Typically when we see someone with a “perfect” body we feel:
feeling bad about our body or our life.
We often make up a story about the person.
Typically the story looks something like:
“They probably have a great life, with lots of mind-blowing sex and amazing weekends of fun with friends.”
which then may lead to another story such as:
“Everyone my age has a great life except me.”
We can fall into the comparison trap, which is almost always an unpleasant road trip.
A Helpful Secret From a Gay Psychotherapist
I want to reveal what I’ve seen from over 17 years of working mostly with gay men.
I must explain that this is my opinion from clinical practice. No one is putting research dollars here.
I’ve noticed that my most attractive and fit clients struggle the most with feeling bad about their looks. They are more insecure. And it is painful for them.
I share this in hopes that it helps you soften some of the damaging stories you may be telling yourself when you see gorgeous people.
Perhaps this information will help you begin to practice telling yourself a new story when you see that person. The new internal script might look something like this:
“That person is sooo hot. I would love to do them. I wonder how they feel about themselves? I hope they’re happy but they might be really insecure.”
Tell myself stories? That’s what therapists suggest? Yes, we do. Much of what we think and feel are simply stories we tell ourselves. Stories can be destructive, like when they lead to racist or homophobic beliefs, or they can be life enhancing, like when they tell a story through the lens of compassion or curiosity.
Research shows that gay men suffer from anxiety and insecurity about their bodies more than straight men. Many of us aim for perfect bodies to combat our inner feeling of being “less-than.” We need new stories to help us combat this tendency.
What’s the biggest story queer people tell themselves without even realizing it’s a fake, made up story? That queer people are not as a good as straight people.
These days, after years of practicing the new story, I mostly just enjoy the beauty. I’ve learned that some of the gifts of being alive are seeing beautiful flowers, beautiful buildings, beautiful dogs, and beautiful people.