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My Gay Toronto - Bellini's 8 1/2

#Unique

12

I went to the Black Eagle one Sunday afternoon recently. A group called #Unique were in the back room taking pictures of patrons, who each had to strip to their underwear and pose holding a big sign denouncing body shaming. I tried desperately to avoid them, but I knew some of them so I did it, regretfully so. Not because I'm ashamed of my body. I made my career walking around near naked, as the Towel Guy on The Kids in the Hall show. Interestingly, I was always shy as a child. In Phys Ed, if I was chosen to play on the Skins team, I would die a little bit inside. But when the Kids in the Hall asked me to walk around wearing only a towel - a bathhouse image, by the way - I said okay, sure.

My problem isn't that I don't want to show my body anymore. It's that I can not necessarily say that I disagree with body shaming. In fact, I think a little of it is a good thing. True, I don't love it when some skinny bitch gives me diet advice, but I get the hint. I should lose weight. More to the point, I'm a comedian. I'm supposed to be ridiculed. I don't walk around wearing a towel in order to make people cry. (Though it has happened.)
I used to worry about the impact Barbie had on young girls. Being anorexic or starving oneself in order to show off one's abs at a circuit party are mental illnesses. Only the lucky few are naturally physically beautiful. Most of the rest of us have some work to do, and we know it, and we're proud of ourselves for doing it. (I have a friend who congratulates himself every time he walks his dog.) A lot of current social movements attempt to shame shaming, forcing us to be nicer people, or at very least in deed if not in thought. None of this would be necessary had the horror of social media not upended our society. 

Healthwise, it isn't good to be too fat. You can turn it into a 'thing' if you want, but most people still adhere to a certain ideal body shape, and that shape is slender and moderately muscular. There's a reason most pop stars and porn stars aren't fat. Even if I am unique, I could still benefit from losing thirty or forty pounds. I don't even need other people shaming me, I just have to look in a mirror. Put a hashtag on that. 

 

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