Dear Straight People,
Every morning when I wake up, this is what I think I look like:
Meanwhile, laying right next to me is my boyfriend. He looks like this:
I know what you’re thinking. I’m lucky, right? I know.
Not only does my model boyfriend look like a model, my friends look like this:
I never sought out to have friends with such perfect bodies. Quite the contrary actually. As an FFK (Former Fat Kid) I’ve always identified as a fat person. But for some reason when I grew up all my friends became hot skinny people. This could be for many reasons. Maybe it’s because I am a terrible, superficial person. Maybe it’s because I live in a city and people who live in cities get skinny from running all over the place and going on trendy diets. Perhaps it’s because of my educational background at Ivy League schools, where everyone was obsessive compulsive about everything, from their grades to their caloric intake. I have no idea why everyone around me is so skinny. Sometimes I resent it because I tend to be the chunkiest person around and I’m not even fat. Sometimes I appreciate it because it inspires me to keep in shape and think of kale as an acceptable meal replacement. All of this will lead to me living a longer, healthier life, aside from the mental anguish that comes with not having perfect abs.
For full disclosure, this is approximately what my body looks like right now:
I’m not showing you this because I want you to tell me how gross/amazing I look (please don’t). I’m showing you this because intellectually I know I actually have a pretty normal body. Put me in an airport in Iowa and I’m pretty much the skinniest person there. But I am fat by West Hollywood standards. Gays in major cities live in a warped bubble where we are freaks if we don’t somehow magically look like underwear models.
I, like many Gays, have a terrible relationship with my body. You know why? Because I’m a Gay. Why do Gays hate their bodies? Allow me to explain in list form.
Why The Gays Hate Their Bodies
By Orlando Dumond Soria
1. Because we are surrounded by images of perfect bodies.
Because men are inherently superficial and inferior to women, we rely on visual cues for arousal. Marketers know this and they use hunky pictures of gay men to get us to do stuff. Like go to clubs, buy underwear, and drink more alcohol. This teaches us that we are only having fun if we look like models. Which is probably true.
2. Because we compare ourselves with our partners.
Same sex couples compare themselves with one another. It’s a one-to-one comparison. Comparing a boyfriend’s body with his girlfriend’s body is like comparing apples and oranges. Comparing a boyfriend’s body with a boyfriend’s body is like comparing apples and apples. And nobody wants to be the apple that’s a weird ugly shape and lacks the ability to get a proper tan.
3. Because if you’re a gay guy with a boyfriend, this is what he sees every day in the locker room:
I’m not kidding. You should see my gym’s locker room. Everyone is a model. Straight girls: imagine if your boyfriend went into a room full of hot, naked girls every day after he worked out. Would that not, like totally freak you out? Gay guys are pretty good at not ogling each other in the locker room (this conditioning comes from trying not to look gay in high school locker rooms). However, there are naked dudes all over the locker room. Naked dudes with perfect bodies. Trust me, your gay boyfriend has taken a peek at those perfect bodies and he’s comparing you to them. Which is terrifying because they’re perfect. I’m getting scared just thinking about it.
4. Because these are our most cherished community leaders:
(He’s a bartender).
5. Because gay people are more successful than other people, which makes them more competitive, with each other, which makes them more competitive about what their bodies look like.
Let’s face it, Gay people are better at life than straight people. They eat better, wear better clothes, and go on more glamourous vacations. I don’t really know why, it’s just a fact of life. But with this great privilege comes a great burden. Not only do we have to make tons of money to pay for all these stupid clothes and vacations, we also have to work out for hours on only 80 calories a day to prevent ourselves from being socially ostracized.
6. Because we are always running around with our shirts off.
I have no idea when it happened, but at some point shirts stopped being an option at Gay parties. When so much of socializing is done sans shirt, it heightens the pressure to be totally skinny.
Sidenote: I saw this image about six years ago and I have never been the same since. It speaks to me on so many levels. Oh, that I were that towel, being waved in the wind by those caramel hunks. Dreamz.
7. Because of fear.
Brian Moylan over at Gawker cites fear as the number one reason gay men have such hot bodies. Fear of being alone. Fear of being rejected. Etcetera. While I agree with this wholeheartedly, I think fear can be used as an explanation for pretty much every single thing in the whole world. The only reason I do anything at all is fear. Fear of being homeless. Fear of being a failure. Fear of alienating everyone in my life by going too far with my love of 80s fashion. If I wasn’t completely petrified of everything, I’d never get out of bed in the morning.
8. Because all our friends look like Ken Dolls.
There was a New York Times article a few years ago about how people with skinny friends tend to be skinny. This article affected my former roommate so tremendously that she watched me intently every time I ate something, fearful that I might eat too much and get fat, therefore causing her to gain weight. I believe there is truth to this theory. If you’re constantly surrounded by people who workout and eat lightly, you’re going to end up just as skinny as they are. It’s like a positive version of peer pressure where everyone ends up looking like Malibu Ken.
9. Because our most cherished teachers look like this:
(He’s a personal trainer).
10. Because we have nothing better to do.
Because of all their money, intelligence, and free time, Gays love hobbies. Being manic about our bodies is just another activity to add to our list of Gay Cruises, hipster-indie concerts, and gallery openings.
That concludes my list of reasons Gays hate their bodies. I hope my overwhelmingly bitter and insecure tone didn’t make me seem bitter and insecure. I’m actually not that annoyed that I hate my body (the hatred keeps me energetic and vibrant). However, I do think we need to take all of this body mania with a grain of salt. I appreciate that Gays are so body-oriented because it forces us all to be really physically fit, which leads to a happier life with more wardrobe options. Ultimately our body dysmorphia is a good thing which will force our community and outlive our straight peers and take over the world.