Tuesday, 4 February 2014

(I'll Never) Want My Body

Hello all,

This post was originally going to be about answering the question that one of my friends asked me about whether I find girls attractive (as a gay man) but I felt it was too personal. So, instead, I’m going to talk about body image. Yeah, that’s much less personal.
   But I suppose body image is something that most of us deal with. Very few people are truly satisfied with the way they look, which is very sad but true. Needless to say I, as a gay white skinny pimply vampire, is deeply unsatisified with the way that I look. There’s a reason my Facebook doesn’t have a picture of my face attached to it. Because if it did, I couldn’t go on Facebook.
   Usually I just ignore my odd appearance, but I was watching a gay Spanish film, Chuecatown, which dealt with the whole notion of body image, particularly in the gay community. A real estate guy was going about killing old ladies so that he could buy their houses to create something of a gay ghetto (Rick & Steve gave me that term). The problem came when a gay couple moved in who more clearly fit the definition of a bear (a larger, hairier guy). The real estate guy took offence to this. He wanted to create a gay ghetto which was beautiful physically and thus, there was no place for this very average (and lovable) couple. It was one of the more astonishing motivations in gay cinema because it really shows how shallow the gay community is. God, that sounded backhanded. But from what I’ve seen it’s true. If you’re not some sort of Adonis among men, going to a gay dance is easily one of the most depressing things you’re ever likely to do. For a community that promotes equality, there is some seriously concerning body image issues. Watch any gay movie and it’s filled with super-hot 20-30 year olds making out with one another. Chuecatown was a rare exception and I loved it for that.
   The whole idea that media representation creates negative body image issues is, however, far greater than the gay community. Music videos, fashion parades and magazines are filled with women who are ridiculously skinny creating unreasonable body images for both girls and guys (it creates the illusion that all girls are just as gorgeous in real life which they are, but in a different, more realistic way than a magazine will present). The question is where does this sort of thing come from? Does showing gorgeous people actually help sell products? The good thing is that people are doing work around reversing such trends. There’s a big thing going on about having realistic-sized models as well as Lily Allen’s excellent ‘Hard Out Here’ (which gives a massive two-fingered salute to the sort of music videos that feature twerking girls for no good reason. For what I mean, watch Enrique Iglesias’ new video. Dear God, the objectification. The same thing happens in Shakira's new vid, by the way).
   So, now we come to the bit where I talk about me and what I wish I was. Like (probably) all guys, I wish I was a lot more muscly and tanned, but I also want to be less skinny. And the whole thing about me being so thin (I weigh 57 kilos) is that I can’t eat all that much. I can barely eat a whole meal put in front of me. Some days are better than others, but once I’m full it really does feel like I’m literally shovelling the food in. There’s no taste or pleasure to it anymore, it just becomes sustenance. I wasn’t always like this, I don’t think. But there was a period where I started eating less (quite probably stress related) and I think I shrank my stomach. I got so used to eating very little that I get full much quicker now. However, that’s not the really big problem. Sometimes I’m sitting down and I think geez, I’m getting fat. I weigh 57 kilos. I can feel almost all of my bones. Yet still I feel like I need to lose weight? I now understand anorexics. You really do feel fat, even though everyone else can see you’re skinny as a rake.
   I also almost always have a stomach ache and sore legs and arms and bad dizzy spells, which I attribute to a lack of water on my part. See all of my health problems are self-inflicted. My negative body image is entirely my fault (well, except for the fact I hate my face. And have no facial hair). And I think people pick up on this. If you don’t feel like you are beautiful, then how is anyone else going to?
   So, that’s my rant for today. Mildly depressing, but yeah… Anyway, see you next week.
 
The Playlist Of 29 Jan – 4 Feb
Once Upon A Dream (Lana Del Rey)
Into The Blue (Kylie Minogue)
Can’t Remember To Forget You (Shakira, Rihanna)
Say Something (A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera)
Home Again (Elton John)
Blue Smoke (Dolly Parton)
XO (Beyonce)
Young Blood (Sophie Ellis-Bextor)
Always Be My Baby (Mariah Carey)
Whole World Is Watching (Within Temptation, Dave Pirner)
 
The Top 10 Films Of 29 Jan – 4 Feb
Sunrise: A Song Of Two Humans
A Clockwork Orange
Moonrise Kingdom
Swoon
Frankenstein
The Many Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh
Chuecatown
Brotherhood
Stormy Weather
KickOff

Thanks,
James

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