Internal gender struggles
In the middle of reading an article in the New York Times about the struggles transgender people face, the below advertised image popped up on my screen.
After seeing this image for a minute- a few things ran through my head: am i suppose to be casting a gaze on this guy, this imagine is conflicting with my personal views of myself and making me want to look like this guy who isn’t casting a gaze on me but somehow making my want to look more at him and like him.
I know this image is not suppose to be problematic, but it’s making me feel problematic. As a transgender guy who feels as if they can’t pass, this image is sending me a few messages, the main one being: if you invest in these breifs they will make you feel more masculine (and they will be your favorite pair because you’ll look and -depending on if I pack or not-they will make me feel more masculine. Nah, dude. I won’t feel more masculine if I invest in these breifs, but will make me feel and look more masculine is if I had this guys body and than maybe the breifs will help out. Even though I have what others consider to be a lean and passable male body, it can’t pass as masculine underneath the clothes. This ad makes me want to work out more, take testorone and invest some breifs and a white shirt. But this ad also boils me because I am reading an article about some struggles that transgender people face and here I am struggling and convening myself that I am masculine enough to pass as a guy. For a minute this image defines how mass media portays guys -if you are masculine you must look, act, behave and dress like this. But, nah son, not everyone is white, lean, and cisgender -I don’t know if the model is cisgender but he looks it. But what this ad is telling me is not what I need to be told. I already see enough images of beautiful cisgender males who I would love to look like, but I don’t look like them. I have a different body image once the clothes are off.
I am accepting that. I am struggling to love my body and how it was created. Not every guy looks like this dude and these breifs probably won’t enhance a persons masculinity if they invest in these breifs.
Even though this guy is not casting a gaze on me, I still feel inadequate in the wanting of wanting to have a masculine body image that females find attractive and guys want. I am wondering who is it that this ad is suppose to be for, females or males. Given that the guy is showing off his abs, it adds sexual appearnce that makes me think this was attend for females to invest in the breifs for their boyfriend. I am not sure if I would come across this ad in a GQ magazine because them guys would be casting a gaze on this guy who is showing off his abs and favorite pair of breif -it wouldn’t make the cut cause it would be consider too homosexualized and straight guys feel weird if they have to gaze upon another male who can be somewhat giving off a sexual look. These are my thoughts on a Wednesday late morning. Time to get pack to reading that article.