The Search for the Perfect Body Queer Britain


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The Search for the Perfect Body

Riyadh Khalaf looks at body image pressures in the gay community. He meets Jamal, who finds himself femme-shamed.


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This programme contains some strong language

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This programme contains some scenes of a sexual nature

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Body image is all about a person's self-esteem.

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And once you get over that massive hurdle of trying to come out,

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the next stage is trying to figure out

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how in the world you're going to fit in

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to this brand-new community that you find yourself in.

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And this will often start with how you look and how you behave.

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The gay community has created some quite clearly defined tribes

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based on your body. Whether you are fat, thin, hairy, muscular -

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there is a label for it.

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Bear, twink, otter, jock, femme, rhino.

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Rhino isn't one, but you know what, it might as well be.

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There are a lot of animals in there, that's all I'm saying!

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These tribes, based purely on body image, define not only how we look,

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but supposedly who our friends are and who we have sex with.

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I want to know why gay culture puts such a heavy pressure on us men

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to look a certain way, to act a certain way,

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and what better place to do that than right here

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in the centre of gay London, Soho?

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Penises.

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One, two, three.

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Four, five, six, seven.

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Eight, nine, ten.

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11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20.

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21.

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Oh, shit! 22.

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Looking for more dick.

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Look at these!

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You would be a very brave guy to wear a pair of these

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if you didn't have a banging body.

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No fucking way!

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HE LAUGHS

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It's got padding in it.

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Look, this is incredible.

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Why have I not known about this before?

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Not that I need it...

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just saying.

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These ones are glorious.

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I don't know if it's because of the gold bottom underneath it,

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-but they are...

-They are one of our best sellers, actually.

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I think it's because they are sheer.

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If you go into Ann Summers, it's all that kind of fabric

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and it's sexy and it's slinky and here you have it for guys.

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Do you ever get people coming in who feel like

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there is nothing for them here?

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We have all walks of the scene coming in,

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from your very slim twink-style guy,

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to your very, very large bear-type guy.

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What would you categorise me as?

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You know, in these, like, tribes, what am I?

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If I saw you coming through the door,

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I would probably say you were probably very like myself,

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in that, you know,

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bottom and, you know, conscious of your body,

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conscious of your appearance.

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So would you say that bottoms are a little bit more feminine?

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The stereotype would be that, yeah.

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You know, that we do tend to lean more towards that ilk.

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What would you say if I told you I'm actually a top and I go to the gym?

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-Personally, I'd be very surprised.

-OK.

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"Masc"!

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But they also have "power bottom".

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This is the whole thing, isn't it?

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This is what the whole scene has been broken down to -

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you're either that or that.

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There is no in-between. If you're masculine,

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you're going to be the top, you're going be the one doing the fucking.

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And if you a power bottom, you're a sissy boy.

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You're a queer, you're a poof and you're going to be ploughed.

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You're minimised to a sexual act, that's your identity.

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"Penetrate me. I am nothing more."

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In the act of stereotyping,

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there's a clear message in the gay community that masculinity

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is highly prized and femininity is unattractive.

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I identify myself as a male and I'm gay.

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I am a guy that likes to be really feminine,

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I like to experiment with different things.

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I have always been this feminine guy.

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Getting myself ready and heading out,

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it kind of boosts my confidence, actually,

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to wear make-up, because I just feel like I'm not the same

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as everyone else. I look different. I have my own unique style.

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Growing up, it was kind of like wrong to be gay.

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So I didn't really fit in.

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So when I hear comments such as "faggot",

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or "gay", "queer", all of those,

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it does take me back to my school days,

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where life was hard and I was still trying to find myself.

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Femme-shaming is when you bash people for being

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really, really, really feminine. It happens in the gay community A LOT.

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I have experienced being femme-shamed,

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but still I walk with my head high and I still strut my stuff

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like nobody's business.

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So tell me about your identity.

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I think of myself as a femme tornado.

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Being me is a full-time job.

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-OK!

-I put so much work in, like, getting my hair done, you know,

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spending money on make-up, spending money on my hair, skin,

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and I've always wore really feminine clothes as well, so...

