Finding Sanity and Realism in an Image-based Culture

Posted: May 4, 2012 in Uncategorized

Last night I had the privilege of being interviewed by and chatting with Nate Klarfeld, who’s based in Ft. Lauderdale and hosts the StonewallLive blogtalk radio show. It’s a stellar show that focuses on the best of books, movies, media and more as it relates to the LGBT community. And Nate … was a wonderful host. Be sure to check it out while you’re online.

But as I was listening to the podcast this morning, I was reminded that Nate and I had brought up the topic of “what can be done” to thwart/offset body image issue among gay men. We were talking about the onslaught of media and advertising images, like the one above, which often suggest that we’re to fit a certain body image ideal. In other words, buy Calvin Klein so you can look “Calvin Klein.”

As Nate and I talked, we delved into how the urge to look “perfect” has become a huge issue among gay men. One of the things that came to mind when Nate asked me what can be done, was this: talk about it. I sense that in talking about these issues more—with friends, with each other—somehow takes away the string. Trust me: if an elephant strolled into your living room, you’d say something. And for many gay men, body image issues are like that proverbial elephant.

Yet … few of us really talk about it—with much depth.

Because gay men walk around in a world where they are told they must look fit, be fit and stay fit; because gay men are told  that if don’t reach that ideal “look” they are “inferior” … because gay men succumb to the pressures and often do whatever they can to look like a stud … they are more likely to remain lost in the ego and suffer from body image issues.

Shut up and do something good for the world, I say. Something other than obsessing about the way your body looks.

In the meantime, tune in/download the podcast from the StonewallLIVE show here.

More soon …

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