Front page of the Australian newspaper “The Truth”, 18th June, 1942.
Front page of the Australian newspaper “The Truth”, 18th June, 1942.
Dear Married At First Sight!
Firstly – can we stop calling this a “social experiment”! IT’S NOT! The first two seasons, it was a social experiment. Do you remember that? Show went for about 4 weeks, they got “married”, had a reception, a honeymoon and that was about it. Those “marriages” actually had a chance of survival.
Since then, it has been nothing more than a cheap, ratings grabbing, melodrama, specifically manipulated to create situations that are so unrealistic that Dynasty would be proud to have aired! Relationship “experts”? What a bloody joke! I wouldn’t take my faltering relationship anywhere near them! There main role on this sad show is to match people to be mismatched, thus eliciting the maximum amount of drama out of each relationship. It’s a bit like marital exploitation, really!
And what a disgusting way to portray marriage! By creating the most unrealistic situations possible…things that would NEVER happen in a marriage in the real world…only in the television world. I’d really like to know how many people have group dinner parties with others married on the same day as them! How many have a weekly “commitment” ceremony! Committed to what! They are not even legally married! And how many want to be put through the torture of continuing to pretend a relationship can be worked out because one participant wants to “stay” for another week! I’d be telling the “experts” to fuck off, personally! Then just walk. Not as if you have to worry about a legal divorce! The group bucks and gens parties? Who the fuck does that! Exactly! No one!
How participants can allow themselves to be degraded and exploited by this show is beyond me! If you were sort of desperate, and just went with the flow to get a fuck…I could sort of understand it…but take it seriously…no way! The bitching, rumour-milling, and putting each other down is cringe-worthy. And while it all goes on, the so-called “experts” just sit back and let it happen, instead of stepping in and preventing some of this very damaging behaviour continue! If you weren’t marriage shy when you went into this show, you would be by the time you got out! Even in the heat of an “extra-marital”, there is a camera there, catching every word, every keystroke on a mobile phone, every dirty word muttered! Just like in real life…not!
The truth is – these relationships don’t stand a chance. They are set up for a fall. Contrived matching, contrived situations, forced situations that would never happen in a real marriage, massed bitch sessions disguised as dinner parties, and just a total pretended of marriage, with no grounding in what really happens within a marriage! It truly degrades and belittles the real institution of marriage. As a gay man who has spent decades fighting for the right to have same sex marriages recognised as legitimate relationships with all the benefits and privileges of straight marriages…I find this show totally offensive, as its banality and shallowness makes me wonder…if this is how straight marriage is portrayed, then why was our fight so hard! Why were we denied the opportunity to be as banal as straights?
This show just needs to stop…but we all know that as long as it sucks in a huge proportion of female viewers…who, by the way, are the only people who comment on it on the IG page…then, as a ratings grabber, it ain’t gonna happen.
One can only hope that the true institution of marriage can withstand this cheap onslaught of exploitative rubbish!
Tim Alderman ©️2019
Well, a number of whinges today!
Tim Alderman ©️2019
Not so much a Whinge today as an interesting response by Nate White (a very erudite English writer) on Quora, giving his reasons why many British people don’t like Donald Trump. This pretty well echoes my own feelings on the question, and is certainly applicable to most people I know on the subject. I wish I had written this!
“A few things spring to mind.
Trump lacks certain qualities which the British traditionally esteem.
For instance, he has no class, no charm, no coolness, no credibility, no compassion, no wit, no warmth, no wisdom, no subtlety, no sensitivity, no self-awareness, no humility, no honour and no grace – all qualities, funnily enough, with which his predecessor Mr. Obama was generously blessed.
So for us, the stark contrast does rather throw Trump’s limitations into embarrassingly sharp relief.
Plus, we like a laugh. And while Trump may be laughable, he has never once said anything wry, witty or even faintly amusing – not once, ever.
I don’t say that rhetorically, I mean it quite literally: not once, not ever. And that fact is particularly disturbing to the British sensibility – for us, to lack humour is almost inhuman.
But with Trump, it’s a fact. He doesn’t even seem to understand what a joke is – his idea of a joke is a crass comment, an illiterate insult, a casual act of cruelty.