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the tighter, the more revealing, the better, to be honest.

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What kind of guy, do you think, is sort of like the most attractive,

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in terms of the gay scene?

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It's probably the straight-acting ones.

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I don't fit in because most of them don't really like feminine guys.

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I have been told so many times, with the way I am so feminine,

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the way I'm so camp, that I give gay people a bad name.

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So, like, I don't fit in with the normal crowds,

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but then I stand out from, like, the gay community.

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Is it harder for you to find love, then?

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I would definitely say it's harder, especially when I go out

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and I'm wearing, like, batty riders and stuff...

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-What's a batty rider?

-Batty riders are shorts that are, like,

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with your bum cheeks hanging out.

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-Oh, "batty", like arse?

-Batty riders, yeah.

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-OK.

-You can basically see your arse.

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Do you think the guys in the gay community who are a little bit

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more masculine see you as lesser in any way?

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Oh, yeah, definitely. Because, you know, we're feminine.

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You know, we're apparently trannies, which is not true,

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because at the end of the day, I don't want to have a sex change.

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I just like having long hair.

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And I like experimenting with my make-up and looking different.

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Being gay is a sexuality, it's not a personality.

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And every single guy has a right to be

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what they want and how they want to be.

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So I don't understand why we have so many labels

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in the gay community.

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When you walk out onto the scene, say, into a nightclub,

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what kind of reception do you get from guys?

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I've had people come up and say, "You do know you're a boy, right?"

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And I'm like, "Yeah." And they're like, "You're not a drag queen.

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"Are you trying to transition?"

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I'm like, "No." I try to make everyone like me,

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but sometimes I do come across as

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a bitch and a shady queen - which I love.

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I mean, so? Be honest is the best policy.

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But, um, no,

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I definitely feel like sometimes my personality is a way for me

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to hide behind, like, the hurt that I've been through.

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When I was in high school, I was bullied out of high school,

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actually, for being gay and being really feminine.

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You know, I had people call me names,

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I had people trying to rob me,

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I had people, you know, beating me up all because I was...

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-Physically beating you up?

-Yes, physically.

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So I decided upon myself to drop out of high school.

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I had the exact same thing in school, but I was lucky because...

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..I would sometimes pass as straight, as a younger kid.

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But that's because I would try and butch it up.

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Constantly butching it up, make sure you don't give the gay away.

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Did you ever have that, where you tried to...

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It would never work because I'm way too feminine.

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As soon as I opened my mouth, like,

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people would clock on and be like, "Oh, you're gay, aren't you?"

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So, yeah.

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Has it impacted your life, the fact that you had to leave school early?

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Has it made things harder for you?

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I feel like when you have GCSEs, you have a better chance in life.

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I feel like I was robbed of my future when I was in school.

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Femme-shaming and stuff like that,

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it does bring back memories of me being a child.

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We should be kind of coming together as one big family

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and kind of fighting off the homophobes.

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Instead we're fighting with each other.

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Jamal has had to become so resilient over the years,

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from so much of that heavy, heavy femme-shaming.

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And it's shocking to think that the one community

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that's doing this mostly to him is his own.

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Us gays.

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I don't understand. You'd think that after all we've been through,

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that we would be the most accepting bunch out there.

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Femininity is frowned upon.

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-Yes.

-So much!

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And it infuriates me because obviously, like, I'm quite feminine.

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I feel like feminine gay people are at the bottom of the list, 1,000%.

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I've even had comments such as feminine gay guys

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are the gays that give gay people a bad name.

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Some masculine men, they're like,

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"Oh, why are you dressing like that?

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"Why are you looking like that? You're meant to look like this."

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The iconic gay body, well, we all know that.

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It's sexy muscle boy and all this...

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Oh, six-packs, eight-packs, um, tall, um, masculine.

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Very toned, muscular.

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Sort of overtly, kind of sometimes comically masculine bodies.

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Tight tops, big muscles.

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That's the sort of things that I see a lot of.

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Gay men are their own worst enemy

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within the community when it comes to body image.

