If you are ever around the blogger-spheres long enough, you will eventually run into blogs that serves as shrines dedicated to all sorts of bodies. These serves as the blogger’s ideals and desires about the human body and can range from celebrating androgynous people to hyper feminine/masculine. In of itself, there is nothing wrong with expressing your tastes in human bodies. We have our preferences; I tend to prefer varying expressions of masculinity. I like muscular men, as well as hairy men, and non-hairy men. I have preferences, but I don’t force others to conform to those preferences. What is troublesome is when you assume your tastes in body should be the default – that it is natural, or inheritably more desirable. Because then you place far too much value on the body and you begin making implications about the bodies of others. Often, these are unfortunate implications. As a gay man, I often run into blogs raving about “real men’s” body. First, let me say this is a real man’s body:
This is a real man’s body too:
These are all real men body, because these are all men. A man is not limited to a certain set of physical characteristic. Men and their body are dynamic, gradient, and negotiable. To say that the first picture is a real man and the others are not is exclusionary and ultimately detrimental – especially to gay men. Let’s take the first example. There are those who claim that a “real man” must be hairsuite. That statement leaves out so many other men and makes them to feel inferior. What of those men who cannot grow body hair through genetics? Can you really deny them as “real men” simply because they were born that way? As far as men go, all the people featured above are men. They aren’t prepubescent. They don’t identify as a women, though they may embrace femininity or have female reproductive organs. They are men, but classifying men under one physical archetype undermines that. Instead of being inclusive, we open ourselves to hierarchical thinking. We play into the very institutions that have oppressed us. Remember, to some people gay men aren’t real men. So how can we complain about the heternormative hierarchy denying us our manhood, when some of us will deny manhood to a feminine man, an androgynous man, a transman, a shaved man, a skinny man, a fat man and all other type of men?