Trump is a troll. And like all trolls, he is never funny and he never laughs; he only crows or jeers.
And scarily, he doesn’t just talk in crude, witless insults – he actually thinks in them. His mind is a simple bot-like algorithm of petty prejudices and knee-jerk nastiness.
There is never any under-layer of irony, nuance or depth. It’s all surface.
Some Americans might see this as refreshingly upfront.
Well, we don’t. We see it as having no inner world, no soul.
And in Britain we traditionally side with David, not Goliath. All our heroes are plucky underdogs: Robin Hood, Dick Whittington, Oliver Twist.
Trump is neither plucky, nor an underdog. He is the exact opposite of that.
He’s not even a spoiled rich-boy, or a greedy fat-cat.
He’s more a fat white slug. A Jabba the Hutt of privilege.
And worse, he is that most unforgivable of all things to the British: a bully.
That is, except when he is among bullies; then he suddenly transforms into a bully’s snivelling sidekick instead.
There are unspoken rules to this stuff – the Queensberry rules of basic decency – and he breaks them all. He punches downwards – which a gentleman should, would, could never do – and every blow he aims is below the belt. He particularly likes to kick the vulnerable or voiceless – and he kicks them when they are down.
So the fact that a significant minority – perhaps a third – of Americans look at what he does, listen to what he says, and then think ‘Yeah, he seems like my kind of guy’ is a matter of some confusion and no little distress to British people, given that:
This last point is what especially confuses and dismays British people, and many other people too; his faults seem pretty bloody hard to miss.
After all, it’s impossible to read a single tweet, or hear him speak a sentence or two, without staring deep into the abyss. He turns being artless into an art form; he is a Picasso of pettiness; a Shakespeare of shit. His faults are fractal: even his flaws have flaws, and so on ad infinitum.
God knows there have always been stupid people in the world, and plenty of nasty people too. But rarely has stupidity been so nasty, or nastiness so stupid.
He makes Nixon look trustworthy and George W look smart.
In fact, if Frankenstein decided to make a monster assembled entirely from human flaws – he would make a Trump.
And a remorseful Doctor Frankenstein would clutch out big clumpfuls of hair and scream in anguish:
‘My God… what… have… I… created?
If being a twat was a TV show, Trump would be the boxed set.”
Tim Alderman 2019
Ever wondered how the church came to stick its nose into our lives so much?
If so, read on! Religion & Sexuality 101…without mentioning the bible once!
“By the 11th century, Christianity was the dominant religion in the West, and basically ruled that world, and even rulers wouldn’t defy it if they wished to retain their thrones.
So at that point, the church decided some micro-management was needed…starting with marriage!
For the first 1,000 years, people did not get married in a church…marriage was a civil contract between the couple, and there was no church involvement. Verbal consent…and sex…was all that was needed to seal the deal.
In 1073, Gregory VII came to the Papal throne. He decided it was the Churches duty to take control of marriage for the good of society. At this great time of social change, landowners consolidated and hung onto property by passing it onto their eldest sons. However, there was often sibling rivalry over that position due to different birth mothers for different sons…so “God” was called in as referee…
That is, the church was the one who made the legitimacy of a son legal. This ensured the dynasty was safe!
For the first time in history, this deal between us and the clergy meant you had to be married by a priest. This in turn led to the church creating laws that told you who you could…or couldn’t…marry. They would only let you marry someone who was further down the line from your 7th cousin (that’s a long way), which consequently gave them veto to dictate marriages throughout all Christian lands. Funnily enough, due to this, just about every single marriage at that time was invalid. Only the church could give you a dispensation – naturally! – which in turn meant it generated great wealth for itself – naturally! For a hefty fee, the church would let you marry your choice of partner.
This all looks a bit stupid now, but at the time it meant the clergy could have a say in your marriage, thus they had a key means to control society…which is what the church has always been about! Didn’t matter if you were rich or poor…and this occurred right across Europe.
And so began its stranglehold on controlling sex, through it’s legal hold on people’s lives. By the 12th century, it had completed its hold on marriage by declaring it a “sacrament”, thus along with Baptism & holy communion, it was an “unbreakable contract with God”.
