“The Other Two” Is One Of The Best Shows About Gay Men On TV Right Now
And that health researchers and practitioners need to challenge beauty standards among diverse groups of men through conversations, connections and support. In our study, carried out at Dalhousie University, gay men explored how culture influences the way they think about food and their bodies through a process called Photovoice — an arts-based research methodology in which participants submit their own photographs. Nine self-identified gay men photographed various aspects of their lives relating to their experiences with food, body image and health.
In this research, participants viewed food as a way to socialize and connect with other gay men. They also found it to be a source of stress, as they try to live up to idealized body standards within gay culture.
Participants reflected on how various forms of media reinforced certain body types and influenced their thoughts on food. In this show, the top three contestants have lunch with the host, during which a single Tic Tac is served. But gay men also need to be strong with highly toned bodies. Participants talked about the immense pressures to showcase muscular bodies on social media, such as Facebook, Instagram and gay dating apps.
At the same time, they recognized that the cultural expectations placed upon them are unrealistic. The health consequences for gay men of not living up to body ideals have been previously identified and include disordered eating , avoidance of sex , stigma, rejection and isolation. The men in this study talked about how constantly thinking about food and body ideals often leads to losing themselves in feelings of inadequacy, anxiety, low self-esteem and depression.
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Participants similarly talked about dating and believed they needed an ideal muscular body to attract other men. Others discussed the pressures to maintain a perfect body even within their current relationships. They commented that being in a relationship does not resolve body image concerns.
Participants still struggled even after losing weight and building muscles. However, they did provide suggestions from their own experiences to help other men.
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Their ideas included increasing the portrayal of diverse bodies within media, finding supportive people and engaging in communities that celebrate all body types. They also encouraged engaging in social conversations that allow men to be open to the possibilities of dating others outside the narrow ideals of fit and muscular bodies. Working through their anxiety and concerns was a personal journey. The participants will be showcasing their photos and telling their stories in an art show on Jan.
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My work contract ended and I moved back to my hometown just before Christmas. I moved into a new house and he drove down to visit each weekend. He begged her to have an abortion and says that he even told her he was gay, but she is insisting on having the baby.
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He is a good father and insists he wants to stick by her and support their child and baby, which, of course, I respect him for. Do you think I am best walking away or sticking by the man I love?
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I just feel that if I do try and stick by his side I will always resent the baby because it will be from the night he cheated on me. You and this man both had long-term partners and a chance meeting clearly led to earth-shattering excitement and what seemed like an emerging relationship. But an apparent and sudden change of mind has broken your heart.
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I get the sense from your letter that you may be trying to show him in a very positive light but actually, you feel angry and betrayed by his decision to stay with his long-term partner and baby. You ask me if you should live in hope of resurrecting what you had with this man or walk away. But I was particularly curious about the line in your letter that refers to his having cheated on you and how that has resulted in the birth of the child that now apparently prevents him from being with you.
But I see this differently. This may sound harsh and of course, people are doing this all the time but it seems to me that your new love probably always saw his long-term partnership as the primary one. From what you say, he was also actually quite prescriptive with you, sometimes behaving as if he owned you. He made it clear he was unhappy with you continuing to have sex with your partner and encouraged you to give that relationship up and yet, ultimately, he was clearly not prepared to take the same steps for himself that he advocated for you.
Would you not always have been confused about what that really meant? Even if this had felt OK in the first instance, I doubt that such an arrangement would have worked long term. And this leads me to something else. Now, all relationships are complex. For example, occasionally gay men get together with straight women. The point here is that however people define themselves — in a relationship, being honest with a partner is more likely to make for a rich and rewarding experience. But the main issue is that regardless of how he might have defined himself sexually, he has found it very difficult to put his relationship with you first.
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The notion of break up sex is all very well, but he chose to go ahead with it presumably knowing that one outcome might be a baby.