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So I have some news.

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As part of this documentary...

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I'm going to be doing a naked photo shoot - wahey!

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It's for Gay Times Magazine

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and a feature that they're doing on body image,

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and I am terrified.

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You know, we're constantly fed these images on Instagram,

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through the media, everywhere online,

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of the perfect body and what that is.

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And it subconsciously makes you think

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that you need to have that body.

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So I guess...

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I am worried about thousands of people seeing my body, in the buff,

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as it is right now, and I feel compelled to go to the gym.

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I'm sorry, I just don't feel comfortable getting naked as it is.

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I just feel like I need to tighten up a little bit.

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Is that OK?

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Morning! So, before I have any breakfast,

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I'm having half the juice of a lemon.

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It speeds up your metabolism, clears out your lymphatic system.

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Here's to a lovely body!

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OK, it's dinner time.

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Nice, spicy, garlicky chicken,

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some stir-fried broccoli and I have actually toasted those cashews.

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Ohh, look at that. Boom.

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Carrot sticks...

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hummus.

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No wine. No gin.

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Which is really, really hard for me.

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Eggs, broccoli, chicken breast and basil pesto with olive oil.

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Get them healthy fats, yo.

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Just got my hair cut. Dinner tonight, I'm having sea bass.

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Dandelion tea.

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And...that's it.

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Why dandelion tea, I hear you ask?

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Because apparently...

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it helps with water retention.

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I don't know if I have water retention,

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but I don't want to take any risks.

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So I am here in south London to visit

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a male-focused inclusive gym,

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to find out where that pressure for gay men

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to have a perfect body actually comes from.

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Personal trainer Stephen is going to show me around.

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Right, the chest is always a very popular thing.

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For the gays. Oh, tell me about it.

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As soon as I go into the gym,

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it's the first thing, I hit these boys.

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-Really?

-Yeah.

-Well, let's start you off with one of the machines.

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-OK.

-Give me ten.

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-That's a little tougher, isn't it?

-Yeah. I like it, though.

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-"Feel the burn."

-Feel the burn. And other cliches.

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STEPHEN CHUCKLES

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-I forgot to start counting. What are we at?

-Eight.

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This looks like a torture contraption.

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STEPHEN STRAINS

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Look, it's the same size as my head!

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Amazing. I'm trying the same way you did.

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-OK?

-I'll get you off the ceiling.

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Look, it's pulling me above the ground!

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-OK, possibly that's a little too heavy.

-Yeah, yeah.

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Let's drop it down to two.

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Across, like that.

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-Perfect.

-I like this one.

-You like that one?

-Yeah.

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-Because you can really feel it.

-Yes.

-It doesn't feel wasteful.

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It's quite a heterosexual thing, actually.

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To lift the heaviest weight possible

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and outcompete the person you're training with.

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But there's no technique in that.

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Do you not think that there is a lot of competition

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in gyms between gays, though?

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Like, "Oh, he's doing 20s on each arm."

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I think gays are more interested in who looks better

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in their low-cut vests than what weights they are lifting.

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Is there more of a pressure on a gay man

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to look a certain way than there is for a heterosexual man?

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Historically, there's always been more pressure on gay men.

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Being muscular means being accepted.

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It means you get more sex.

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So this idea of going to the gym has almost become central

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to the gay personality.

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If you want to avoid being ostracised

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as you were when you were at school or whatever,

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then you hype up the masculinity.

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Are some feminine gay guys

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trying to sort of suppress that or make up for that

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by becoming these bulky muscle gods?

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Muscularity does counteract effeminate behaviour

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from other people's perspective.

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Effeminate is the thing that guys probably are naturally.

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I know I am. And I love my camp side.

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But it's not going to get you sex with the masculine guys.

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Do you think that some of this pressure that exists comes from you

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comparing and contrasting yourself

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to potentially who is lying in bed beside you?

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Yeah. And I think we've all done it.

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You know, I've gone home with guys

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and they've taken off their T-shirts,

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if they haven't walked in the door with their T-shirt off,

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and you see this fantastic physique.

