Opinion

OPINION: I love myself: deal with it!

Alan Barton asks: why do my hot selfies annoy people so much?

 

Maybe you think from my pictures that I’m vain. You might even think I love myself. But does that make you hate me?

I’m a 45yr old gay man, who was “straight” and married until I was 34. I’ve spent the last 12 years trying to find my place in the world.  But it’s a world where it’s increasingly hard to please people who judge you purely on how you look and portray yourself online.

I love the attention my images and videos get and I know I’m good looking so why not flaunt it a bit and show off what I’ve worked so hard for?

 

And yeah, I spend a lot of time on my selfies. I sometimes take hundreds just to get the right one. My phone has thousands of pictures that’ve never seen the light of day. It’s all about knowing your face, and what angle is best for you, where your light is and knowing when to just give up ‘coz there’s just no perfect selfie that day!

But the thing is, whatever I do, I always seem to cop my fair share of hate and trolling online for the pure reason that I’m a 45yr old man who posts topless images.

It’s sad to think anyone can be jealous of me. If they applied themselves they could look just as good. 

I’ve been sent messages telling me to die of cancer or saying “hope you get aids” or “you’re so old! stop posting images without your shirt on”.

I’m usually tough enough to just laugh them off, but there are days when it gets to me and it hurts.

I’ve had moments where I’ve gone back through Facebook to try and see why my posts caused the trolling, like maybe it WAS my fault. There’ve been days of extreme scrutiny of my body and what it looks like, with endless selfies to validate my existence, and there have been days where I rebel and post numerous images online to shove it in their faces.

My go-to reaction has always been to challenge the trolls, to fight back and it hasn’t always been very successful. Half the time I make it worse with them taking it further and being even more vile to me.

My confidence has struggled a lot and there’ve been weeks where I’ve taken my diet too far or spent too much time at the gym to somehow compensate the hate and trolling, stupidly assuming that it would maybe make it better.

Has being on social media changed my view on the world as a gay man in his 40s?  Totally. I’d never really thought about ageism or homophobia as I’d never had to deal with it in “real life” and it’s shocked me enormously to be confronted with it head-on.

For some sad, pathetic people, online trolling has taken off as a kind of sport and I’ll never get how trying to destroy someone online can be fun.

I’ve learned to never let anyone dent your confidence for the sole purpose of strengthening their own so I’m going to keep posting my pics and the jealous bitches can just deal with it.

 

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