The LGBTQ community has particularly high rates of eating disorders and body dysmorphia. So when gay Aussie comedian Joel Creasey felt inundated by guys discussing diets and gym workouts on social media — “as if they’re training for the Olympics or to compete in Miss Universe,” he says — he felt compelled to say something. And since posting it, his rant about gay body shaming has received serious attention.
And while Creasey’s comments on gay body shaming were specifically aimed at guys heading to Sydney Gay Mardi Gras, his hilarious rant is something that we can all stand behind, any time of year.
Here’s what Joel Creasey had to say about rampant gay body shaming on social media:
I’ve written something I’d like you to read. Yes, I’ve taken a moment out of my usual schedule of Googling myself and blatant self promotion to write a little something about the gay community given that Mardi Gras has officially begun.
I’ve seen over the past few months on Instagram and social media gay men discussing their diets and gym regimes in the lead up to Mardi Gras and, particularly, the parade and party — as if they’re training for the Olympics or to compete in Miss Universe.
Diet is great, exercise is awesome. … But a lot of what I have read and seen is really disappointing and I feel like as Australia’s 7th most famous gay man and 76th most respected… I should say something.
Body shaming in the gay community is getting out of control.
I’ve been mulling this over for a while after I genuinely saw someone post a photo of a doughnut with a big red cross through it with the caption “4 months to Mardi Gras”… YES… THEY POSTED THAT IN NOVEMBER.
WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU EAT ON CHRISTMAS DAY? A PROTEIN SHAKE AND TURKEY SCENTED AIR?!
My first thought was to respond “Eat the fucking doughnut, it’ll be the most interesting thing you’ve done all month douchebag.”
But then I thought, no Joel. Take the high road. Don’t personally message him. Passive-aggressively attack him publicly. Hey girl!
This person has a lot of followers and I started to think about who else might have seen this post about the OH-SO-SCARY, CARBOHYDRATE-LOADED DOUGHNUT…
I was thinking about impressionable, young gay men heading to Mardi Gras for the first time. Or older members of the community who have been fighting for our rights long before F45 was a “thing” [F45 is an Australian workout craze]. In fact, just anybody who might not conform to what is becoming this community standard of “hot.”
And doughnut man is not alone. There are so many others like him posting this unhealthy, body shaming crap.
If you see this shit and it makes you uncomfortable, don’t worry, you’re not alone. It sends my anxiety sky rocketing.
The thought of taking my shirt off or going to a public pool or the beach to me is horrendous. I have scoliosis, which means I have a twisted spine and basically my whole body is lopsided. (My chiropractor came to my birthday party … that’s how often I’m there.) I also happen to love burgers and red wine. Picture me chilling out poolside with my shonky shoulder, a glass of Shiraz and a packet of chicken Twisties … can you imagine what doughnut man would think of that?!
I’m getting so bored of certain members of the gay community telling people that if you don’t have abs, bulging arms and “thighceps” then you are not welcome at the parade or any of the surrounding Mardi Gras parties. I am getting so bored of the staged Instagram photos in the thirsty quests for like, validation, sex and free shit.
Trust me, I am guilty of posting a gym selfie (usually in the hope my trainer will give me a discount) and hell, my boyfriend is a professional model (but he is also, shock horror, intelligent and very funny and, well … obviously obsessed with me). And I can assure you … my tour posters are airbrushed to within an inch of their lives, at times barely recognisable.
To make it super clear, I’m not attacking anybody who lives a healthy life and rocks a bangin’ bod. If you want to party shirtless or even naked — fucking go for it, girlfriend. I’ll happily hold your shit for you.
If you want to walk the parade with your kit off in a pair of speedos… hell yeah! I’ll give you a flirty wave.
All of that is AWESOME.
I’m talking to those people who think it is a NECESSITY to be ripped, tanned and have 20K-plus Instagram followers to be welcome.
It’s not. I’d take a personality and a sense of humour any day over that photo of your gleaming abs on the beach that has been ever-so candidly snapped of you. “Oh my god how embarrassing who took this photo of me and how did it end up on my Instagram!?” Complete with your attempt at a “whimsical caption” as if we all don’t know what you’re doing.
Please let’s stop starving ourselves, please let’s stop shaming others and please let’s stop posting dumb shit like “T MINUS 3 WEEKS TO MARDI GRAS” next to a piece of steamed broccoli.
That’s not what Mardi Gras is about. And that’s not what our community is about.
Mardi Gras is a celebration OF our community, a celebration of how far we’ve come and a celebration of love for both ourselves and for others.
(Oh, and it’s also a celebration of Cher and anything ending with “Minogue,” let’s not forget that.)
So please enjoy Mardi Gras. Get out and about in Sydney and enjoy the delicious restaurants and food it has to offer. Feel the love. Pash a stranger. And just remember that at the end of the day, the boy with scoliosis is hosting the whole god damn Mardi Gras Parade. …
Also in the words of Thorgy Thor “gross” I hate being serious and it’ll be back to jokes after this.
PS. I am talking specifically about gay men because I AM a gay man (I think). But feel free to replace the words “gay” and “man” for whatever applies to your fine self.
What are your thoughts on the gay body shaming that’s everywhere on social media?
This article was originally published on Feb. 20, 2018.