. You'll be walking a lot more."
    icon_exclaim.gif As opposed to getting a dog because he'll be a wonderful companion. It's all about you!

    "If your friends drink a lot of alcohol, you may need new friends. Especially if you need to lose weight."
    icon_exclaim.gif As opposed to because they drink too much?

    icon_surprised.gifAnd here's the most shocking..
    "If your friends are thin like models, you'll most likely be thin too. Find thin friends."
    icon_exclaim.gif What an awful thing to write - political correctness aside, this sure does nothing for the self esteem of those who are not thin, either by choice or by nature!

    By now you are likely hoping that the article is just a parody that is not supposed to be taken seriously. Well, many of the other tips are sensible tips on health and exercise (such as, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or meet friends for a hike or bike ride instead of at a bar or restaurant.) The article is meant to be taken seriously.

    I believe that magazines such as Genre have a responsibility to the community, and should be more mindful of the potential effects of what they print. I'll likely write a letter to the editor, something I've never done before - because I think this is poor citizenship!

    I'm curious what others think.
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    Jul 01, 2008 4:53 PM GMT
    Unfortunately, these magazines are a reflection of the current dominant gay culture. Fashion, thin, celebrities, blah blah blah...

    I may get shit for this, but all this crap in the homo magazines is there because such a high proportion of gays have self worth issues. Same thing with women. Constantly buying into all the materialistic fashion and body image bullshit. I've struggled for years to try and understand why so many gay men are like teenage girls, and I've never really been able to come up with a good answer, I've just grown to accept it.

    I guess I'm not much better, I care about what I look like, I guess. I like to keep in shape, I don't wear rags, but some of this shit is just ridiculous. Like everything else, eventually, someone's pockets are getting lined because of it. As long as people pump money into this shit, it will continue.

    "Get Fit For Fashion?" - How about "Stop being a Fucking Woman". Id rather see a hot scruffy guy in a $2 white tee than some queerball in a Dolce And Whoever $250 shirt with the latest designer jeans, etc.

    I just dont get it, i really really dont. Can someone explain it to me? Am i just ignorant? Self-righteous because i REFUSE to pay more than $20 for a shirt or $40 for jeans? Am i suppressing my inner faggot because i dont care about fashion, or celebrities, or identify with sassy fat black women?

    Did my ancestors do something to curse me into liking guys and then have the majority of guys who also like guys act like girls? What is THAT!??! Please, I'm BEGGING for some insight!!!!

    Sorry to rant, but these magazines just bring out everything i hate about the dominant gay culture. I feel like i'm in the minority sometimes with this, so maybe its me.

    Time to go do my hair....icon_lol.gif
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    Jul 01, 2008 5:11 PM GMT
    mofo, i think you need more bran in your diet.
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    Jul 01, 2008 5:44 PM GMT
    Hmmm...I think what chitown_mofo's attributing to self-worth issues in gay men and women is just gender-ascribed behavior that lotsa people fall into - whether gay, straight, male, or female. As a society, its easy to fall into pre-conceived notions of masculinity and femininity and to embrace a 'norm.'

    Plenty of straight women can out-plumb a straight man under the kitchen sink or the hood of a car, and plenty of straight men can accessorize better than many a straight woman. And plenty of gay men can out-shop and out-dress many straight women, then go home, change into that two-dollar white tee and thrashed jeans, re-build a carburetor with skills to put his straight neighbor to shame, and then go kick his ass in an impromptu football match down at the park.

    Yeah, insecurity may play a role in gay men who feel they need to 'conform' to a more effeminate standard. Same can be said for those who feel they have to 'conform' to an uber-masculine model, too. The straight guy who conforms to a role more masculine than he'd naturally act is every bit as guilty of conformation as the gay guy who 'acts' stereotypically 'masculine' or 'feminine' to the absolute exception of the other.

    As for the article...it does perpetuate certain values that are damaging to the gay community.

    And queerball, by the way, is my favorite word so far today.



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    Jul 01, 2008 5:58 PM GMT
    zdrew said

    And queerball, by the way, is my favorite word so far today.



