Look at you, kid

I hate mirrors. I have never liked them. In my bathroom there is a large wall mirror that I cannot avoid. I spend as little time in front of it as I can. In shops I’ll hurry past mirrors and, even when trying clothes on, use them as little as possible. Body image is a huge problem for me. Like many gay men I have been exposed to many images of the beautiful male figure, through magazines and adverts, over the years. But I cannot blame the media entirely. Even as a teenager I was very much aware of my fat and didn’t like looking at myself.

Somebody asked my what the favourite part of my body was. It’s a really difficult question – I suspect many people would find that challenging. But for me it was terrifying because I couldn’t think of anything about me physically that I liked.

In the past it has been an issue in relationships. When I can’t even look at myself in the mirror, how can I respect somebody for finding me attractive? Of course it’s nonsense and people have different tastes and values.

A few years ago when I achieved the lowest weight I’ve been for years I still didn’t like the mirror. I still saw the failings and not the successes. I suspect this issue is going to take something significant to change.

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