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Gays And Self-Image
 
# 1 : Tuesday 6-9-2011 @ 13:42
 
 
Something that's come up a bit recently on the boards, but also that I've been thinking about in general since I started meeting people on the scene. Why do some gay guys have such a self consciousness about their image? There are people I've talked to here and in real life that are very self deprecating about the way they look even though they look fine and could easily pick someone up. This seems to be more of an issue for gays than straight guys, and I really don't get it!

Outside of the fact that a lot of the people who have presented with image problems, whether obviously or more subtle snipes at themsleves, range from not bad looking to hot via pretty damn good looking, my other confusion is that the scene is so open to people whatever they look like! So many times I've seen people together of massively different agesm which seems to happen less on the straight scene. Or people who don't look like they "belong" together getting on well (say people in massively different agr group, of different looks or of different social background), whereas again on the straight scene, the "beautiful people" (say the blonde girl with the Brian O'Drioscol lookalike) end up together and there seems less room for the "different" person to end up with someone. The gay scene tends to care less about looks in others, yet people seem to be obsessed about the way they look and are presented to others.

I've a mate of the "skinny, athletic" body variety whose gone travvelling and he was talking about working on his abs before he went away.... if anything, if he built up he'd look really stupid.

Personally I'm fine with the way I look but can be pretty self depricating, whether its my floppy hair or my belly in a triathlon suit (horifficaly unforgiving things! ) but its all in humour. Because of the way I look there are people i wouldn't fit in with but there are people I do. I'm with someone now, initially because of the way we both look to each other but in the longer term because of the personality thing that tends to be forgotten about by single people disparaging themselves. But if we hadn't clicked on a personal level, the relation would've only lasted the best part of a week.

To say it's not about looks, sounds patronizing, but looking around at couples (and not just one night stands in a bar) it really seem to be true. The most unlikely couples can get together, and yet there's a clamber to look perfect, whatever that is!

What's this about? We're a group that has a reputation about being vain for looks but don't really care when getting into relationship. Why is it there and why does it seem (to me) to be so ingrained into the lifestyle?
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# 2 : Tuesday 6-9-2011 @ 13:48
 
 
To look perfect?
Or to look "ideal"?

Perfection is possible: it is our everyday reality: a wheel is more perfect a circle than the "ideal" mathematical circle, because it it in reality rolling and transporting things. Even if it is ugly, uneven and worn out.

Our common mistake is to associate "ideal" (which only exist in the lalaland of ideas) and "perfect", which can only include reality, our reality.
Something that is not real cannot be perfect!

So the first perfection in regard to self image, is to accept our image as ours, and not try to fit some "ideal": that can only destroy us and reduce us to non-beings.
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# 3 : Tuesday 6-9-2011 @ 13:50
 
 
Someone said :
Something that's come up a bit recently on the boards, but also that I've been thinking about in general since I started meeting people on the scene. Why do some gay guys have such a self consciousness about their image? There are people I've talked to here and in real life that are very self deprecating about the way they look even though they look fine and could easily pick someone up. This seems to be more of an issue for gays than straight guys, and I really don't get it!
Outside of the fact that a lot of the people who have presented with image problems, whether obviously or more subtle snipes at themsleves, range from not bad looking to hot via pretty damn good looking, my other confusion is that the scene is so open to people whatever they look like! So many times I've seen people together of massively different agesm which seems to happen less on the straight scene. Or people who don't look like they "belong" together getting on well (say people in massively different agr group, of different looks or of different social background), whereas again on the straight scene, the "beautiful people" (say the blonde girl with the Brian O'Drioscol lookalike) end up together and there seems less room for the "different" person to end up with someone. The gay scene tends to care less about looks in others, yet people seem to be obsessed about the way they look and are presented to others.

I think the opposite is the case. For example the Taoiseach before last is married to a beautiful woman. As for why gay men are mnore concerned with their looks than straight men, I refer to a recent study highlighted by CBS news which showed that both straight and gay men tend to be more shallow than women in terms of going for looks in a partner. The difference is that it's less important for a straight male to look good in the mating game, because women are not as shallow. I've come across people on Gaire who message me interested in a meetup and claiming not to be concerned about looks but personality. Then I send them a link to photos on the tagged website, and they suddenly are nowhere to be seen. Now I confess that I know nothing of the gay scene apart from what I read online, but this is how I see it. I don't think "opposites attract" in the gay male world, though they may for lesbians because women are hardwired to take less account of physical appearance than men. I think all men feel we are entitled to expect a beautiful partner, whether we can get one or not. Hence the only man who wants to have a relationship with me that I have ever met is unacceptable to me because his face is covered in wrinkles which make him unattractive to me. And yet I am ugly. You may say I should lower my standards, but I would rather be alone than with someone like that. And yes that may make me shallow, but no more so than most gay men.

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# 4 : Tuesday 6-9-2011 @ 13:51
 
 
"If people were all the same... we'd soon get tired of looking at each other"

A lot of straight people I know tend to hang around with people from college/school a lot more than gay people I know, so would already have something in common and a group of people to gel into the world with without the need of extra moral support from strangers. Whereas we gays, we have to find our people, chances of the group of gays we hang with being from our college/school year are a lot more slim as we all come out at different times and gravitate to those out before us at that time.
Either that or people just like people, and the "perfect" people might just find other "perfect" people more interesting than the rest of us. So be it.
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# 5 : Tuesday 6-9-2011 @ 13:55
 
 
Someone said :
To look perfect?
Or to look "ideal"?

Perfection is possible: it is our everyday reality: a wheel is more perfect a circle than the "ideal" mathematical circle, because it it in reality rolling and transporting things. Even if it is ugly, uneven and worn out.