    HAHAHA mine too icon_lol.gif
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    Jul 01, 2008 6:00 PM GMT
    Well maybe Real Jock needs to start publication of its own magazine!
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    Jul 01, 2008 6:03 PM GMT
    epedx saidWell maybe Real Jock needs to start publication of its own magazine!


    Hey....not a bad idea. RealJock Gods, if you're listening...I'm sure you'd have more than a few willing and eager potential staff writers right here on the forums! *hint, ahem*
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    Jul 01, 2008 8:20 PM GMT
    zdrew said

    Yeah, insecurity may play a role in gay men who feel they need to 'conform' to a more effeminate standard. Same can be said for those who feel they have to 'conform' to an uber-masculine model, too. The straight guy who conforms to a role more masculine than he'd naturally act is every bit as guilty of conformation as the gay guy who 'acts' stereotypically 'masculine' or 'feminine' to the absolute exception of the other.



    This is true and can actually be more bothersome.

    I just want to clarify a little. Its not the effeminate nature of the gay culture that got me ranting, and im not claiming to be better than it, nor do i see the uber-masc jock dude as an ideal (If i did and were, i prob wouldnt be seeking advice for my abs on this site). Its the materialistic, celebrity, fashion, and sassy-woman worshiping side of gay culture that just irritates the fuck out of me. Its like being around 13 year old girls at a slumber party sometimes when I find myself immersed in it.

    I have much respect for the 'effeminate' gays who spearheaded the gay rights movement in the good 'ol days, but these were not insecure, materialistic 'queerballs' as you guys seemed to have enjoyed me calling them. And I'd rather have an intelligent conversation with an effete gay man, than talk about the latest Kathy Griffin special or newest Deisel shoes with some hot jock boy any day (i suspect that comment may get me in trouble).

    But going back to the original post, the point i was trying to make (before I let my personal gripes get me sidetracked), is that these magazines reflect the culture, they don't impose it upon us. We cant blame the magazines for giving people low self esteem, they just reflect it, they are businesses. The reason we have this crap is because people are buying into it, and it all boils down to poor self-worth. Its a cycle. So i guess the bigger questions is 'WHY do so many gay men have poor self worth and image issues?'

    I guess I'd like to believe that there is no single 'gay culture', but its really hard sometimes, the gay world tends to be very one dimensional. And that makes me sad icon_cry.gif
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    Jul 01, 2008 10:06 PM GMT
    zdrew saidplenty of gay men can out-shop and out-dress many straight women, then go home, change into that two-dollar white tee and thrashed jeans, re-build a carburetor with skills to put his straight neighbor to shame, and then go kick his ass in an impromptu football match down at the park.


    YES I CAN icon_razz.gif

    hehehe

    I dress well, I wear what looks nice on me, I sorta follow fashion but only to a point. I also wear shitty tshirts when I'm doing something dirty, I work on cars with a few mates and get all greasy (which is sorta hot hehehe) I mow my lawn in really crappy jeans and big massive boots.. but I also wear a few designer labels shoes/pants/tops/jackets and so on.

    HELL, I even moisturise, use facial scrubs, clay masks, face washes and all many of body products, but I'm kewl with getting dirty.

    but ya know, I look around these sites and as much as I try to rationalise my jealousy and desire, I wanna have a body like lots of the guys on this site which makes me go and work out, lift weights and fuck up my shoulder (not from bad form btw) so, you may look at the mags that cater to a niche market, but where do you and everyone else fall?

    We all have our insecurities, we all have our flaws, no one is perfectly un wanting of any of it
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    Jul 01, 2008 10:14 PM GMT
    I hear what you're saying here and I agree to a point... But what I believe that article is trying to say is basically, you're a product of your enviroment. You do become much like the people that you surround yourself with.

    Sure the article brings up a lot of sterotypes in the gay community but they are pretty much in every community.
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    Jul 01, 2008 10:45 PM GMT
    I particularly like when it's

    page 3-6 crazy celebrities shockingly thin from the new puke it up all you can eat celery diet

    Page 7 Advertisement for Face cream

    Page 8-9 Starve your self thin in time for summer

    Page 10 Find out why being a plus size women is empowering
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Jul 01, 2008 10:52 PM GMT
    Genre is becoming the Gay Man's Cosmo icon_cool.gif

    Complete with the airbrushed Hot Guy on the Cover
    Now don't get all in a huff
    the article was a fluff piece
    and the suggestions were there just to get your mind
    to see things from a different angle
    It's not an attack on maleness

    AthleteTO said

    "Place a picture of the body you most admire on your refrigerator and bathroom mirror as inspiration."
    icon_exclaim.gif Or as a continual reminder of what you don't have, so that you don't appreciate who you already are.