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And you compare yourself to them and think, "Am I good enough?"

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You've actually felt that way?

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-Yes.

-You?

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-Yes.

-There's no hope for any of us!

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I mean, what the fu...?

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All right, three, two, one, it's like jumping in a pool.

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So, what are you not happy with?

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-There's like a little...

-Oh, I have that.

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-Look.

-That little pooch there.

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I call it a papoose.

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-A papoose.

-It's a papoose of fat.

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I guess another bit that I don't like is... See that?

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Oh, the back fat? Yeah, yeah, I have that.

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-Look.

-You can actually grab mine like that.

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Is that an invitation?

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-I don't want to touch you without an invitation.

-No, grab it.

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RIYADH LAUGHS

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What bits do you like then?

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I don't mind my chest when I do that.

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-But only when you do that?

-Only when I do that.

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Actually, I like my chest when I do that.

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I like your chest when you do that.

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Yeah. So, relax.

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What do you feel about your chest now?

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I don't like the shape of it.

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What...? Describe more.

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Er, I don't like the shape of it here.

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I don't have like a nice line that just sticks out,

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that has real deviation from the body.

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It's a genetic thing.

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You're not 100% happy with your own body?

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No.

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There is a vast difference

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between what I see and what other people see.

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If I look in the mirror one morning and I see, you know,

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less than what I want to - or more than what I want to -

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then, yeah, it can make me unhappy with myself.

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If you feel that bad about yourself,

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depression and anxiety are natural consequences of it.

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I hope that one day I don't feel...

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I don't put myself under as much pressure.

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That's probably the best that I hope for.

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But I'm not doing this just to look good for other people.

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But I can understand that that is a big part of it.

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And I would be a liar if I said it wasn't.

0:16:510:16:54

Because, you know, who doesn't love that validation?

0:16:540:16:57

The problem is, what is perfection?

0:17:050:17:07

You're going to be constantly going around like a hamster in a loop,

0:17:070:17:10

in a loop, striving for a thing you cannot get. A bit depressing.

0:17:100:17:14

There's no up.

0:17:150:17:17

Do you get me?

0:17:170:17:19

Body image is huge.

0:17:230:17:25

You want to look as good as you can.

0:17:250:17:27

Athletic, lean.

0:17:270:17:29

Like, muscular, a nice bum.

0:17:290:17:31

Think Tom Daley.

0:17:310:17:33

To be honest, it's all gym and fitness.

0:17:330:17:35

Really muscly and masculine.

0:17:350:17:37

You know, kind of rugged.

0:17:370:17:39

I feel there's a majority of gay men out there that are like spending

0:17:390:17:43

their lives at the gym because they know it's going to, like,

0:17:430:17:47

attract who they want to attract.

0:17:470:17:49

I think that's a problem

0:17:490:17:50

because beauty doesn't solve anybody's problem.

0:17:500:17:52

-It's the community that is making things worse for itself.

-Right.

0:17:520:17:56

Because they're constantly having to

0:17:560:17:58

live up to the stereotype or this image, or...

0:17:580:18:00

-And it's just so tiring after a while.

-Yeah.

0:18:000:18:03

But...

0:18:030:18:04

You know, we all come in different shapes and sizes.

0:18:060:18:09

I moved to London just over six years ago.

0:18:210:18:24

It was quite difficult coming out at 16, living up north.

0:18:240:18:28

I feel people's attitudes are different

0:18:280:18:30

and that made it more difficult.

0:18:300:18:32

The bulimia took effect when I was about 17,

0:18:340:18:37

but I would say I had issues with my body image

0:18:370:18:39

and how I looked before that.

0:18:390:18:41

Within a year or two, it was full-blown

0:18:430:18:46

and pretty much lasted for the next nine or ten years.

0:18:460:18:49

It's difficult to explain exactly what the motivation was,

0:18:510:18:56

I suppose, behind throwing up.

0:18:560:18:58

But it had a lot to do with how I looked.

0:18:580:19:01

It's a control thing.

0:19:010:19:02

I felt like for a long time it was the only thing I had control over.

