Image credit: Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay
Thanks to the internet and social media, it’s become easier for LGBTQ people to find attractive people to ogle. However, that very same accessibility has its own harmful side effect, as revealed by a recent survey conducted by YouGov and commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation.
According to the survey titled “Body Image,” 33 percent of LGBTQ respondents experienced suicidal thoughts or feelings because of their body image. The results are alarming, especially since only 11 percent of straight respondents experienced feeling the same.
Bisexuals, in particular, seemed the most affected, with 34 percent experiencing suicidal thoughts and 45 percent “disgusted” by their body image. Twenty-nine percent of bisexual respondents also admit to self-harm because of their body image. Fifteen percent of gay men and lesbians have done the same.
Another finding from the survey showed that more LGBTQ adults experienced anxiety and depression over their body image compared to heterosexual adults. Fifty-three percent of the LGBTQ respondents felt anxious about their body image, while 56 percent said they were depressed because of their body image. Only 33 percent of the straight respondents felt the same.
Mental Health Foundation’s Policy and Public Affairs Manager Toni Giugliano spoke to Gay Times and pointed to social media as a factor in causing body image issues among LGBTQ people.
“The main picture from our survey was one in which commercial, social media and advertising pressures on body image are contributing to mental health problems for millions of people. This social harm has been allowed to develop largely unchecked,” he said. “While there have been some positive initiatives, social media companies have frequently been unwilling to take the necessary steps to protect their users from harmful content.”
Adam4Adam blog readers, how do you maintain a positive body image in spite of the ubiquitousness of social media? Share your tips in the comments section below to help out other readers that may be going through body image issues of their own.
As if being gay has anything to do with it. Who’s writing this crap, you need to be fired.
. . . No, bi’s as the article reports; have the worst of it, because, they get it from both sexes, seemingly, unless I’m wrong on that, which I doubt. And gay folk tend to be the most- well, persnickety, just putting it mildly compared to reality, in fact down right, brutal.
I think mostly, though, depending on what region; like So, Flo for instance or “Kali”,
beach-communities, yeah, people might be more “fit conscious”, mostly = shallow, more judgmental, objectifying.
“Gay,” does have a lot to do with it, you’re being very naïve, just saying…
I don’t think that is fair. The author of the blog post is simply reporting data that has been presented by multiple studies as well as quotes from other sources. I can understand reviewing the data collection methods and the subjects interviewed and then finding fault with the studies themselves if they are found to be flawed, but not being critical of the person doing the reporting.
The whole point is that we operate and live an incredibly smaller microcosm and normal things like body image issues are concentrated and highlighted because there isn’t a wealth of images showing and celebrating our real diversity. There isn’t a gay Kevin James that’s lauded as being an “acceptable” representation of us. So, no, this article is not ‘crap’.
Every day I read on HERE that gay men are so shallow when it comes to looks, etc., so yeah, just because YOU don’t feel that way doesn’t mean that MANY gay men are at greater risk for shame, trauma, or self destructive habits. Many ‘communities’ have ‘mindsets’ and sadly this community has several that can be very harmful – instead of killing the messenger, you might try supporting the moving away from such beliefs, rather than choosing sides.
Nah I just ignore them. Social media is a disease that affect your mind.
Did you even read the article? It’s cites specific research that shows that gay people have significantly more issues around body image than their straight counterparts.
