Published: February 13, 2013
What are the effects of perpetuating the myth that gay men should all be tanned and chiseled Adonises? Because that is all one sees.
Not All Adonises
In the last 24 hours of casual media consumption – TV news, the Internet, my Twitter feed – I've seen my fair share of tanned and chiseled Adonises. I've also seen pictures and/or video of Bayard Rustin, Barney Frank, Harvey Fierstein, Harvey Milk, Daniel Hernandez Jr., Ian McKellen, Evan Wolfson, Jinkx Monsoon, Jared Polis, Bruce Vilanch, Alan Turing, George Kalogridis and more. All great guys, all of whom have made or are making a difference, but not one of whom was, is or ever aspired to be an underwear model.
Images of perfect male bodies can fuel body-image issues in both gay and straight men. Gay men in particular are at higher risk of anorexia, bulimia and "bigorexia," aka muscle dysmorphia, aka "gay dude who lives at the gym." So those images of tanned and chiseled Adonises can do harm. But if all one sees are tanned and chiseled Adonises, then that's all one is looking for. Yes, the media focuses too much on the young and the hot. But if you're not seeing gay men of all ages, sizes, shapes and colors, it's because you're choosing not to see them. Open your eyes.
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