But wait – there’s a dilemma! Since the 5th century and the writings of St Augustine, we had been taught that all sex was sinful EVEN WITHIN MARRIAGE! Despite approving of marriage, marriage itself was tainted by sexual sin. The Sarum Rite (the Use of Salisbury) from the 13th century declared that marriages had to take place in the doorway of the church, and the bride & groom couldn’t enter the church until the ceremony was complete. In other words, it can’t quite handle the concept of marriage having a sexual and holy nature.
This, of course, raised questions amongst the laity…if marriage is a sacrament, why do we have to put up with being married outside the church door! Apart from its impracticality, with church porches being of various sizes, people spoke with their feet and moved it all inside.
These new church laws not only intruded on the private (sex) lives of the parishioners…but also on the sex lives of the clergy. Up until the 11th century, many clergy were happily married, and had families. Celibacy was represented by monks & nuns, but there was no formal requirement for clergy to be celibate. This concerned Gregory greatly, and he declared that “my great concern is that the holy church, the bride of Christ, Our Lady and mother, should return to her full glory and stand free, chaste, and Catholic!”. The pope now wanted all clergy to renounce sex, and bishops were made responsible for enforcing the campaign. The message was that God didn’t want married priests in his church as they polluted it! Married clergy were not just offensive to God, they and their offspring threatened to empty the church’s coffers. Married clergy had families, who had an inconvenient habit to give their children an inheritance..they were establishing dynasties, passing church wealth onto their heirs, instead of preserving it for the church. In 1139, a council of bishops in Rome declared that clerical marriages were universally unlawful and invalid. It ordered clergy to embrace the highest Christian ideal…celibacy! And we all know where that led!
This had a permanent impact on Western society, as from that point on, celibate clergy saw themselves as superior to everyone else. Their sexual restraint set them apart from those who indulged in the sin of sex…even if not all clergy lived up to this high ideal, the division was still established. Celibate clergy were superior to carnal laity! This made it easy for them to look down on others…especially women, who were considered “sexually unruly”, and not to be trusted. Women were a danger to holy places! In Durham cathedral, there is a line clearly marked at the doorway beyond which women could not pass.
By the 13th century, the church had taken control of marriage, stopped clergy marrying, and silenced women! It had boosted its power by intruding into people’s private lives in unprecedented ways.
Now, they snuck into the bedroom! Sexual desire, even in marriage, was something the church wasn’t happy about. It was thought that a man who loves his wife too much is an adulterer. All love for another mans wife is shameful, but so is excessive love for ones own wife! However, it would appear that a great many people ignored the church’s extreme teachings, and it would seem that there was a lot of sex going on…even outside marriage! Adultery was embraced with vigour…including same sex love. The middle ages were a golden period for gay poetry…most if it written by monks! Despite the church calling homosexuality the greatest of sin, the clergy were openly celebrating it! Sex! Sex! Sex! It was everywhere!
The church decided that if it couldn’t stop it, it would have to take it over! In the 13th century, they came up with an extraordinary solution…so all over Europe, church leaders started setting up, and licensing….brothels! On the south bank of the Thames, are the ruins of the great palace of the bishops of Winchester. Right next door are brothels…known as the stews…and they were managed by the church! Church leaders could now exercise tight controls over sex in the brothels…and make money at the same time. The bishop imposed strict rules upon the stews, he forbade prostitutes living on the site, and there were precise opening hours. Sex workers had to leave not only the brothel but the whole area on holy days between the hours of 6-11 in the morning, and between 1-6 in the afternoon. And when parliament was sitting, night time too, because the bishop would be in presence at the palace while attending the House of Lords.
The church had a monopoly on moral authority throughout Europe. The great reformation became a period of change in the 16th century! Protestantism declared that marriage was not a sacrament , and introduced divorce. They also declared celibate clergy to be a danger to society, and the cause of “other sins”…, and wanted all their clergy to be married.
But that is another, equally complicated story!”
Tim Alderman ©️2019
an act of wanton cruelty or violence; any gross violation of law or decency.
anything that strongly offends, insults, or affronts the feelings.
a powerful feeling of resentment or anger aroused by something perceived as an injury,insult, or injustice:
Outrage is the new black…or so it is beginning to feel to me after the vitriolic attacks on Liam Neeson, after his over-sharing remarks today. In his defence…he was relating a story, and mind you, a story from the 80s. What he stated was how he felt at that particular time, and if we all stopped being outraged about the comment, we might be honest enough to admit that most of us have felt that way about something, at some time!
