The stress and worriment many gay men face during the warmer weather seasons is quite astounding. We go from winter to summer in an instant with a quick hello to spring that is never long enough (thanks global warming). Because of this, we are forced to face the dreaded reality that beach season is upon us and therefore we must immediately be in phenomenal shape in order to enjoy it.
Except we don’t, or at least I don’t. The amount of Instagram snaps I’ve already seen with the variety of hashtags surrounding living your best #beachbody life is in the thousands.
This isn’t just for gay men of course. All types of people post photos of them in next-to-nothing to tell their friends and fans that they’ve worked super hard on their bodies and this is the result of that.
That’s fantastic and more power to them, but it goes back to my initial thoughts of this being a necessity for the months to come. I’ve written ad nauseum on Instinct and other publications about finding happiness inside you no matter what you look like, and weight is one of them.
I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’ll always be a big guy. A belly will more than likely be part of my body for the rest of my life and that’s more than okay with me. I still work out, watch what I eat (sometimes) and enjoy life’s guilty pleasures whenever I feel like it. Burger and fries will always be greater than a kale salad no matter what people try to convince me otherwise. Kale is the devil. Moving on.
I grew up in Long Island where the beaches were all around me. I used to feel immensely insecure when I would take my shirt off when I was younger because I was chubbier than all the other kids and felt them judging me with every step I took.
Then I got older, realized that all of that was crap and embraced who I was and am. Now, I can go to the beach, pool, or any type of place that involves shirtless activity and not feel ashamed to be in the skin I’m in, even in situations where I’m surrounded by men who have societal better bodies than me. Great for them! But I’m not focused on them. I’m focused on me and what makes me feel good.
Going to a variety of gay related functions like Bear Week, dancing on top of platforms in just my underwear at Furball, and so many other events from my past has helped with this. Bear events always include body types like mine. So, if you ever feel insecure about your own body, my advice for you would be to go to event like this so you don’t feel that way, at least in the moment.
As corny as that Taylor Swift and Brendon Urie song “Me” is, it does make a point. You’re the only one of you… so why compare it to someone else when it’s your life you are living? Being beach body ready doesn’t always have to equal a rock-hard figure. It can mean showing up and showing out in a sexy outfit that shows off what makes you you. All body types included.
So get out, enjoy yourself, sip a drink, mingle, flirt, and do whatever you want at the beach this summer. Just remember that the body you own is up for you to change or keep the same, and no one’s opinion of it should suggest otherwise.
This is the opinion of one contributing writer and not that of Instinct Magazine or other contributing writers.