The Macho Gay As A Distorted Self-Image

In the time when the idea that beauty is better exemplified by women has gone past the modern times, men have emerged to be sharing this same ideal. Metrosexuals can be referred to as the term for those men who are filled with vanity and conceit as evidenced by their manner of taking fashion as core to their identify, their looks as essential to their well-being, and projected social image of what is good looking as their survival element. It has somehow been seen as normative, beyond the questions of gender and identity because times have changed. Now, to start, this is something of benefit to most. Women and probably other men see this as essentially beneficial because there is aesthetic value anyway, and besides, other men can conform to this image, therefore leading to a more good looking society. Who doesn’t want to look good anyway? By measuring what is pleasing to the eyes, benevolence is established.

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However, on the other side of the world where the rainbow ends, gay men have conformed to these standards as core to their survival. I have come across an article theorizing on the effect of “mascularity” in the whole gay image. Back in the olden days, gay men were seen as colorful, costumed performers pretending to be women. But today, evolution took place, that from the women-pretend-act to the most masculine looking, even more masculine and built conscious than the heterosexual men. This has not only changed the image, which can presumably be seen as beneficial because the gay man won’t be discriminated in any way possible, but it has has redirected the gay culture and community to a whole different dimension of self-image and identity.

In the time when any online platforms for communication have emerged, the gay man has felt it rather comfortable to live in the world, somehow. Grindr can be taken as an example. Tinder has also been made possible for exclusivity for gays as their is an option to select for gender preference anyway. Grindr, to make emphasis, has somehow become a showcase of fabulous, toned, and muscular men in the process. At times,  I tend to categorize it as the online meat-market platform because nothing is rather a good sell-off but just the looks and the amazing, gym-fit bodies of gay men in search for other gym-fit gay men to hang-out or hook-up with. But this has gained insight in men and support to the article I have just read.

The theory is simply, that gay men have succumbed to the muscular man image because of media influence and social pressure to look just fine and not worthy of any discriminating reaction, and this has led to detrimental consequences among the other gay men. This is not any different from the anorexia case among women or teenage girls who have succumbed to the self-idealized image of the Victoria Secret model body. The cultural image of the gay man has somehow neutralized the understanding of the heterosexual community, but it has caused so much to the gay community. Gay men are becoming extremely conscious over their looks more than their heath, thus the high rate of gay men in gyms. It wasn’t so much the superficiality that this cultural change has caused, but the image that has spread and convinced the gay community. Though no empirical evidence can back this up, the idea can literally go as fast and viral as any Youtube video. Sensationalism increases, and the next thing one would know is that the whole gay image has changed over time. Gay men are becoming victims to their own choices along with the influence of media and social pressure. And this may not be as beneficial in the entirety of the gay cultural change and strengthening. 

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I am not writing to revolutionize and change. This is more of a call to the gay community as well as the heterosexual society that to be gay is more than just that image of looking like a bikini model, worthy of pleasantries and compliments. The whole gay image shouldn’t only be attributed to just the superficiality of aesthetics. Any psychological sickness is not the issue here. Rather, it’s the losing of a supposed diverse image of being gay, that being gay goes beyond what media has to say in blind sight. To be gay is to be self-actualizing independent of what media or society holds for them.

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I can buff myself up, but to the extent I wish is necessary, not so much for other gay men to drool on, but more so for me to feel good because I am healthy. But to me, to be gay is housed in the creation of the original, in the exploration of many possibilities, in the establishing of relationships, and in making society rather a better place to live.

Photo Credit: [meetville.com, www.returnofkings.comwww.cnn.com, Featured photo: www.telegraph.co.uk]

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