how we see ourselves VS how others see us...

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 24, 2008 3:53 PM GMT
    okay, here's something that has been happening more and more in the last 6-8 months... it requires some context first.

    i was always tiny for my size. in 5th grade i was still the same size i was in 3rd grade, and i was the smallest in my class in 3rd grade. in 8th grade i grew a foot, but was still the smallest, plus i had people constantly asking me if i was a boy or a girl (which, in my own sick 13-year-old way, i really relished). in high school i grew more, but only taller. i added hardly any weight. when i graduated from high school i was only 5'6", #115. in college i developed an eating disorder, so until i was 28 i was 5'6", #120. around that time i started eating more and after a year got up to #130. i've grown an inch somewhere in the last couple years, so now i'm 5'7". i was always a target for anti-gay crap this whole time. i was stuck at #130 until the last 6-8 months...

    now i'm 5'7", #155. suddenly i'm not invisible/easily targeted anymore. icon_confused.gif

    so, here i am, completely inunadated my whole life with images of being small, tiny, ultra-femme, and weak. everyone treats me this way. no one mistakes me for being gay. i get harrassed incessantly. it's all part and parcel with my identity.

    in the last 6-8 months; however, all that has changed and it's surreal:

    queens at the club: "do you have a girlfriend? you're gay? are you sure?"
    jocks at the club: "what do you do for your (insert body part here)?"
    redneck at the club: "i've always liked stocky guys like you."
    photographer at the club: "i've worked with calvin klein - he would like you."
    someone on manhunt: "i don't get why you muscle boys are always so stuck up."
    the last guy i slept with: "you're such a sexy beast."
    high school boys at the mall: "did you see that gay dude - i wouldn't fuck with him. did you see his arms?"
    high school girls at the mall: "my girlfriend cindy wanted me to come tell you hi for her."
    sales rep at guess: "i'm not surprised these jeans fit you. only models can wear them well."
    my stripper friend: "i was looking for the guy you said was your height and your build, and i didn't notice him b/c i was looking for a cock-deisel guy like you."

    what the fuck? all i did was start eating and lifting heavy objects. suddenly the image i have of me in my head is no longer congruous with my life experience, and i'm starting to feel panicked. i've always been the skinny, angry fag who had to defend himself with snippy comebacks. now suddenly i'm intimidating? i'm not sure i like this after all.

    what convos/experiences have you had that made you completely re-evaluate your identity/self image?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 24, 2008 3:57 PM GMT
    well, you are sooooo sexy! ... icon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 24, 2008 4:25 PM GMT
    here's a trick.

    ask someone what their favorite color is and describe it in 3 adjectives.
    then ask them their favorite animal and describe that in 3 adjectives.
    but don't tell them yet what this means until they give you both answers.

    the 3 words they used to describe the color is how they see themselves.
    and the 3 words they used to describe the animal is how others see them.
    icon_biggrin.gif

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 24, 2008 4:39 PM GMT
    I'm not intimidated by your nelly, queeny-ass. I'd kick that tight bubble butt to Kansas Tinker-Bell.

    Zip those Cheeky Calvins up and priss past me!

    I've seen bigger guns on a Sponge Bob Square Pants cartoon. I'm sure that model body might make Tyra and Kate Moss squeal, of course your girly screams would drown them out.

    High School Girls don't adore you, they want to be you!

    Meet me in a bar so I rest my beer can on your head while looking for bigger fish to fry.... BITCH!!




    ...fell better and more your old self now, shorty? icon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 24, 2008 4:54 PM GMT
    fluxu8 saidhere's a trick.

    ask someone what their favorite color is and describe it in 3 adjectives.
    then ask them their favorite animal and describe that in 3 adjectives.
    but don't tell them yet what this means until they give you both answers.

    the 3 words they used to describe the color is how they see themselves.
    and the 3 words they used to describe the animal is how others see them.
    icon_biggrin.gif



    Eh?

