Tuesday 20 September 2011

On image

In the last few months I've read a number of different blog posts on any number of blogs about body image and learning to love what you've got. They've all been very intelligent and enlightening. But they've all been written by women. Last night I had to wonder... do men feel the same things?

Look, I'm doing a Sex and The City joke there. It's well meta and I deserve respect for that, if not necessarily for the amount I like Sex and The City. Although personally, I don't understand why people think it's strange that men would like Sex and The City. It's good!

My conclusion is that I think I do. I perhaps don't devote as much thought to it as the blog posts I have read suggest that women might do. But who knows? Men are lucky in that there's no great societal expectation - however spurious or stereotypical that might be - that they will care about their appearance, nor as much criticism if they just don't bother. However, I think it's nice to look nice and want to look nice. But then again, I also like Sex and The City, eh lads? EH?

Well, no, actually lads. Shut up. I would say that I am fairly typical of most men I know in terms of looking after their appearance - wash it, de-stink it, cover it up. But I still take an interest in my appearance. I'm not particularly handsome, but there's nothing you can do about that. Unless you are insane. I'm stocky, too, and a bit tubby... although I get away with more than I should thanks to my preposterously wide frame. There IS something I could do about that, but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't like it. Another day, another month, another year. Maybe.

I'm also a bit gormless-looking in photographs, which doesn't help my body image issues, which are akin to those of a particularly fragile teenager whenever the photo albums come out. Occasionally there'll be a picture of me taken which I will think is nice. Recently I've made a point to squirrel these away, save them to my computer or favourite them on Flickr or whatever. I am glad I've done this, I think it helps me feel better about myself. But then, I am an idiot.

The trouble with being a human is that the only way you know what you look like comes from reflections. This is insane, because the reality that everyone else sees is a mirror image. I think this is what weirds so many people out about how they look in photographs. Just like people don't think they sound right in recordings. The lack of awareness humans have about what other people see really fascinates me.

I thought in the interests of full disclosure I'd finish this post with three recent pictures of me which I particularly like, so you can totally ogle me. Or say something completely cutting. S'up to you. Please don't do the latter. I'm nice INSIDE.

This is me at Brighton Pride in August 2010. As you've probably noticed I'm dressed as Mr. T. I like this one because I look quite RUGGED. And a bit like Mr. T.

This is me in my friend's house very, very late at night no doubt. I like it because I look happy and smiley and PLAYFUL. Also, I love lids.

I really like this one, from earlier this year. I shouldn't. I'm a bit red-nosed and puffy because I'd been out all afternoon drinking and stood in the cold watching a football match. I think the reason I like it is because it's very ME. My terror at being photographed is visible, as is my innate clownishness. But also check out the colour of my eyes! Olive green, people. Don't you wish you were hot like me?

If you do, drink more and eat biscuits.


Richard Tingley said...

I have never wanted you more.
Or less.

Anonymous said...

i like green eyes too!

(i have green eyes(

Chopper said...

I like your hat, it really suits you.

I'd like to find a hat that suits me. I'm a bit scared of trilbys now they've gone all trendy but I'm definitely too old for a baseball cap.


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