Why should he be fired? What he has written in the article is the reality of the LGBT community, they are more concerned with physical appearance than with true sentimental relationships. The LGBT community is more discriminated among themselves that can suffer from other communities
If genetics are the dominant factor, the body is as it is. However, for most of Mankind, it is our daily habits which distort our bodies and renders them unattractive. No, normal Gay or Bi-male cannot notice our culture’s ideals of attractiveness and we, all, are subject to these “Perfections.” Never, in all my years of living, 72 years, have I come across so many truly, unattractive Human Beings, as she on a daily basis, on every street. We can do much to make ourselves competitive and live, however, within the confines of our culture; whether we like it or… Read more »
I’ve just never been able to fathom why I, or anyone for for that matter, should worry themselves in the least about trying to please or impress random people who aren’t a positive part of our lives. It’s like being in Middle School and desperately wanting to be part of The IN Crowd”, a group of people who are fake and fickle and who frankly don’t care a farkle about you as a person. They just want to hang with people who are pretty, wealthy, and consider themselves the popular elite for some egotistical reason. Even when I had a… Read more »
HUNTER0500: We are old enough to remember the introduction of the “Barbie Doll” which, quite frankly, brought the idealism of a thin-waist-girl, to the general public. Yes, we had MM/JM/Zsa Zsa, Eva, Magda ET AL.; however, the average person on the street did not take the goddesses for reality. You Remember the MM Walk; the MM Talk; the MM Look: and, the MM Feel? Once, Barbie was introduced, then, came the Ken Doll, and last, GI Joe. We were/still are, prisoners of our Culture… . I would put the GI Joe Doll on top of Ken Doll; it was a… Read more »
If you’re gonna mope about the way your appearance is, get off of your duff and get friendly with the gym circuit. Complaining and being miserable is every1’s right, but are for the basic, boorish and listless with nothing going on in their lives, and it is very counterproductive. If you can’t love yourself FIRST, how can you expect anyone else to love you?? Anyone can say whatever they want, but it’s the actions that prove otherwise. You can’t be mean to yourself, and treat someone outside of yourself, like that of royalty…too much work for the said listless, basic… Read more »
Understand that the push for six-pack abs was led by stylists and editors of magazines trying to make money. It was never a necessity or requirement. It was sickening to see that idea take hold, along with other false concepts like zero-percent body fat, all of which are about exploitation. You must filter advertising, you must resist brainwashing by exploiters. You must distance pornography from reality. You have to know these things.
Not to mention you’d have to be crazy to not see the over-sexualization on this site and what that does to people in addition to being absolutely insane to ignore every ad shoving down our throats you need a 12 inch cock that stays rock hard for years along with 180lbs of straight mussle with blemish free skin or you’re inadequate. So how about you write about that instead of acting like it’s some mystery or passing the buck from what you yourselves are doing then playing stupid.
@dayshadow….stfu…….if you had actually read the whole article you would know why idiot. being gay and having body issues is the point. And since this is a GAY site and the statistics show they are correlated. Stop being so cynical and angry.
Really? So if I gain 10 pounds I’ll become suicidal? The author must either be a social worker or psychologist trying to drum up business. Frigging BooSheet
Were these male and female bisexuals. I cant imagine toned and ripped guys being self-conscious.
I’m not surprised, I occasional ‘associate’ with an alleged bi-man, yeah, he’s very conscientious/insecure about his lack of height/weight-body. He’s genetically indigenous of his region of South America, they have a certain build, fat to muscle ratio/shape, etc., like every other walk of life does. He’s crazy about ‘exceptionally’ tall men, like myself, plus being of African decent, very well proportioned; his fetish. My last relationship was with a 5’10, 200lbs+ red-head, stocky- muscular+ somewhat of a belly he, too, was insecure about his body image, I loved him, if, he wasn’t so fucking insecure, among other things… Me, I… Read more »
I find this site talking about body image and how it affects us a queer people incredibly disingenuous especially given the dearth of variety of bodies that they choose to use to advertise their site.
So this is why suicides go up over the holidays, Thanksgiving weight gain! Abolish turkey to save us all!
Brought to you by the American Society of Chickens and Turkeys
This isn’t “alarming” at all. Newsflash: People are lazy. Shocker! Some guys would truly rather kill themselves than exercise and stick to a halfway healthy diet. But don’t worry, most of them won’t even bother to put in the effort it takes to off themselves.