    OMG.... icon_redface.gif

    Orange, Black, Blue-Gray

    Penguins, Pandas, Cats! icon_eek.gif

    ...meow?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 24, 2008 5:11 PM GMT
    actually bodywork4, throw the word "faggot" in there a few times, and yeah that'd be about what i was up against... icon_neutral.gif

    i didn't mean to imply i miss the abuse - i'm panicking because i have to figure out how to be comfortable with not being abused. that's just as hard sometimes. anything can become familiar and comfortable, even if it's not good for you.

    i just need to realign my image of me.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 24, 2008 5:40 PM GMT
    The ugly duckling turned into a swan years and years ago.
    Not because he thought he was a swan, but because everyone, I mean EVERYONE was constantly telling him that.

    The swan looks in the mirror and says, "well, I guess so....is this what everyone is reacting too? "When I look in the mirror all I see is ME." But I guess what I have is something that people want/admire or need.


    Gay men are suspicious if the swan is really gay. Some are intimidated or scared because the swan looks really powerful and self confident.


    Women assume he is straight and hit on him all the time, forcing countless situations where he has to explain and "come out"......or just go with the flow.

    But the swan still remembers the days when he was an ugly duckling and is amazed ......incredulous.....at the change that seems to have occured overnight.

    The swan is totally enjoying all the attention and realizes that this thing called being beautiful is truly a gift. But the swan doesn't rely soley on the attention of others. The swan develops a healthy attitude and kind mind to compliment what he sees in the mirror.

    Which makes the swan even more desirable to others.

    Inevitably, the swan clashes with people who have "issues" and everywhere he goes, he is exaulted or disliked simply because of how others react to what is reflected back from the mirror.

    The swan learns to deal with what he has and to handle it well,,.....sometimes wants to be anonymous.......but basically understands the ying and yang, the folly and power of being a beautiful swan.

    The swan cherishes what he sees in the mirror, but in order to be truly happy, realizes the most important lesson in life.

    LOVE thy neighbor as thyself.







  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 24, 2008 6:14 PM GMT


    ..and we can also say that's beautifully written, too.

    We both went through similar, though the idea of seeing a swan in the mirror we're a little weird about, as neither of us feels we are. Always our own worst critics.

    Dancerjack can 'karmic-ly' even things up now, in a sense. You've bettered the 'flock' of those who used to slag you; you can stand in their ranks and show them how classy is done. Make acquaintances with a few guys with your previous physical assets and social hindrances. Treat 'em like gold and watch those new admirers (old bullies) cringe. heheh

    Who knows you may even be able to influence their shallow and callous behaviour into something kinder and adult in the way they treat those they consider in some way less than themselves. Too cool.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 24, 2008 6:22 PM GMT
    dancerjack saidactually bodywork4, throw the word "faggot" in there a few times, and yeah that'd be about what i was up against... icon_neutral.gif

    i didn't mean to imply i miss the abuse - i'm panicking because i have to figure out how to be comfortable with not being abused. that's just as hard sometimes. anything can become familiar and comfortable, even if it's not good for you.

    i just need to realign my image of me.



    well, let me sum up, then.
    You are in a word, no make that 3...
    One Hot Faggot!!!
    Try that imagine on... babe


    and just consider that your "transitional" mantra
    a postive image with faggot thrown in to keep you grounded.
    I'd still bitch slap your ass, but then kiss it to make all better.
    Cuz, that's the kinda guy I am. icon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 24, 2008 7:03 PM GMT

    I take it all with the grain of salt. I don't judge people or respect them more for having a well built body. I see the difference in how I was treated from very poor to some false display of respect simply because my body measurements are different. It's very shallow. I also noticed how guys at the gym didn't acknowledge me after having gone through a shit load of chemotherapy earlier this year and my body composition changed. I went from getting "hello's" and a smile to being totally ignored. I also lost a few friends that I thought were real friends but only liked me for being a roided muscle boy.

    Live and learn....

    [/quote]

    Do you still have friends now that stick with you?

    Yes....people are fickle. I assume that if I lost this exterior of mine, there would be scores of "friends" who would disppear. I wonder how many people watch and listen to what I am really all about and see the true me.

