I’m on a real rampage lately! Trust me it won’t last long. I want to write about something that has been on my mind for quite some time but that I hesitated to write about because I didn’t know how to address it in a way that didn’t sound crazy.
Being a blogger who happens to be gay I am interested in reading blogs about gay subject matter. I notice a theme in them: NUDITY! Men are visual, I get it, they love looking at naked bodies, it’s enticing, and titillating and it grabs their attention. I’m as guilty as anyone I’m sure.
Now don’t misunderstand me, I don’t think there is anything wrong with the naked body. I love my body, but I don’t want to show it to everyone! Whatever happened to modesty? Whatever happened to mystery? You have to earn seeing my naked body! You know, take me out to dinner, tell me a good story, make me laugh, that kind of thing.
There is one popular gay blogger who I read, but have difficulty liking. I don’t know why, I’m sure he’s a nice guy and everything, and I always want to support bloggers, especially those who mean well and have something interesting to contribute, and this guy certainly has and continues to give back to society.
Face it, we’ve entered the age of narcissism. Anyone who has a blog thinks that their lives are interesting enough that other people are going to want to read about it. I’m not denying that I’m a narcissist. We all have it in us to be extremely selfish.
Now saying that, this particular blogger I’m referring to also contributes a great deal to gay causes and is open-minded enough to tackle taboo subject matter, which I enjoy.
His name is Davey Wavey and he usually posts videos and pictures of himself shirtless. That’s his thing, and that’s how he gets his readers. I’m not knocking him for doing it, but I do want to challenge his reasons.
To be fair, he’s not the only one of his kind on the Internet, but he is the most popular. But what I find a little disturbing about him is that he promotes the idea that the only way someone can listen to his message and his philosophy, is by taking off his clothes. Certainly he has a nice body, and he works hard at it, but his message usually goes something like this: It’s okay if you’re fat, but not okay for me. He also promotes the message that fat is unhealthy, which is also not always the case.
I get a little tired of members of the gay community who express the idea that their reason for having a nice physique is health. I call bullshit on this for many reasons and I’ll tell you why.
First let me say that I am not an active member of the gay community, and I don’t have many gay friends, so perhaps I have some learning to do on this subject, but give me a second to air my grievances.
The gay community I know is overly obsessed with appearances, and it’s not for health. It’s for attention and to be desired sexually by people of the same and even, the opposite sex. Many gay men say that they work-out because of health, when at night they binge drink, smoke, do drugs and engage in risky sexual behaviour, so let’s not fool ourselves and others, by thinking that having a nice body has anything to do with being healthy.
Another issue I have with this attitude is that the pervasive message is that being fat is bad. It isn’t, and I know many thin people who have terrible eating habits, more horrendous than those who are “fat”. Just because they are skinny, doesn’t mean that they are healthy.
The difference is that we live in a fat-phobic society, and beauty and desirability is determined by how skinny and well toned we are.
Now I confess that I have a decent body. I run a lot, and I lift weights and I am a strict vegetarian and eat primarily fruits and vegetables. That does not mean that I don’t engage in a little self-indulgence from time to time. I love wine, I love beer, I love vodka and I can drink most of you under the table. Basically I’m a drunk and fucking proud of it!
I think in life, you can choose whatever it is that you want to be, and if you don’t want to drink that’s fine, but it doesn’t mean that you’re healthier than someone who does. Moderation is key.
The same goes for size. People who are heavier set are no less healthy than people who are not. At least in most cases, there are exceptions to everything, obviously.
Now people like Davey will point to their childhood as reasons for engaging in a more fitness-centric lifestyle. He has been very vocal that when he was a child he was teased and ridiculed for being overweight. To ease these memories, or whatever his motivation was, he decided to take fitness more seriously. Good for him. But I think that the braver thing to have done is to change and challenge people’s perceptions about beauty and weight, and instead of feeling ashamed that you are or were once fat, embrace it and appreciate that you look the way that you do, because there is nothing wrong with it.
Davey will say things like it’s okay to be any size that you want to be, but for him, it’s not okay, and I think that type of logic sends a mixed message and only appeases people who buy into the idea of what is considered beautiful in our society. Especially in the gay community, where there is a definite understanding of what is “hot” and what is not. He clearly wants to fit into the “hot” group.
The gay world is completely ludicrous to me for many reasons, but the primary one is its obsession with a narrow-definition of beauty and sex. Sexuality is most definitely a wonderful thing, and it should also be embraced, but there has to be more to our lives than just sex.
Davey uses sex and his appearance to sell his products and his blog, and that’s his choice, but again, I would argue that modesty is sexier and instead of promoting an ideal gay appearance, we should be committed to paving our own path of originality.
Another strange trend with gay bloggers is the dichotomy between sexuality and spirituality. Now I’m not one of those people who separate the two and think that they can’t marry. You can be The Virgin Mary and Mary M all in one, I’m not denying that at all. But for bloggers like Davey it’s as though spirituality is a cop-out to mask their vanity. Filling the blogosphere with good thoughts and positive vibes might fool the reader into believing that they’re deeper than how they’re presenting themselves. Maybe they are, but it’s certainly a mixed-message and one that could be addressed, without the standard and trusted admonishment of critics like myself as being “narrow-minded” or “conservative” because I am anything but that.
Regardless of all of this, I’m going to keep my clothes on, and stick to diverse subject matter to write about. I guess it isn’t marketable to a mass gay audience, but perhaps that’s a symptom of a greater problem and I raise the question, “why not?” Why isn’t it marketable?
I am certainly more than just a gay man, and I can have thoughts independent of my sexuality, can’t I? I hope so. And I hope that gay men and women everywhere find comfort in how they look, whether it be short, tall, fat or skinny little bitches.
Modesty is sexier because it adds to the mystery, and because I don’t want to follow the path that our society is leaning towards, and that is that to get attention, we need to get naked.
Whatever happened to ideas?