Then we have “reality” television, another way for not just us to be outraged, but the participants in the show as well. It is almost as if, being television, it is validated. In last nights episode of “Married at First Sight” – a show I don’t watch, as it is an advert for everything a marriage shouldn’t be…but, of course, in the name of cross-promotion, I can’t escape it on morning television – one of the newly married couples had a dispute regarding some kite flying (not as in kid’s kites), an exercise the female partner did not want to indulge in! Her response, and temper tantrum, thrown at her partner was startling to watch…and was in fact, bullying. A good example of who doesn’t have a check on her emotions, and bullies her way to achieve her own ends. As one of the commentators on the Today show noted…if a man had responded in the same way to a woman, he would be howled down, and the clip shown on every social media platform, to over-the-top outrage comments! Interesting juxtaposition, isn’t it!
These days, everybody thinks they are an expert on everything, and being hidden away behind computer, phone and tablet screens, they think they are very clever at displaying their outrage over just about everything. We no longer look for positives, only negatives!
Wired Magazine in late 2017 made an interesting observation regarding the #MeToo movement, and its hijacking, and derailing, by social media.
“Three days into the #MeToo meme, my Facebook News Feed is teeming with posts. Female friends have shared heavy anecdotes about inappropriate events. Men have attempted to express solidarity, or concern, or surprise. Celebrities have run with the meme. A backlash has materialized, in which women voice concerns about those who are speaking up.
On its surface, #MeToo has the makings of an earnest and effective social movement. It’s galvanizing women and trans people everywhere to speak out about harassment and abuse. It’s causing everyone to weigh in on systemic sexism in our culture. In truth, however, #MeToo is a too-perfect meme. It harnesses social media’s mechanisms to drive users (that’s you and me) into escalating states of outrage while exhausting us to the point where we cannot meaningfully act. In other words, #MeToo—despite the best intentions of so many participating—is everything that’s wrong with social media.
Outrage is central to the design of most social media platforms—for very good reason. It’s an emotion that inspires sharing, which causes all of us to spend more time engaged with the platform. And that translates directly to revenue for the companies.”
This article (follow link in references) also brings to the fore how we are manipulated by social media. Back in the prehistoric days…before social media came along…if we were outraged by something, our only responses were to be outraged at home or at work, and if you really wanted to voice an opinion, you wrote a letter to a daily newspaper! This sort of kept it contained, and personal. And really, that is how it should be! I, for one, no longer overshare on social media, or get outraged over things. I do this because I loathe sitting there watching the vitriol pour in as people “vent”. I think the responses often outrage me more than the actual source of the comments.
We can be a vile species, and social media outrage is one of the more distasteful aspects of life in the media age. It demeans people, robs them of their voice, forces explanations from victims when they are often not needed. We twist, edit, misquote and deceive in order to provoke outrage. In severe instances, people can lose jobs or have careers destroyed by outrage…and those who cause it don’t even care!
I laugh when I hear people talking about privacy these days. There is NO privacy! That is a right we forfeited to live in this modern age. Social media has ensured it! Just look at our poor footballers. No longer can their Mad Monday antics, or indiscretions around flashing their bits about to a video camera be kept “in Club” anymore! There is always someone with a camera, and us with our outrage! Dylan Napa is paying the price right now! I have friends who have done Facebook rants when drunk, or have displayed perhaps too much raw emotion during periods of depression, and I think to myself…please…don’t put that here! It’s too public, too exposing. You are inviting outrage!
We need to check ourselves! We need to self-censor. Stop and think before you hit the “Post” button. Like me, keep in vanilla. Don’t give others the fuel to instigate outrage! It is only by self checking that the fires of outrage can be quenched!
Tim Alderman ©️2019
So, the banking industry has finally been called to task, after the Banking Royal Commission report was released. I’d like to say I was shocked at the findings…but I wasn’t!
For a long time now we have watched them ride rough shod over their customers. Massive profits, massive salaries to CEO’s, along with obscene bonuses. And zilch customer service!