    Thankfully...hopefully, I feel pretty secure having made solid friends who know me for who I am, not what I look like...or what they want out of me...but how we bond as men with integrity and respect.

    You sound like you have been through a lot. This is life.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 24, 2008 7:38 PM GMT
    Some swans are delusional.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 24, 2008 7:44 PM GMT
    I grew up fat and was for the first part of my adult life...I say this because it definately color my perceptions of others reactions of me.

    Many people find me bigger in terms of muscle than I think I am; some people find me aloof and intimidating or just plain ridiculous, which is fine; others automatically assume I'm bitchy because I mind my own business during my workouts w/o chit-chat.

    Ah well, such a difference between how others see us and how we see ourselves I guess.
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    Sep 24, 2008 7:47 PM GMT
    I'D rather be intimidating! you should channel your angry skinny queen still inside you out to help other angry skinny queens be proud of themselves, defend and improve themselves, like what you did to yourself. if other people seem threatened by you, smile, be friendly. i think your recent experiences will help you be more true to yourself once you direct that inner energy to good use.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 24, 2008 7:48 PM GMT
    I can relate

    I was super-super skinny growing up. I looked like a lollipop - my huge head on a little stick of a body.

    I've put on weight - some muscle, and admittedly a bit of padding. Because of the padding I see myself as INSANELY FAT, and because I grew up scrawny, I don't see the muscle on me at all.

    Other guys do, though. I constantly hear compliments about my build, get called "fireplug," and get told I'm hot and stocky.

    So I've learned how to say "thank you," and nothing else. Saying "thank you" acknowledges the compliment, and lets me internalize it. Some day I'll believe it!

    EDIT: Before I get the posts on body dysmorphic disorder, yes, it's something my docs and I are discussing - and the post of me shirtless (posted today) was a homework assignment and it makes me uncomfortable as all get out!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 24, 2008 7:57 PM GMT
    One of the greatest gifts, would be to have the ability to see ourselves, as others do.

    At 5 8" I've got ducks disease too; ass low to the ground. I was a weed, until I was about 15, and I started to fill out, never went to gym until I was in me 20's though, and then I just ballooned, the frame was already there.

    Now just don't start to abuse as other abused you, that the normal patten.

    But you would never do that would you.

    Happy you have found yourself.
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Sep 24, 2008 8:03 PM GMT
    I see others using my eyes. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Sep 24, 2008 11:34 PM GMT
    i'm not trying to be daft, but what do you mean timberoo?
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    Sep 24, 2008 11:39 PM GMT
    dancerjack saidi'm not trying to be daft, but what do you mean timberoo?


    ...versus seeing yourself through others' eyes, I suspect.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 24, 2008 11:44 PM GMT
    ah, yes that's the clever underspoken humor i should've looked for.
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    Sep 25, 2008 12:19 AM GMT
    Sedative said
    fluxu8 saidhere's a trick.

    ask someone what their favorite color is and describe it in 3 adjectives.
    then ask them their favorite animal and describe that in 3 adjectives.
    but don't tell them yet what this means until they give you both answers.

    the 3 words they used to describe the color is how they see themselves.
    and the 3 words they used to describe the animal is how others see them.
    icon_biggrin.gif



    Eh?

    OMG.... icon_redface.gif

    Orange, Black, Blue-Gray

    Penguins, Pandas, Cats! icon_eek.gif

    ...meow?



    no sweety...LOL....

    Name ONE color and describe that color in 3 words.
    and
    Name ONE animal and describe that animal in 3 words.

    The three words you used to describe the color is how you see yourself.
    The three words you used to descibe the animal is how others see you.

    xoxo


  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 25, 2008 12:36 AM GMT
    hkd n fnx wrkd 4 me
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 25, 2008 12:39 AM GMT
    dancerjack said
    what the fuck? all i did was start eating and lifting heavy objects. suddenly the image i have of me in my head is no longer congruous with my life experience, and i'm starting to feel panicked. i've always been the skinny, angry fag who had to defend himself with snippy comebacks. now suddenly i'm intimidating? i'm not sure i like this after all.

    what convos/experiences have you had that made you completely re-evaluate your identity/self image?