Our common mistake is to associate "ideal" (which only exist in the lalaland of ideas) and "perfect", which can only include reality, our reality.
Something that is not real cannot be perfect!

So the first perfection in regard to self image, is to accept our image as ours, and not try to fit some "ideal": that can only destroy us and reduce us to non-beings.

Well the old "eye of the holder" cliche comes to mind. Whatever your definition of perfection or ideal in yourself, others will be looking for different, and it seems to be that what gays are looking for at very diverse.

@Geronimo, I'm definitely talking about the real scene hear. Have very little knowledge of the online world. And you see all sorts of everything in couples!
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# 6 : Tuesday 6-9-2011 @ 13:56
 
 
Someone said :
Well the old "eye of the holder" cliche comes to mind. Whatever your definition of perfection or ideal in yourself, others will be looking for different, and it seems to be that what gays are looking for at very diverse.

@Geronimo, I'm definitely talking about the real scene hear. Have very little knowledge of the online world. And you see all sorts of everything in couples!

It's unfortunate then that I am too socialphobic (because of Aspergers) to find out for myself.
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# 7 : Tuesday 6-9-2011 @ 14:02
 
 
i suppose streety there is that famous saying that 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder' but for some people, if they dont get a positive response to eyeing someone up, they often think it is to do with their looks/image, and believe that they now have to make a huge effort to change their image.

i remember being in the g one night and this guy just stopped dead in front of me and said to my face 'you are sooooooooo ugly'.

now i am not the type to be easily offended by some twink like that, but other people could take it very seriously.

a lot of people (and gays i have heard) can be very hurtful in the way they make rejection clear to someone else. instead on saying ' not interested' - they can be cruel about peoples looks, image etc.

but then maybe i need to be honest too. i have had guys chat me up that i in ways rejected due to looks which is wrong but i think there has to be some combination of looks and personality for it to work for me.

but no - i dont feel bad about how i look. i have changed as i get older and accept that and i do need to lose some weight - but thats a health issue to me more than the look part.

peoples opinions, media images of what the perception of 'beauty' is, are so prevalent now, that people forget about the internal beauty that can be stronger than looks as it lasts.
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# 8 : Tuesday 6-9-2011 @ 14:13
 
 
Wow that was harsh Johnny!

I don't think it's wrong to reject someone cause u don't fancy them (and gays can be more vicious in saying it!). In a bar at the start it's all you have to go on but from what I've seen it's people's type on the scene is for diverse. I remember on my first night with a mate in a gay bar seeing a couple with a 30 year age gap, and saying "what the hell are they doing together" but now I don't bat an eyelid
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# 9 : Tuesday 6-9-2011 @ 14:14
 
 
Looks are all the rage now!

Ah no I go more so for personality now rather than looks, but someone who I am attracted to gets the thumbs up! I don't really have a type either just someone who I like and that's it. Also someone who can talk to you and you are not the one sitting there all night talking to them!

I just find that so many gay people are more like women and want to be a woman as oppose to a man by putting on makeup etc (I'm not saying this is wrong) but it is something that I don't get either. Its like on the straight scene when you meet a girl and she has loads of makeup on her and when you wake up in the morning with all her makeup off her she may look a different person.

I swore after being with an ex of mine that if I was with anyone else who spends hours in the bathroom getting ready for a night out I'm gone! I'm a get up and go person and with me it's what you see is what you get, and sometimes I don't like it either but that's life!

Again beauty is in the eye of the beholder, even if you have loads of makeup on or not.
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# 10 : Tuesday 6-9-2011 @ 14:28
 
 
Is this about self-image, or image of the others?
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# 11 : Tuesday 6-9-2011 @ 14:33
 
 
I think some gay men are more interested in grooming and how they are dress, but I have encountered several straight men who would have had similar interests. You certainly see a lot of men in their 50s dressing like an 18 year old in gay bars, I refer to the guy in his 50s with the skinny jeans, low cut tshirt and perma tan drinking bacardi breezers while some Twink hangs out of him. But that's not really a gay thing at all.

Also I may be misreading the premise of the thread but I don't believe that having an interest in your looks means you are too image conscious. Although I would worry about someone who continually moans about their height or weight, for one thing the former can't be helped and with the latter we only have ourselves to blame for weight issues!
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# 12 : Tuesday 6-9-2011 @ 14:35
 
 
If it Self Image thing.. I think alot of it comes from confidence or lack of ..
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# 13 : Tuesday 6-9-2011 @ 14:54
 
 
I never actually noticed it before reading this, but a disproportionate amount of my gay friend do have self esteem/confidence/image issues compared to my straight friends.

I don't know what it is though, I've always had no self confidence and had self image problems too, though I think it's starting to slowly change.

@Geronimo you're the only person I ever see say that "the gays" are incredibly shallow and it's all about looks. I've never noticed it myself. Maybe you assume it is, and it's mostly in your head?
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# 14 : Tuesday 6-9-2011 @ 14:56
 
 
Someone said :
I never actually noticed it before reading this, but a disproportionate amount of my gay friend do have self esteem/confidence/image issues compared to my straight friends.

I don't know what it is though, I've always had no self confidence and had self image problems too, though I think it's starting to slowly change.

@Geronimo you're the only person I ever see say that "the gays" are incredibly shallow and it's all about looks. I've never noticed it myself. Maybe you assume it is, and it's mostly in your head?

I think how one feels on this question is directly related to how much rejection/acceptance one gets. I've only ever tried internet hookups of course. I try not to be bitter but I am a bit.
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# 15 : Tuesday 6-9-2011 @ 15:26
 
 
Is it because that they feel more judged on their looks than maybe their straight friends do?
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