Monday, July 11, 2011

Thought for the Day, #25

In my reading last week, I came upon the following passages from The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing Up Gay in a Straight Man's World, by Alan Downs, Ph.D.. They appear in Chapter 14, "What Mom Didn't Know & Dad Couldn't Accept--Lessons on Being an Authentic Gay Man," under the heading, "Lesson #8: Actively Practice Accepting Your Body As It Is Right Now."  

Downs writes:

"Accepting your body in the present moment isn't about not having fitness goals.  It's about loving who you are and how you look right now, no matter what changes you might make in the future.  It's about knowing that making changes in your body is a worthwhile hobby, but it isn't going to make you more desirable or loveable [p. 185]."


"The non-acceptance of your body is yet one more expression of the internal shame [you may feel as a gay man] .  The apparent motive for body building is to achieve a beautiful physique; however, the underlying motive is to relieve shame.  It's all about making yourself more acceptable and less flawed, and in short, less shameful [p. 186]."

Alan Downs is a clinical psychologist practicing in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  The Velvet Rage is his first book about the psychology of gay life [from the book's back cover].

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