    I don't agree with that at all
    I think you're looking at this point a little pessimistically .... working out is all about body image and changing it for the better
    what better way to place a reminder that you can be all you want to be
    I look at seeing other guys this way... If THEY can do it
    I sure as hell can

    [quote]"Go shopping for the fashions you want, and try them on. Set your goal to reward yourself when the clothes fit you well. If you want to wear DSquared, Thom Browne, YSL for Men, or Dior, you gotta be thin. Try them on in the store, and get the motivation."
    icon_exclaim.gif That's right - work hard on changing your body so you can wear these brands, rather than appreciating who you already are and finding clothes that flatter your body today. What the hell?!?[/quote]

    Like it or not some men do like fashion
    If you do you need to know what looks good on you and what doesn't
    I think the article was saying almost the samething that you were ... only from a different angle
    Wear what looks good on you .... but you can change what you want

    [quote]"Visualize. See yourself having the body you desire. The more you think about it, the more you will do what it takes to make it happen."
    icon_exclaim.gif Do what it takes to get ultra-thin? Does that include developing an eating disorder, of which the gay community has faced escalating rates?[/quote]
    Is that what the article said?
    If it's only to be ultra-thin yes, then I agree with you
    But you Can transform yourself
    and that's what Realjock is basically all about

    [quote]"Get a dog. You'll be walking a lot more."
    icon_exclaim.gif As opposed to getting a dog because he'll be a wonderful companion. It's all about you![/quote]

    lol... This I do agree
    Is extremely egotistic
    The poor dog is nothing but a breathing carrot on a friggin' stick... icon_rolleyes.gif

    [quote]"If your friends drink a lot of alcohol, you may need new friends. Especially if you need to lose weight."
    icon_exclaim.gif As opposed to because they drink too much?[/quote]

    Whatever the reason ... drop the lushes

    [quote]icon_surprised.gifAnd here's the most shocking..
    "If your friends are thin like models, you'll most likely be thin too. Find thin friends."
    [/quote]

    And this I also agree is a "tad" shallow icon_wink.gif
    But it's all about mindset and wrapping your mind about changing your environment to make a change in your life

  • jockoman

    Posts: 20

    Jul 02, 2008 5:12 PM GMT
    OMG!!! Are the Genre people serious?

    I wonder: What do the guys from the "Bear" group think about this magazine? It must be hilarious to them, especially the part about finding thinner friends! OYE!

    Remember: Love yourself. Love yourself no matter what other people think you should wear, how you should act, what you whould eat, or how you should look.

    Values and societal mores change, and rapidly! It is only in the very recent history of Western civilization that you find "sane" people forking over half their weekly income for a single pair of faded, ripped, frayed jeans that would have been almost valueless only two or three decades beforehand. And all in the name of impressing their thin friends.

    Marilyn Monroe wore a size 14, guys! (In case you don't know women's sizes, that's fucking HUGE by today's Paris-Hilton-Lindsay-Lohan standards.) And yet she remains the quintessential celluloid sex goddess 50+ years after her death. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm.....
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    Jul 02, 2008 6:25 PM GMT
    ROFL. For a moment I thought Genre was a WOMEN's magazine. icon_rolleyes.gif
  • AthleteTO

    Posts: 12

    Jul 02, 2008 9:28 PM GMT
    Interesting responses. I guess what gets me is that, rather than tackling these sorts of things head on, most of our media just perpetuates it.

    Umm - when is the gay community going to have a Dove Real Beauty campaign? And even more importantly - could it be done without being cut to shreds by those who need it the most?
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    Jul 02, 2008 9:53 PM GMT
    The answer is simple....Genre and it's ilk are giving it's readers what they want. They must be or they'd have no buyers. The answe is simple...put down Genre and pick up the Advocate.