0:19:020:19:06

It was...

0:19:060:19:07

..very, very lonely.

0:19:100:19:12

To be honest, I don't know how I survived.

0:19:120:19:14

With the community putting so much emphasis on how you look,

0:19:190:19:23

it's no surprise that gay men are three times more likely

0:19:230:19:26

to suffer from an eating disorder than straight men.

0:19:260:19:29

'I'm on my way to meet Rye, a 26-year-old man...'

0:19:290:19:32

-Hiya.

-'..who suffered from his own

0:19:320:19:34

'eating disorder for ten years.'

0:19:340:19:36

Do you think the gay community in general is quite judgmental?

0:19:370:19:42

Yeah. I think it's very judgmental.

0:19:420:19:45

I almost feel that, as a gay guy, it's harder to please other gays

0:19:460:19:51

than it is the rest of society sometimes.

0:19:510:19:54

What things must a gay man do to fit in?

0:19:540:19:58

A lot of it is based on looks.

0:19:580:20:00

If you don't kind of conform to certain things, then, you know,

0:20:000:20:03

you're not going to be accepted.

0:20:030:20:04

And then, when you look at other guys who are already fitting into

0:20:040:20:08

those stereotype and tribes,

0:20:080:20:09

and everyone looks like they're having fun and accepting everyone,

0:20:090:20:13

why wouldn't you think, if I act like that, or if I look like that,

0:20:130:20:16

I'm going to be included.

0:20:160:20:18

I wanted to fit in.

0:20:180:20:20

So I thought, "What kind of is the most achievable?"

0:20:200:20:24

So obviously me being young, it would be kind of what we call

0:20:240:20:27

-like the kind of slim twink.

-Twinks?

-Yeah.

-Right.

0:20:270:20:29

So in this period of adjusting myself and becoming the twink,

0:20:290:20:35

it did more and more become about liking my body type

0:20:350:20:40

and how slim I was.

0:20:400:20:42

I basically developed an eating disorder.

0:20:420:20:46

So...I was still eating,

0:20:460:20:49

but I was starting to throw up meals and vomit.

0:20:490:20:53

It started off slow but eventually it was every day.

0:20:530:20:56

It becomes ingrained.

0:20:560:20:58

It's everyday life.

0:20:580:20:59

Oh, my God!

0:20:590:21:01

Are you sucking in here?

0:21:010:21:03

I think I'm tensing.

0:21:030:21:05

-But you can see...

-It's so skinny!

0:21:050:21:09

-Look at the hip.

-Your hipbones.

-My hip sticks right out

0:21:090:21:12

and my ribs were sticking right out.

0:21:120:21:14

If you could say something to him right now, what would you say?

0:21:140:21:17

Get some help.

0:21:170:21:19

Really, get some help.

0:21:200:21:22

And what kind of feelings or things go through your head then

0:21:230:21:27

at the worst moment, and you know you can't get out of it?

0:21:270:21:30

It's isolating. Even though I had friends.

0:21:300:21:33

And there were a few times people asked questions - "Are you OK?

0:21:330:21:38

"What's going on? You look sick. Are you sick?"

0:21:380:21:41

But I could never open up.

0:21:420:21:44

It affects the way you interact with people.

0:21:440:21:46

It does affect the friendships and the fact that, you know,

0:21:460:21:49

you love your friends, love your family, but you're always hiding.

0:21:490:21:53

It's not just about the physical deception of maybe wearing clothes

0:21:530:21:57

or wearing make-up so you don't look sick.

0:21:570:21:59

It's actually having to make lies up and...

0:21:590:22:03

follow them through and remember what lies you've told people.

0:22:030:22:07

It made me really low.

0:22:070:22:08

In the worst times it made me suicidal.

0:22:080:22:11

-It did?

-Yeah.

0:22:110:22:13

Those thoughts actually came into your mind?

0:22:130:22:15

At what point did you think, this has gotten too far?

0:22:160:22:20

I'd been in hospital quite a few times.

0:22:200:22:23

At one point I was drinking quite a lot as well.

