From anred.com (edited):
“People with muscle dysmorphia obsess about being small and undeveloped. They worry that they are too little and too frail. Even if they have good muscle mass, they believe their muscles are inadequate.
In efforts to fix their perceived smallness, people with muscle dysmorphia lift weights, do resistance training, and exercise compulsively. They may also take steroids or other muscle-building drugs.”
Muscle Dysmorphia hasn’t been particularly well-studied – rates of body dysmorphia among gaysian men even less so – but between the pressure to physically compete with other gay men, prove our masculinity as Asian men, and existing cultural stigmas against addressing mental health issues, it’s hard not to suspect that Gaysians are an at-risk population.
With the rising prevalence of the disorder among men in general, difficulty recognizing any physical symptoms, and that by the disorder’s nature, it often goes unrecognized by the sufferer, I encourage you – and hope you encourage your friends – to ask yourselves: Exactly how unhappy am I with my body?
Some highlights (edited):
In order to compete in society, black people are often told they have to be twice as good just to get half as far. This is especially true in the gay community. So working out became a way of proving my exceptionalism—not only to myself but to everyone else.
By using my body as currency to garner attention, my body becomes the focus and everything else inconsequential. So if I’m not getting responses from guys on the apps, I immediately think it’s a direct result of my level of attractiveness, or lack thereof.
What’s the point of working out, of lifting these heavy weights, of being in pain all the time, of killing myself with cardio every morning, with religiously monitoring everything I eat because I’ll never look like *that?* From there, my thoughts continue to spiral downward and out of control.
I’m too insecure to date. I don’t want to date. I don’t want to be with anyone, I don’t want to have sex with anyone, I don’t want to so much as look at anyone because the process of seeking love/affection/compassion has broken me.