Greedy, arrogant, grasping, appalling, voracious, money grubbing, obscene, heartless, corrupt, lying, deceitful…and these are just MY words to describe them! Jail every single one of the bastard that has been involved in this obscenity!
And this is the Royal Commission that Scott Morrison and his government…forever toadies to the higher end of town…. didn’t want! They voted against it 26 times…yes…26! Karma has now put it in to their hands to start fixing. In the meantime, both they and the Labor party have continued to take donations from them! I demand, right here, that they return any money donated by these institutions! After all, a lot of it wasn’t legally or ethically earned in the first place!
When the financial institutions were deregulated in the 80s, they were allowed to self-regulate as a way of, in part, having a more competitive edge. Many of us, at the time, didn’t think that deregulation was a good idea, as it basically allowed them to do whatever they wanted. The government insisted that that wouldn’t happen! Well…it has!
We have, over the last few decades, walked ourselves into a toxic mire through deregulation, and the sale of public assets, including privatisation! It is beyond me how even the simplest thinking individual in the community could see what was going to happen…yet our consecutive governments, both State and Federal, have continued to deny it. So, they deregulate and privatise…and we pay! Dearly!
Enough is enough! There is an election looming.! It’s time to throw some panic in to not just the government, but the opposition as well! The two-party-preferred model is no longer working! It’s time for independents and minor parties to stop giving preferences to the two major parties, and tell them to start fighting their own battles! As voters, we always end up being handed the shit end of the stick! It is supposed to be government of the people, by the people, for the people! Aren’t you sick of the rich end of town always getting what they want on gold platters!
It’s time they got fucked!
Tim Alderman ©️2019.
A question for you guys out there – are you finding men’s underwear really uncomfortable these days?
There seems to have become, amongst designers and manufacturers, this obsession with “emphasising” underwear. Now, I don’t know about you, but in my day-to-day life, just running around doing the mundane everyday things, I don’t really stop to think “is anybody looking at how big my clock looks in these undies?”. Add to this some really strange fabrics to make them from, and you have the perfect recipe for uncomfortable undies. There is simply no worst scenario than walking along a crowded street and realising that you either have to pull your briefs out of your bum crack, or you need to rearrange the jiggly bits…including having to hoy your balls back in after a fallout! Next time you see a guy furtively ducking into a dark lane way, or hiding in a doorway…ask yourself…does he have to rearrange?
It seems that just about every pair of briefs you buy these day has to have instructions on how to put them on. There is a whole world of special pouches, holes, double linings, and specially sewn front panels to navigate when you put them on! Push down, pull up, manipulate, mould, insert here, put this bit here and that bit there – it’s a world of intricacy! Bad waistbands that are either too wide (and act like corsets), too narrow, too loose or too tight. Fabric mixtures that are too smooth and slinky, or just seem to…embarrassingly…just…smelly! And all for what!
If you already married or partnered, then your other half already knows how big – or small – you are, so you are going through a lot of discomfort for nothing. If you are looking for a partner, or a pick up…is it a good idea to falsely advertise! Let’s face it…sooner or later the briefs are off, and the truth is just sitting there (or otherwise). And how do you go about hiding your excitement at the thought of some potential rummy-pumpy? In the old days, you’d just jiggle it down your trouser leg, but with these new-fangled undies, well…there it is! Hello world…I have a hard-on!
They are just not working for me. I’m sick of looking like a dirty old man, constantly fiddling with myself when I realise the head is caught in an uncomfortable position!
About 12 months ago, I went back to cotton classic y-fronts. Perhaps not surprisingly, I am seeing many photos of guys in the same, in my Insta feed. And a lot of them are young guys…the ones I would expect to see in Andrew Christian. I know that classic y-fronts have an image problem! There are associations with fathers and uncles, high school locker rooms, and conservative ads. There is an image of oldish men with their undies midway up their chest, looking remarkably unsexy. But that image is slowly being turned around as it becomes more obvious that they are not going to be pushed out of our wardrobe by those cock emphasising youngsters.
I don’t want undies midway up my chest, in “dad” style. I’m getting on…but not that much. To counteract that really bad look, I’ve gone down a size when buying them. And it works. Sits them very nicely just above the hips. They are roomy enough to do this, and in the case of American “Jockey” (as distinct from Australian “Jockey” – yes, there is a difference!), you get some shrinkage with the first wash.
