Body Beautiful

Sydney is known for its beaches, beautiful Bondi being the most famous. We’re also known for the beach body that comes with it.
You know the kind of guys we’re talking about – tanned, chiselled abs, bulging biceps… Here are the first 4 image results when searching for Bondi body on Google
Bondi

This is even more pronounced in the Sydney Gay scene.
Guys of all ages, toiling away for hours in gyms, day and night, comparing themselves to those AussieBum models plastered on our bus shelter billboards.
Instagramming their progress pics week in week out. (me included)
Bulking cycles, Cutting cycles, Weighing every gram of food, calculating the macronutrients.
I’m an average guy, with an average body. I hold my fat around my midsection, I’m not ok with it, and I feel the pressure to look like the guys above.
(For the record, it’s internalised pressure, my man always tells me I’m perfectly fine the way I am)

My BMI places me in smack in the middle of the overweight block. I’m 178cm & (currently) around 90kgs (198lbs for you imperialists) This fluctuates give or take 3 kgs depending on how active/strict I am with my diet.
I regularly go to the Gym, and I have started to enjoy jogging in the park.
My goal is a little bit of weight loss, but also to start enjoying exercise again.
I’m a cyclist by nature, so I have pretty chunky quads, which help make everything look in proportion. I’m regularly told I’m not fat, and I have a good body, I enjoy the self-esteem boost when I get lots of positive reactions to a pic on twitter. (Who doesn’t love a good thirst trap)
When I hit the clubs in Sydney, Or (in the past) when I have been on apps like Grindr, Scruff, Manhunt etc. I get ignored, more often than anything else.

This year, I was in both Western Europe & the USA. In both places, I noticed a mix of both super fit guys (USA mostly) and average guys, bears etc
Specifically, in London & Chicago, the body beautiful culture didn’t seem to be front and centre at all.  It seemed quite the opposite in both places. I’m not saying that there’s not a fitness/body beautiful culture at all (those sub-cultures exist everywhere) but I got a lot of attention from guys in both places, especially Chicago.
Average is hot in these places (well it at least seemed that way to me) That or they seem less focused on looking like a catalogue model.

I’m all for people wanting to make a positive change in their life, shed a few pounds & get a bit more active. But when does it stop?
I see young men dedicate 90% of their spare time to working out. I saw two guys in my gym yesterday and they would have been 17yo (at most) Walking around looking at equipment figuring out how it works etc.
I know what I was doing at 16-17years old and it wasn’t working out at a gym.

Anabolic Steroid abuse is on the rise in Sydney – and it has been documented for a number of years.
(I have unfettered access to any number of steroids, they have been offered to me repeatedly. You just need to ask the right people)
In Sydney gyms, these guys are a dime a dozen now. Putting their bodies at huge risk by using them. Yet people still seek them – It’s no longer just the mega muscle guy using them, it’s now the 17yo given easy access under peer pressure to have a muscular physique – without any forethought into the potential lifelong damage being done to his body.

I have a friend, who is so involved in crossfit and his body, that he self-excludes from social events, from having a glass of wine, stresses out when he loses weight, or muscle and gets major anxiety when he can’t workout (for whatever reason) Even with health complications, he’s forever judging his body, analysing every visible muscle, every gram of body fat & muscle.

It has me thinking. What drives this body beautiful culture in Sydney? Why are we so obsessed with how we look, how muscular we are & how we look to others?
Why is the body beautiful culture so prevalent in Sydney?

I’d love to hear your thoughts & your experiences.

Endnote; I’m attracted to men of all shapes and sizes. To me, sexy is about a whole package and it’s seldom a guy with a hot muscular body gets over the line based on that)

One thought on “Body Beautiful

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  1. Hi Seb – I think it represents a culture of narrow mindedness within the gay community where there is only one kind of sexy, manifesting as body fascism. Everyone wants to be with a Ken Doll, so they try to look like a Ken Doll. In places where sexual diversity is more pronounced (ie. celebration of fetishes) people realise there’s a market for everyone, regardless of appearance. I find places like London and Berlin have very open and diverse expressions of sexuality so they are more forgiving, while Sydney can be a little conservative in comparison. I think it’s changing though; the cliche seems to becoming less common than it used to be.

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