January 11 - Biggest Naked Issue Ever
I hope our naked issue will help entertain you on the dark winter nights. But away from that superficial level, it’s got me thinking about men’s body issues and our self-confidence.
Many men are unhappy with their bodies and for some that translates into debilitating depression or conditions like anorexia, bulimia and bigorexia – as we highlight in our investigation this month. A lack of self-esteem can also lead us to make bad decisions when it comes to our sexual health. That’s one of the reasons we felt it was so appropriate to support Terrence Higgins Trust through our naked shoot.
Our article on the Gay Liberation Front encouraged me to read their manifesto from 1971 and I was surprised to see that a large part of that was about self-oppression. It highlighted to me that this problem is nothing new – albeit that the language has changed. From camp guys being branded abnormal or vacuous to the myth that you can’t be HIV-positive if you look healthy, it’s easy to see the destruction that our own self-loathing creates.
One resolution we can all keep in 2011 is to take care of ourselves physically and mentally. Go to the gym and get fit but don’t let it become an obsession. Have a bit of faith in yourself at home, at work and in your love life. And make sure you pop down the clinic to get yourself checked out. Once we’re looking after ourselves, we’ll be much better at looking after each other.
On that point, we’re also running an auction for THT; check it out at gaytimes.co.uk/auction. It’s the perfect way to give yourself a Christmas treat and to support a great charity – with government cuts coming they’re definitely going to need the money.
Thanks from all of us for your support this year – have a great Xmas and an even better 2011.