Everyday, people are bombarded with sexual images that promote violence against women and men. The implications of these images become a form of symbolic violence against women and men. Many of these include making women and men think they have to look and be a certain way. Women and men are literally killing themselves to look like something that is unrealistic and that has never really represented the population. This becomes a public health issue, because women and men are resulting to unhealthy sexual and dietary responses.
After the military I moved to the bay for school, I was immersed in a very white-centric gay community. As a Chicano gay male, I began to develop insecurities about my body. The men that I was interested in were not attracted to me because I was not their type. Men were more engrossed in how another man looked than to getting to know who they were. Men of color are not really represented in the gay community. Their bodies are not seen as desirable in comparison to their white counterparts. Every time I looked in the mirror I saw a fat person. I wanted to be desirable and in a way, validated by these men in the gay community. I resorted to eating once a day and exercising twice a day.
After a couple of months, my unhealthy dietary practices were starting to take a toll on my body. I was told by my doctor that I was mal nourished and underweight. This explained why I was always fatigue and couldn’t concentrate in school. I began to start seeing a therapist and through therapy, I was able to deconstruct the negative feelings I had for myself. It has been a continuing process in developing a healthy self-esteem and positive body image.
– Randy Medina
Sex 101: Topics in Sexual Health DeCal