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Saturday, February 23, 2013

What is sexy? Body image in our gay, vegan world.

It was the summer of 1995. I was single and living in Norfolk, VA. My summer tan was rocking and I was looking good. I was headed to Richmond for the weekend with a friend, and had to find something sexy to wear to the club. I am laughing hard while writing this as what I bought is something I would never wear now. I went with a pair of overalls but not your ordinary farmer guy overalls. These were overalls that were shorts, not long pants. Oh yeah, I was not messing around.

Off to Richmond we went. My outfit rocked. I felt sexy. So sexy that I didn't wear a tshirt underneath.

So sexy.

It wasn't always that way.

I was 29 when I first wore a tank top in public. Just before that was the first time I would go shirtless at a beach. I would take my shirt off to swim, but if I wasn't swimming, I had the shirt on.

I was skinny. In the Navy guys would call me the Ethiopian poster child. When I got sober I weighed all of 138 pounds and was the same height I am today at 197 pounds (6'3"). Body shame was ingrained in every ounce of my being.

Little by little the my body shame went away. Once in a while it returns, but for just brief moments. The funny thing about that is one day I can feel good about my body and the very next day I can feel some type of negativity about my body. Of course overnight my body had not changed! I realized long ago that the way I feel about my body is probably the way I feel about myself as a person. If I can learn to love myself then I could probably become comfortable with my body.

These days I am very comfortable with my body. In the summer time I rarely wear a shirt, and I love driving home from work in summer afternoons shirtless and listening to dance music. I work out, swim and play racquetball but I do all of those things to be healthy, not so my body might look perfect to others.

I find sexiness in compassion. I find it in kindness. I can see a guy being loving to his girlfriend and find sexiness in that. It isn't always about the looks. Don't get me wrong, I think Adam Levine is very sexy, as well as a handful of other guys I have posted on Pinterest. You will notice that many of these guys are doing incredible things in this world, a big part of what makes them sexy.

I wanted to write this blog post to let those who struggle with body image know that I can totally relate, and that the person they are is much more important than the body they inhabit.

Thank you for reading.

8 comments:

  1. I am so so modest (Amish Josh lol), I don't think I could ever walk around shirtless in my life and I don't see it changing and I'm well into my 30s.

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  2. I hear you. Modesty is definitely different than shame.

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  3. great blog on body image, I have always felt insecure and bad about how I felt I looked/do look. I look at pictures of myself at 20 and 30 and think man, I coulda/shoulda flaunted myself, showed off what I had and been so much more confident. But I did not feel my body met the sexy supermodel standards/playboy bunny I thought was acceptable. Hind sight is just a reminder how regret creeps up on you about things. I continue to remind myself that I look nothing like my image was in my 20s and 30s, of someone over 60, so I should be very happy and content and proud of my looks. Being vegan is another thing I should and am proud of and should not be considered as a shield to alienate myself. Flaunt it and be proud of it honey, it's what you got.

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    1. Thanks so much Carla! So glad we are connected.

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  4. Well you guys look amazing. I have not ever been comfortable with my body image.. but I look back at myself in my 20s and I think.. wow.. But I was so uncomfortable with my body image then. But I was so skinny, and thought I was fat. I had guys say "you need to get to a gym" - So its never been good.. Now I am not so happy being overweight, but not so concerned about it anymore. Now it is eating healthy, etc.

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    1. Thanks. I can totally relate, as you read in the post. I can also relate to what is important now, just being healthy.

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  5. As I read this post, I was thinking how grateful I am to have found and subscribed to this site.
    Thank you.

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    1. Hi Sharon! Thank you so much! We are grateful that you found our blog too!

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