Gay men can be a vain bunch. That much we already know. But more than a few gay men would shave off some years from their lives for the perfect six pack and their ideal body right now. Would you?
If the gym is any indication, yes you so would. That would put you among a group of gay men who say they’d sacrifice a year or more of their lives for the perfect body – 48 percent, actually. Some 10 percent would go for broke: Giving up more than 11 years if their ideal body was delivered to them today.
It’s no surprise, then, that nine in 10 gay men who took part in the study from British researchers admit that they reinforce “unrealistic” images of lean and muscular men in conversation. You know, tossing around words such as tall, lean, muscular, toned body with clear skin and a full head of hair. And we’re not just talking in your Grindr profiles, but in “body talk” you mix in with your casual conversation.
Researchers behind the study tell Pink News that all of this feeds into greater image anxiety for gay men. And here we thought it would mean better sex with tall, muscular guys with clear skin.
“Today gay men are under enormous pressure about their bodies, and we believe that a lack of body diversity in the media, including the gay press, and a relentless focus which values people based on appearance, may in part explain why gay men are particularly susceptible to this issue,” says Rosi Prescott, CEO of Central YMCA.
A few other findings from the study, which included 394 people:
• Fewer gay men than straight ones give a shit about what their partner thought of their shape and weight. Some 51 percent of straight men say it’s “very or extremely important” compared to 49 percent of the gays. After all, is all about us and not the other guy.
• Gay men care even less when it comes to the opinions of their friends, though they beat out their straight bros. Some 35 percent of gay men say the opinions of their friends are important when it comes to body shape and weight; just 20 percent of straight men say so.
• Gay men are vain. Some 59 percent say they compare themselves to better-looking men (32 percent of the straights do) and 91 percent say they make statements using “body talk.” Some 77 percent of straight men do the same.
What would you give up for six-pack abs? Tell us in the comments below.