    I used to be skinny with loads of pimples on my face and was always the underdog. I was only accepted in the goth gang (ironically they were the nicest people). Once I started lifting weights it boosted my confidence, which people picked up on. Then in college I joined a frat and started wearing hats backwards. You wouldn't believe how instantaneously I was reacted to just because I had on a backwards hat. It was amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed the intimidating image I had. So I took advantage of it many times, for example by being the "prototype cool gay guy" in my frat in order to soften up the homophobes, hitting on muscular guys in public to try to set the new standard for gay guys (i.e. not being afraid), and teasing people who bullied the underdogs.

    So from being teased from the past to now being looked up to and intimidated by, I felt like the psychological pain from the past could start to heel and dissolve. Most of it did.

    The image people portray you as is different than your personal experience. They only see the physical side and maybe a snippet of your current behavior in the context of a certain setting. Usually based on the stereotypes in their head from their personal experiences and what's portrayed in society, they'll judge you accordingly. Nothing to worry about. You should feel grateful mr!
  • swimbikerun

    Posts: 2835

    Sep 25, 2008 12:46 AM GMT

    All About an Ass
    September 18th, 2008 (Posted by maverick)

    The pastor entered his donkey in a race and it won.

    The pastor was so pleased with the donkey that he entered it in the race again, and it won again.

    The local paper read: PASTOR’S ASS OUT FRONT.

    The Bishop was so upset with this kind of publicity that he ordered the pastor not to enter the donkey in another race.

    The next day, the local paper headline read: BISHOP SCRATCHES PASTOR’S ASS.

    This was too much for the bishop, so he ordered the pastor to get rid of the donkey.

    The pastor decided to give it to a nun in a nearby convent.

    The local paper, hearing of the news, posted the following headline the next day: NUN HAS BEST ASS IN TOWN.

    The bishop fainted. He informed the nun that she would have to get rid of the donkey, so she sold it to a farmer for $10.

    The next day the paper read: NUN SELLS ASS FOR $10.

    This was too much for the bishop, so he ordered the nun to buy back the donkey and lead it to the plains where it could run wild.

    The next day the headlines read: NUN ANNOUNCES HER ASS IS WILD AND FREE.

    The bishop was buried the next day.

    The moral of the story is being concerned about public opinion can bring you much grief and misery, even shorten your life.

    So be yourself and enjoy life. Stop worrying about everyone else’s ass and you’ll be a lot happier and live longer!

    http://funtasticus.com/20080918/all-about-an-ass/
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    Sep 25, 2008 1:09 AM GMT
    I can relate. In high school - in my tiny Ohio hometown - I was considered a pussy and a faggot by all the jocks even though I could outrun anybody and outswim most, and I spent most of my free time doing farm work. All because I was too short and skinny to go out for football (we only had 4 sports at my school - football, and the other 3 nobody cared about).

    In college, much to my surprise, the jocks were the people I ended up relating to best - because like me they were mostly poor kids on scholarship rather than spoiled upper middle class snots, and also like me they were no strangers to physical labor. I started lifting weights because all my friends did, and my image changed overnight.

    In grad school, everyone saw ME as a jock. Granted, it doesn't take much to be considered a jock in the Physics department... but the turnaround in a couple years time was dramatic. For years I still saw myself as the skinny kid I used to be, and was always shocked when someone commented on how muscular I was.

    I think the moment I realized I'd really changed was when I was talking to a friend (who was 6'8") about getting pushed around and he said, "Nobody would ever pick a fight with you. He'd have to be crazy. Who wants to get beat up by a little guy?"
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Sep 25, 2008 1:20 AM GMT
    dancerjack saidah, yes that's the clever underspoken humor i should've looked for.


    don't look to me for clever

    icon_biggrin.gif