Blog, body image

My relationship with body image

This is quite a difficult post to write about, but I want to attempt to document my experiences of how messed up body image can be – even though it’s not that new a topic. This will probably be the first in a series of posts.

I really dislike my body. Despite everything I try to make me feel better, from hollow reassurances to just ignorance, I find it incredibly difficult to feel comfortable in my own skin.

This had led me to be obsessive and behave in a way that can be detrimental to my health and day to day life. I’m always poking at myself, tugging at my clothes if they are too tight, highlighting my insecurities in front of friends and family on a daily basis. It even gets to the point where I hurt my back by sucking in my stomach to see how close I am to getting a flatter shape, and it has contributed to my depression at the worst of times.

In a weirdly conflicting way this has developed over the period that I identified with the Bear community – a gay/bisexual subculture that promotes body positivity of all shapes and sizes. This group has been one of the few things that has helped me to be less hard on myself and be more comfortable in accepting that I can like my body, as well as others. Below is what I would call a generalised version of a bear – a larger, hairy, stockier guy, but I’ll be delving into bears specifically in another post. For anyone interested, this picture was created in the Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator game, which is wonderful by the way!


Yet for myself there is still the paradox that this subculture, one based heavily on a specific visual aestheitc, has spawned more insecurities, especially when seeing other types of bears and wanting to be like them because they look better than me – those that might be muscular, or having a broader frame that compliments the extra weight etc. It gets to the point where you just give up and don’t even bother to love yourself anymore.

Despite this in the back of my mind, from a social point of view hanging out with bears has been lovely, as you do feel more comfortable and no one is as judgemental – you can relax!!


Some days are better than others, and yes doing things like exercise etc helps, but the scary part is no matter how well I seem to be doing, or however close I will get to my ideal body type, there will always be a part of me that will never be satisfied.

I do live in hope that one day I will be able to overcome these insecurities, but as a point of discussion it’s something I’ve wanted to be more open about – not just to help with my own struggles, but to highlight that body image affects anyone, and that there should perhaps be a wider discussion on the implications.

Please comment if you have any thoughts on body image, and how you think it can be tackled!






7 thoughts on “My relationship with body image”

  1. Elliot, I think you are very brave opening up about how you feel about your body. As your Mummy, it’s hard to read as to me you are beautiful on the outside just as much as you are on the inside. You are very hard on yourself, often resulting in you failing to acknowledge your positive achievements. You have been amazing with your exercise routine and biking to Brighton……amazeebobs!! I know it’s easy for me to say that you will get to a happy place, but I have faith that you will. In the meantime give yourself some praise for all the things you do. I am immensely proud of you in all that you do. YOU ARE A BEAUTIFUL PERSON AND I LOVE YOU x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, Elliot, you are so pretty and cute and cuddly and clever and funny. How could you ever feel bad about yourself?
    I know there’s a terrible amount of pressure heaped on young people to fit into some idealised notion of what counts as attractive. But it’s all bollocks, really! NO ONE ever feels good enough. The whole capitalist system is geared to making you feel not good enough, because then you’ll spend money on expensive clothes and gym fees and a nutribullet and a lot of weird and expensive food.
    I know it’s very hard to do when you’re young, but believe me, there comes a point where you have to say, “Ah, fuck it. I’m not playing this game any more.” And suddenly, the world seems a much more comfortable place.


  3. Bear Brother. PLEASE don’t beat yourself up. Bear men broke the gay stereotype decades ago. You are a sexy, hairy, lovable bear. We are all in this together. I wrote in a past blog post about body image. You got to love what you got and work with it. There is this wonderful rainbow of bear body types. What we all got in common is our bear nature. Whether it is scruff, hairy chests, chins, legs, butts, whatever, we got our smiles and our hearts. You are special. I just know it.


    1. Thank you for the kind post, that’s one of the things I’ve liked about the bear community so far, the open spirit of the group!I just still find myself comparing to an ideal of that group as well :p trying to break out of it. Would be interested in seeing your post about body image, do you have the link?


  4. Elliott: Here are the highlights of that blog post without the images.

    Be happy with your body, but strive to make it the best body it can be.

    There is no such thing as the Adonis look. Male Beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder.

    Some parts we can never really appreciate about ourselves, because we never see them in the right light. So graciously accept any and all comments about your strong back, shoulders, and butt cheeks.

    As I have stated earlier, I can find at least something positive, great, erotic, about every male body. So check out your assets, work on what’s great about your body, accentuate the positive, and go for it.

    Giving you mega hairy muscle hugs of encouragement. You got the bod, now make it happen.


  5. I know it’s hard but we all have to love ourselves and what we have! I have a terrible body conscious image but every month I try harder and harder to realise that I am alive and loved and that’s all that matters! Screw the media and what people portray as beauty! You are beautiful inside and out xx


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