Reading my Twitter feed last week, I read a knee-jerk reaction to people with beautiful bodies posting pictures of themselves on Instagram, AKA "Thirst Traps":
Hyperbolic language doesn’t help
Putting all of Instagram and gay thirst traps into a single container only makes things worse. This is the path of blaming external circumstances and playing the victim, instead of taking ownership for the problem and coming up with creative solutions.
Modern Queer Liberation is about questioning, not blocking. Queer liberation seeks evolution, not revolution. It’s about influencing, not destroying. It’s about changing the dynamics of power by laying the truth to bare and daring to have evolutionary dialogue.
No one is to blame for gay thirst traps.
What is a healthy body?
My take as a former health and fitness coach for 15 years and my observations of myself, how I was shunned then accepted in the gay community, then how I no longer cared about it. Read more in, What I Learned About Loving My Body Growing Up Gay
We live in an Information age that’s detrimental to our health.
The problem is exacerbated by how social media works to trigger or ping dopamine for addiction. The onus is on us to disconnect. We also give power to those people or accounts we repeatedly follow, engage with, or speak out against. If more news outlets refused to give Trump a platform, what do you think might happen?
Depictions of beauty changes over cultures and time
For example, in the gay community we have seen,
- the Marlboro man in the 70s;
- the smooth muscle men of the late 80s and 90s as a response to AIDS;
- Bears, Twinks and Gender tricksters
Know that the muscular male physique has been around since the Olympic games of Ancient Greece. A muscular physique, and the work to achieve it, is not a new endeavour. Also, as we age, we begin to understand beauty and our body in different ways. I write about this in, Today I Saw My Body in the Mirror and It’s Ageing
What do you value?
What’s most important to you? Do you value body diversity? Do you value good health? Do you value self-care? Do you value beauty?
When you know what your core values are, you can make better choices that serve you. For example, ask yourself, “Why am I following this account? Does it help or inspire me, or does it make me feel bad about myself? What behaviours am I practicing as a result? Learn more in my posts, What Holds You Back vs What Do You Want More? LOP062, and Your Relationship with Your Mind (the Ego) and the Other to help change the structure of your self-criticism.
If you need professional help, get help.
You are worth the investment in your self and in your health, to thrive in this world.
Image: Thirst by Boris SV.