Body Image, take III – Popular culture and the effect on gay teens and body image (a guest post)
In a post for Hommemaker, Orlando Soria writes, “Gays . . . live in a warped bubble where we are freaks if we don’t somehow magically look like underwear models.” As a gay teen, I have pressure coming not just from American society that I need to drop my excess pounds and have a healthy weight, but because I’m also gay, I should be in the gym nearly every single day so I can be musclebound. And why is there so much emphasis on having a muscular physique in gay culture that teens are picking up? Brian Moyler of Gawker writes that the main reason is fear of being alone and rejected by others. Additionally, a 2012 study conducted in England revealed that 48% of the males surveyed who identified as gay or bisexual said they would be willing to shorten their life by a year in exchange for the “perfect body.” Even more shocking was that 10% of those men would shorten their lives by a decade for that perfect body at that moment.
I’m Cristian, or Alejandro, Martinez (either one is fine by me) and I am currently a Youth Services Volunteer at the Glendale Public Library in Glendale, Arizona and have been for about six years. I’m also a college student majoring in psychology with an eventual goal to be a Youth and Teen Librarian, and if that doesn’t work out, I would love to combine my love of books and cooking to own a bookstore/bakery. You can find me either at https://www.facebook.com/SaveGPL, the library advocacy page I administrate, or at my personal Tumblr blog http://kripkeskumquat.tumblr.com/. You can also follow me on Twitter, @CriAleMar.
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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