I don’t think the LGBQT is special in this. There has been a study where only 2 percent of women consider themselves truly beautiful. We as a society have to stop looking at unrealistic images of beauty and look to our genetics for real expectations. If your parents are short and we want to be “model” tall, realize that isn’t going to happen and accept it. I think we need to teach our children to accept themselves at a early age so they don’t grow into self-loathing adults. Society needs to stop looking at beauty as an “accomplishment” when most… Read more »
When I was a young boy I went to public schools. Back then, they didn’t make a big deal out of a child’s self esteem. Fat kids knew they were fat, skinny kids knew they were skinny, smart kids knew they were smart, and dumb kids knew they were dumb. Children were taught early on there is only 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in any kind of contest be it physical or academic. There were no awards for “also ran”. Those who did well at whatever endeavor it was were recognized for it and those who didn’t received no recognition.… Read more »
This wasn’t a study of younger people. It also included your peers. You’re about as libertarian as a parrot.
Children grow up to be adults and my peers are in their 50s and 60s. Had you bothered to read the survey results you would have seen this: “Last year, our survey of respondents who had experienced high levels of stress revealed that 47% of 18-24-year-olds, 36% of all women, and almost one in five people (18%) aged 55+ had experienced stress over their body image to the extent of being overwhelmed and unable to cope in the last year.” It provides a clear indication of the age demographic most affected by their body image. Too bad you missed that.… Read more »
Such a so import a topic … yet unresponded to by the Blog to some 24 hours later. Hey ok if we’re out of town … Just a matter of having acolleague standing in
That’s sad. There’s already too much pressure to look good coming from the bars and the in person gay scene. But body image is something you can change. Diet. Workout. Hair dye. etc. Find people who like you as you are so you can be comfortable being you. And stay off social media or at least the sites causing the anxiety. Hetero women have suffered with body image issues forever.
Thank you for this article. The body shape I have now at 68—5’7″, 330 lbs, huge lowhanging gut—was my worst nightmare come to life. But the truth is I never liked my body, even when I was much slimmer, because my macho older brother made fun of it a lot, and because all the heroes I saw on TV and the movies were the absolute opposite of me: they had muscles and veiny arms and could smoke and drink and fight and shoot guns and do sports. I on the other hand shunned competitive activities, hated cigarette smoke, was scared… Read more »
You search for what you need outside of yourself, but when I read this you finally accepted yourself as you are. So it would seem YOU are your own Robin Hood, you are your own Super Hero . . . so now, all that is left to do, is test your own super powers. Don’t apologize, and don’t accept what you do not like, just as you did not love the Perfect Tops you spoke of (they were products of the same battles you were having). Don’t you see, if gay men respected gay men, we would be better friends… Read more »
as a bi bigger guy I can say I have been there. It is so difficult to get an attractive guy to look your way if you are not a thin muscular guy. I have an ad on a site that is specifically for bigger bears and still having a hard time. I have been working on bringing my weight down for health reasons, but also feel like I have to if I hope to stand a chance at catching a guys eye. it can be really depressing at times.
There’s 2 or 3 people in this thread who just didn’t read the entire article, or only just read the headline. Based off my personal experience, body image was always an issue in the gay community, post 21-century (only speaking for gay men). If it isn’t steroids, it’s anorexia. This was before social media: remember HX and Next Magazine, and the influential and overwhelming images those zines projected? Gay men let these media projections dictate and influence lifestyle and who they should accept and engage in relationships with, and by doing this, many others get left out. This is why… Read more »
There are so many thought provoking realities and ideas presented from the body image article. And true, at 61 i relate to the facts that in my youth, if you wanted an award, an a+, or any other recognition…..you worked for it. You studied, you practiced, you tried and you learned. In real competitions there could always be someone smarter, more talented, more experienced so you just had to deal with that and learn to move on or try harder. Personally, to me, the fact that anyone makes it to the Olympics, makes the chorus, band, student council…..etc. makes them… Read more »