0:22:230:22:25

Obviously, if I hadn't ate for a few days,

0:22:250:22:27

or I have ate and I've thrown everything up,

0:22:270:22:30

it's understandable that my body can't take alcohol.

0:22:300:22:32

So I would have two or three glasses of wine

0:22:320:22:35

and pass out and wake up in hospital.

0:22:350:22:37

And the last time it was actually

0:22:370:22:39

a nurse who had already seen me in hospital.

0:22:390:22:43

And she had said, "You're going to kill yourself.

0:22:430:22:45

"You're going to die if it carries on."

0:22:450:22:48

And I wouldn't say that that was the moment of change, but it was...

0:22:490:22:54

..the trigger of the change to recover.

0:22:550:22:59

Do you think, in the community,

0:22:590:23:01

the fact that this is happening to so many people,

0:23:010:23:04

is known, or even understood?

0:23:040:23:07

It's like a taboo subject. People don't want to talk about it.

0:23:070:23:10

And because people aren't talking about it,

0:23:100:23:13

how can anyone understand it?

0:23:130:23:14

But I would be surprised if...

0:23:140:23:17

..someone was able to prove that this wasn't happening

0:23:180:23:21

to a lot of guys, because I think it probably is.

0:23:210:23:23

The gay community puts so much pressure on us

0:23:260:23:29

to look a certain way,

0:23:290:23:30

and Rye is a perfect example of when that pressure

0:23:300:23:33

for the perfect body goes too far.

0:23:330:23:36

Although I knew there were issues in the community with this,

0:23:360:23:39

I now understand that there are so many people suffering in silence.

0:23:390:23:44

It's way bigger than we ever imagined.

0:23:440:23:47

People are really good at hiding it though.

0:23:470:23:50

Really good.

0:23:500:23:52

In a bid to raise awareness about

0:23:580:23:59

all the body image issues I've come across,

0:23:590:24:02

I agreed to bare all for a photoshoot.

0:24:020:24:05

And today is the day.

0:24:050:24:06

So we've arrived at the studio.

0:24:100:24:13

Say hi, guys.

0:24:130:24:14

Whoo!

0:24:140:24:16

This is Ryan from Gay Times.

0:24:160:24:17

-Hi, Ryan.

-Hi.

-So, Ryan just gave me a synopsis of what's going on.

0:24:170:24:22

What is it that I have to do today?

0:24:220:24:25

-Take all your clothes off.

-All of them?

0:24:250:24:27

-All of them.

-Not even like tighty whities?

0:24:270:24:29

-Not even.

-Nothing, guys!

0:24:290:24:31

Fucking nothing!

0:24:310:24:32

So, this was the last naked issue for Gay Times.

0:24:360:24:40

Oh, my God. They're so attractive.

0:24:400:24:42

It's not too posed, it's playful and it's a good way

0:24:420:24:44

-of showing your personality as well.

-OK.

0:24:440:24:46

The most important thing, for any photo shoot,

0:24:460:24:49

doesn't matter what you're doing, is it's all about confidence.

0:24:490:24:52

Confidence is the key thing.

0:24:520:24:53

And I reckon, give it ten minutes of the photoshoot

0:24:530:24:56

and you'll be absolutely fine.

0:24:560:24:58

'I've trained, I've dieted, I've spray-tanned,

0:24:580:25:01

'but Luke is going to give me a final polish and finishing touch.'

0:25:010:25:04

Just take your jacket off.

0:25:040:25:05

The first of many items to be removed.

0:25:050:25:08

What would be your concern about doing a naked shoot?

0:25:140:25:18

I just... I don't feel like it's perfect.

0:25:180:25:21

But also then I realise that nothing can be perfect.

0:25:210:25:25

Just stand up and take your shirt off for me.

0:25:290:25:31

Lovely! Can we do this again?

0:25:350:25:38

-What's this, now?

-This is a bit of oil.

0:25:400:25:42

I'm being oiled. I'm literally being oiled.

0:25:420:25:45

LUKE LAUGHS

0:25:450:25:46

That's nice. I like that.