And I have to say – America wins hands down in the y-front stakes. “Hanes”, “Jockey”, “Fruit of the Loom”, ‘Polo Ralph Lauren”, “BVD” (have to be bought from Asia now), “Roundtree and Yorke”, “Stafford”, “Calvin Klein”, “Tommy Hilfiger”, “Lee”, “Gildan”, “2Xist’, and “Dockers”…along with many others, gives a great choice to those considering an undie rethink. Even contemporary labels like “Box” and “Aussiebum” are putting them out. All these brands fit well,in a smaller size. Australia does its own “Jockey” (the branding on the waistband is in grey…black in America…and our fabric is a softer, smoother cotton than the weave of the American), and we also do a very cool “Teamm8”, not forgetting our traditional “Bonds” with the horizontal fly, labelled as a S’port brief).
My biggest disappointments have been the British y-fronts. I’ve tried 3 brands so far, and they have ALL had the same problem – the bias binding on the leg bands. Within an hour of wearing them, the leg bands have stretched…and I’m falling out of them!
Do they have sex appeal? Am I ashamed to drop my duds when wearing them? Yes, they are sexy, and the number of guys who find y-fronts a fetish is quite staggering. No, I am not ashamed to be caught in them. They cling where they should cling, and definitely show off ones merchandise with no uncomfortable contraptions. They sit comfortably on the hips…and you are totally unaware of their presence when going about your everyday affairs.
In a word…they are just damn comfortable!
Sometimes it pays to look back instead of forward. For those who feel a need to twist and manipulate their bits into junk-emphasising undies…you are welcome to them! But this guy is proudly striding out in his y-fronts!
Tim Alderman ©️2019
“Gender neutrality (adjective form: gender-neutral), also known as gender-neutralism or the gender neutrality movement, describes the idea that policies, language, and other social institutions should avoid distinguishing roles according to people’s sex or gender, in order to avoid discrimination arising from the impression that there are social roles for which one gender is more suited than another” – Wikipedia
Gender neutral language! Once again the PC brigade – a continuing blight on our society with their intolerance and narrow-minded attitudes – and a minority… a very small minority…try to foster their own language on to the community at large. Now, I come from a small minority, but we have always fought for rights without attempting to change language. Any language change that did happen came about through a historic process, not a demanding of!
I refer to myself as Gay, as do the majority of those in my circle. But I do not expect everyone around me to use that term when referring to me. Indeed, many in the general community don’t, but choose instead to use the term homosexual…a medical term for our sexuality. We’ll keep the more derogatory terms out of this conversation. I admit to having issues with the word Queer, and do not associate my self with Queer culture. That is not to say that I do not recognise that a Queer culture exists! It does, but is not my cultural language. Likewise, I recognise that gender neutral people exist, and are entitled to their own culture, but as with Queer, as far as I’m concerned it does not include me.
If you want to use a gender neutral language, then you go for it, but don’t expect the whole of society to just fall into line! As it is, it’s not going t\o happen anyway. The whole concept is so Orwellian it is frightening. Gender neutral toilets are one thing – I have no issue there – but to take people’s identity away from them is just wrong!
Let’s get it straight right here…I am a male, a man, a he, a him! I am a man, and have always been proud to be a man. Nobody…but nobody…is going to rob me of that identity. I am NOT an it, a they, a them or any other form of non-identity these people want to foster on me.
There is a lot in contemporary society I don’t like, but accept because there is a natural attrition that happens as the generations change. But I will not see our language distorted and obliterated by a few that don’t want to be recognised in traditional ways. Sure, demand that people use this language when referring to you…but don’t expect everyone else to want the same thing.
That is all I have to say on the non-issue! My prediction – another “trend” that will be just a flash in the pan! A movement (thankful for that) that defies sanity!
Tim Alderman 2019.
