I am excited about my current chapter in life. There are certain life adjustments and enhancements that I vision their attainability and end results. One of those resolutions is to finally shed the pounds I desire to look and achieve the body shape that I continually envision.
I have been that guy who repeatedly declare that I will go back into the gym regularly and work towards my weight and physique goals but have made almost no attempt at beginning the journey. My excuses will be saved for a future post as my mind has been heavily set on the shady compliments I have received and have witnessed gay men receiving by other gay men.
It is no secret that us gay men appear to be routinely catty towards one another and show hesitation to throw shade at each other, no matter how unwarranted the moment was and how damaging our words can be. A few times, I have regretted making a shady comment toward an unsuspected sensitive person because my dismissive words potentially caused more harm than I imagined.
An attribute I noticed gay men freely express unwarranted critique about each other mostly is appearance. A person’s physique, clothing, age, skin tone, imperfections and/or trimming tend to be commonplace for scrutiny among gay men as a means for first impressions or general fodder. Sometimes, our commentaries, based on assumptions, may boast validity to our points but can be harmful, with or without intentions, to the ones we are critiquing.
1. He looks good now.
Now? Are you suggesting that he could not be handsome at 10, 20, 40, 60 or 100 lbs. heavier? Perhaps, your physical attraction to him did not exist when he weighed more. However, your shallow standard of beauty, based upon your insecurities, should never be imparted on another individual who does not meet your criteria when he has been feeling good about himself before and after the weight loss.
That line reminded of a time I dropped 23 pounds and looked very toned in 2008. I remember an individual telling me, “Oh wow! You lost weight and gained some muscle. You are looking good now.” Without hesitation, I responded, “I have always been handsome and am glad that I never needed the approval of others to tell me when I look good. If you’re suggesting that I look good ‘now’ as a compliment, save that for someone who actually seeks your approval.” I find it laughable yet troubling how I noticed fellow gay men feel that their seal of approval is necessary upon someone’s accomplishment, especially mine, when those men had nothing to do with the process of the accomplishment. The guy claimed that I took his compliment too seriously as if I never objectified him, mentally, as a pretentious, shady and shallow person whose social circle is solely based on looks, promiscuity and/or assumed financial status.
2. He probably lost the weight to fit in/attract men.
Though I have heard from one individual’s mouth that he lost his weight because he wanted to feel more attractive and be part of a social circle, it is unfair to say that about someone to suggest that there is low self-esteem.
What is wrong with impressing people with physical attributes when one is comfortable showing them off to others?
People do things to attract others. There are physical fit people who work out regularly because the adoration received becomes rewarding. There are people who wear clothes in certain silhouettes to entire those attracted by the figure.
There are people who engage in hobbies, education and/or scenery – among other things – with hopes of attracting desirable people who appreciation the like.
As long as the individual losing the weight is not harming his body or losing his identity to attract men or fit within a certain social circle, let him be and wish him the best instead of making him feel guilty about it.
3. He looked so much better with the extra weight.
This is a judgment that could make a fragile individual to be more insecure.
Though there is a loudly, growing love for thick-build and overweight men, an man of the aforementioned body type may feel that losing weight could get him to a certain look or health that he deems optimal. Once he reaches his ideal weight or body size, why inflict your criticism upon his happiness? His desired weight or appearance was not based upon your standards.
Congratulating him on meeting his goal would be the ideal speech, not inflicting guilt to meet your standard of beauty that was never subscribed.
4. Is he sick?/He must be sick./He looks sickly./Does he have AIDS?
I have heard all of those statements or questions whenever a gay man has experienced a significant weight loss.
Newsflash: Not every gay man is HIV+ or has AIDS.
Newsflash: In 2016, there are men living with HIV and full-blown AIDS for months to decades whose appearances do not detect what people assumed about those STDs and weight loss.
Newsflash: HIV+ men come in all shapes and sizes.
For crying out loud, let go of that unintelligent and hurtful stigma.
5. He probably lost weight because of low self-esteem/depression./He seems to have a lot of self-esteem since he’s lost weight.
Unless, you are his clinical psychologist or one of his closest confidants, diagnosing his feeling based upon a slimming figure demonstrates your ignorance to the infinite power and desperation to steal another’s joy.
One needs far more attributes than appearance to determine another’s mental state.
Please do not be rude and shady and ask about his mental health either. Keep your negativity to yourself.
6. He’s probably doing cocaine/crystal meth/molly to lose weight.
Though people have offered me illegal street drugs to help with my desire to lose weight because it “worked” for them, I refuse to assume that every slim guy, especially any who has become slim through “rapid” weight loss over the age of 30, is using or abusing drugs.
There are many ways to lose weight – both healthy and unhealthy. Assuming that someone is using hard drugs to lose weight because of the weight loss speed or the individual’s social group of known drug users proves that an unhealthy mind is producing evil and misinformed thoughts on another based upon assumptions.
When a person feels happy and secure in his weight – regardless of reason that we can prove is not detrimental to his health or the safety of others, we shall encourage and celebrate him for completing a healthy and attainable goal and be supportive of his future goals. Dismissing his good fortunes with your assumptions of far-fetched truths proves your thirst and insecurity to steal someone’s triumph to pretend to feel good about your assumed insignificance.