0:25:460:25:48

Do you normally contour your models' bodies?

0:25:510:25:54

Some of them, yes.

0:25:540:25:55

But, for the purposes of this shoot, I'm not going to do it.

0:25:550:25:58

-Really?

-It just needs to be you - raw, real, as it is.

0:25:580:26:01

I'm feeling OK...I think.

0:26:010:26:03

I am worried about getting aroused.

0:26:030:26:05

Don't...don't even go there.

0:26:070:26:09

So, what do we do now?

0:26:090:26:10

-Come on over. We'll do a couple of test shots and then get going.

-OK.

0:26:100:26:14

LAUGHTER Can someone help me?

0:26:150:26:17

No, now I need to change hands!

0:26:170:26:19

LAUGHTER

0:26:190:26:22

I'll keep hold of that.

0:26:230:26:24

Hi!

0:26:240:26:26

OK, so take a seat.

0:26:260:26:28

OK. Let's start with a couple of slightly moodier sort of looks.

0:26:280:26:32

That's good.

0:26:320:26:33

Perfect.

0:26:350:26:37

Stripped bare, this leap of faith

0:26:370:26:39

is about so much more than a pretty photo.

0:26:390:26:42

Perfect. That's good.

0:26:420:26:44

I've been handed the chance to highlight issues

0:26:440:26:47

in the gay community about the body image pressures people feel,

0:26:470:26:50

which, for some, lead to very dark places.

0:26:500:26:52

But, for everyone I've met, these issues have led to second-guessing,

0:26:520:26:57

moments of insecurity and the desire to find validation.

0:26:570:27:01

Can I see any of them? It's like I have no neck.

0:27:020:27:04

That's the only thing I'm noticing here.

0:27:040:27:06

That's nicer. Oh, I like that one.

0:27:060:27:08

Yeah.

0:27:080:27:10

I've seen a couple of the pictures and I'm really surprised.

0:27:100:27:13

Like, I'm really happy with them.

0:27:130:27:15

My confidence is through the roof. I look like... Whoo, I don't care!

0:27:150:27:19

Standing here, in my birthday suit,

0:27:210:27:23

the one thing that is absolutely clear

0:27:230:27:26

is that my body doesn't define who I am.

0:27:260:27:28

Can you maybe swap hands quickly?

0:27:280:27:31

Do it the other way.

0:27:310:27:33

Sorry.

0:27:330:27:34

Good, perfect. Hold that there. Try the other way.

0:27:340:27:37

Let's have your other hand up with your glasses.

0:27:370:27:40

OK. So, slightly moodier.

0:27:420:27:44

Three, two, one...go.

0:27:440:27:46

Yeah, that works really well.

0:27:460:27:48

Three weeks ago, I did a naked photoshoot for this magazine

0:27:520:27:55

to promote body positivity and body-love and self-love.

0:27:550:28:00

Ta-da! All my God!

0:28:020:28:04

There it is there.

0:28:040:28:06

Can you see that?

0:28:060:28:08

A six-page spread.

0:28:080:28:10

This is the next one. This is my favourite one.

0:28:100:28:12

That's a nice angle, isn't it?

0:28:120:28:13

Look, it's favourable lighting, I got a spray tan the night before.

0:28:130:28:17

And this is the last one, on a chair.

0:28:170:28:19

Using my foot and my leg

0:28:190:28:21

to covertly cover my special bits.

0:28:210:28:23

That's the feature. I think it's a really great read

0:28:230:28:26

because hopefully it will give you some insight into the issues

0:28:260:28:29

that exist in the community and how you can kind of

0:28:290:28:31

be more at one with your body.

0:28:310:28:33

I know, after doing this,

0:28:330:28:34

I have gained so much confidence in my own appearance.

0:28:340:28:37

I'll chat to you in a couple of days, my loves.

0:28:370:28:40

Riyadh Khalaf looks at body image pressures in the gay community. He meets Jamal, who finds himself femme-shamed, and Rye, who has recovered from bulimia, and he also gets his kit off for a naked photo shoot with the Gay Times.