It would seem, according to those I follow on Instagram, that pretty well everyone in the world is either (a) a model (B) a blogger (c) a gym and fitness fanatic, or PT (d) a photographer (e) a traveller, (f) a Lifestyler or (g) an influencer! The latter absolutely intrigue me, as it appears to be someone who gets a whole lot of goodie bags of “stuff”, and through whatever means influences others to buy it, or tells them what they should be wearing, or where they should travel to! In my day, this was called marketing…but then – I’m old! I sort of feel sorry for people who lack the individuality to decide these things for themselves. A bit like the young royal wives stepping out in a rather plain outfit…and suddenly it’s copied, then snapped up by all those with no imagination to dress themselves!
Now don’t get me wrong – as a gay guy (or some would say an old queen…yet others that I’m a dirty old man) I’m only human, and get a big thrill out of looking at all these buff, toned, six-packed, shaved smooth men in their sweaty gym gear, Speedo’s, or Calvin Kleins (even the odd occasional tight, naked rear). Let’s face it…I’m not going to get there…not at my age!
But this does raise some questions. Reading some posts, I’ve detected some calls for help…depression…and have to wonder if this platform is a healthy place to be if you suffer from depression, or problems of self-esteem. There is a certain eroticism, hedonism, exhibitionism, egoism, even megalomania on Instagram. Photoshopping is rife! You just know that a lot of the guys…and girls…on here, given the opportunity, would get off on being naked. Amongst men, the image of the undies/swimmers clad body beautiful, and the buffed guys who live in the gym and happily snap themselves posing their bulging muscles, or at the cable machines present an image of health and happiness that few of us can ever hope to gain. Again, I have nothing against a healthy lifestyle, nor guys staying fit – I am a vegetarian, and do fitness Bodyweight training at home 2-3 times a week – but when we are saturated with it, when this is presented as the norm on social media platforms, in fashion and health magazines, in television shows, it has an unhealthy knock-on effect! Those who don’t have the body type, or the access to gyms, or the monetary resources, or just the addictive inclination needed to be constantly working out in gyms, start thinking there is something wrong with their bodies, that they are not up to scratch, are unable to fit into this mould, so start out on a cycle of self-destruction, self-harming, eating disorders, self destructive thinking, and low self-esteem. This in turn can lead to depression, and even suicide.
It is time to have more balance in how we depict both men and women, and like the death of the man-bun, and the hoped death of every man wearing a beard…even one’s who don’t suit them…it is time to move away from the over buffed body that requires an unrealistic amount of time to maintain. It would be interesting to know if these guys who pretty live in the gym, and can talk about nothing else, have looked forward 20 or 30 years and thought…is this lifestyle sustainable in the long run! It is time to push a model of attainable fitness, and a healthy diet that has more than chicken and lettuce in it. There is also a dietary model of veganism being “fashionable” at the moment (caused by Influencers, perhaps…), and though there is nothing wrong with the vegan diet, it is an extreme (though the advocates will never admit it). It’s like healthy people eating gluten-free…you are not doing yourself, or your body, any favours.
But I guess the question that all these models/photographers/bloggers/travellers/influencers raises is…who the fuck is doing all the hard work! Whose policing us? Putting out fires? Sweeping the streets? Being builders, electricians and plumbers? Car repairers? Are they all on another social platform? Are they all on Facebook, with their overalls around their hips, flexing with their greasy spanners? Looking uber butch in their King Gee shorts and footy socks and boots? I guess in 20 years, when everything just falls to pieces, we’ll find out!
I love Instagram. My way of counteracting all this blatant sexualism, is to post selfies. I want guys to realise that there is also a sexuality in getting older, that it is not something to be ashamed off, or hidden away, or denied. I am proud of being my age…I’ve done a lot to get here! Okay, you are not going to see me naked, or flaunting myself in my Hanes, but you are going to see my wrinkles, my graying hair, my white goatee and moustache, my chooky neck. I am what is a life well lived! The most disturbing part of this is the number of young guys who “like” my posts! I guess if one can be easily flattered…then, believe me…I am! I also want to show that extraordinary lives are lived in ordinary places, that disabilities are not disabling, and that self care doesn’t have to be an extreme!
Live the life you want to live, not the one you think everyone else wants you to live! Be proud of your individuality, your creativity, and striding outside the square. You can be an Influencer of a different kind, one who, just by being themselves, demonstrates the true beauty of a human being!
Tim Alderman 2019