Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
This is not calling you out at all, chinesealpha (still not sure if you're a sock), but since it's commentary from criticism on myself I thought I'd bring up some feelings I have about how our culture here has kind of formed around certain ideas that we should have about ourselves as men. Sorry to bring this up specifically, I'll pm you, but this is, I think, a more systemic thing that maybe we need to just have a check-in for the forum:
I realize saying something looks "good and sleazy" as a compliment is probably coming from the right place (maybe not?) but it's something I don't think we should be thinking of cool or acceptable. I'm a nice guy, a good guy, I don't appreciate being referred to in that way. This is the problem - I'm positive that the overwhelming majority of you guys who post here are total sweethearts and really nice dudes. Also remember that this place has huge traffic on top of the people we just see posting.
I don't think it's healthy for us to reinforce ideas of things looking "good and sleazy" (sorry to rehash, but just read the forum and you'll see the insidious way that language we use can play in even the things we see as positive). Why can't my sunglasses just look cool? Do you really have to point out if a "slutty-tee" would be helpful or should not have been used? Fuck, I'm sure there's more examples, somebody help me out. Your clothes shouldn't have to present you in some askance way that maybe seems cool on screen, or in idea, but in reality just isn't self serving, and I think that puts out the wrong message to people who frequent this forum.
If anything at all, you'd want your appearance and demeanour to show what a nice, good guy you are, rather than imitate an idea of an asshole. That immediately creates a disconnect with who you basically are and what you are portraying - leaves room for all kinds of disingenuousness . I just thing it would be cool if we could check ourselves sometimes, with the language we use in both positives and negatives. Because that contributes to the culture here, and in the way I'm talking about, is maybe something we should be more aware of how we're using it. Sure it's cool and the idea is pretty sexy and romantic or whatever - a dude in sunglasses or the crap you see in glossy mags all the time. But IMO that's an unhealthy reinforcement on our part as the real dudes that we are, not coming from make believe coolnessville. I think it'd be better for us to realize that, on the street, it's far, far better (IMHO) to see a regular dude and be like "hey, that guy is probably pretty nice, I bet I could talk to him about stuff." as opposed to "oh, dang that guy looks cool, or thinks he does, at least". I dunno - obviously some kind of interplay between the two...
So yeah - remember, guys, you're nice. It's better to come off that way than to come off aloof because you think you're cool.
Anyways, that's a smaller issue, really - but still super important: being disingenuous is super lame. Stay positive and don't stop smiling.
My HUGE problem I have with how to communicate with those brave enough to show pictures of themselves is commenting on their bodies. I'll requote what I have at the top - again not calling the critquer out per se, but more this behaviour in general.
In this particular case, whatever, I asked for it, and, yeah it's the internet, it's styleforum, you should be thicker skinned. I've been posting pictures of myself for four years here, I don't think my body type has really change all that much in that time - so obviously I know how I look. I'm just putting myself on the spot as an example - because this happens plennnnty - but I'm a generally pretty secure guy about my sense of self on all levels, but am still self conscious about stuff and pointing out stuff that is either obvious or just not helpful at all can be hurtful.
What I'm saying is, this is really, really a bad thing we're getting ourselves into. Some people are going to have shorter legs than others, some people are going to be fatter, some people are going to have other things going on with their bodies that we, for some reason, need to point out to them and to everyone. I mean, outside of fit of clothes and dressing for body type etc., that's one thing. But this just goes too far, and create complexes people have with their bodies that they shouldn't. We all have our insecurities and I think making comments about someones "gut" or about them looking "skinnyfat" or "fat" or "disproportionate" whatever the fuck can really fuck with how a guy feels about himself on the day to day.
There's shit loads of places on the internet and everywhere else in proper life where a man can get his fill of that - can we make this forum a place where, if we feel we must make commentary on our anatomy, can we do it generally, or maybe from a less critical place? Shame is not good place to start to instill change.
What's the first response you have when you feel shame? You look away. That is not a good start for inspiration.
This forum has millions of unique visitors, and when they visit our community as dudes want to look more stylish, dress cooler, "look better" and they're just coming in from nowhere, mouth agog and eyes wide open (obviously I'm not calling you dudes bumpkins by any means) and they start lurking, not posting, lurking and lurking, and they figure out the culture, they see what they think they have to change about themselves to live up to this ideal that nobody here capable of ever attaining. It's a recipe for self hatred, guys!
I totally support other men being active, working out, doing whatever to keep their bodies in good shape and in good health with good diet. What we are propagating here, though, is body dysmorphia. You know what? Your skin and muscle hangs off your bones the way it does and you can't do much about it and there is NOTHING WRONG with that ANYWAY. Sorry to sound preachy, but I just mean this as a check-in for ourselves. Something for us to be aware of as we go along our days and as we continue to post here.
We all want to look good, guys, who doesn't? I like to think I look alright - cool clothes (I like to think), alright looking, and in decent shape. In a make believe world I would probably have way more hair, be taller, be more muscular, and have a bunch of black belts. But I feel pretty good about myself as it is, by and large. But it's hard to keep that mien when the culture pushes you to constantly question things about yourself you can't change or for some reason you have to change.
I'm not espousing hand-holdingly gay positive affirmations about ourselves by any mean, I love the ball-busting nature we generally exhibit.
But just be careful, guys. You're nice dudes, not sleazy. You don't have to have the V shaped body with six pack abs to get people to accept you, or to accept yourself. New posters, keep posting - engage in the nature of things but also buck against the group-think when it seems to come from a place of instilling shame. Same goes for all of us who already post - let's not use shame as a starting ground to build up on our sense of manliness.
anyways...yeah. sorry for the long post - some things have just been bothering me more and more in the recent past here. i think most all of you as pretty cool dudes, but we get caught up in these ideals and then kinda propagate and it kinda just goes on and on without taking a step back to realise we're being too hard on ourselves, sometimes. i edited out my wawyt, 'cause I'm a baby, but it's spoilered in GT's post if you want to see it
am i like totally way off, or what?
First off Brezzy respect for this post. I think this had to be said for a while. But i do recall you being an aggregator in the past, maybe things changed and i hope they did because this was a very constructive and well written point.