Body Image in the LGBT+ Community: Jordan's Perspective
"I think that beauty standards in the queer community are a mixed bag. On the one hand, within the queer community the standards of conventional beauty and far less narrow (in terms of fashion and gender presentation). On the other hand, there’s the added pressure to appear conventional enough for the straight world (for safety) while also appearing visibly queer enough to be accepted by the queer community. This is especially hard for bisexual people, who face stigma from both communities.
I’ve also noticed that most of the queer people I know have body image issues. Whether it’s body dysmorphia for trans/non-conforming individuals or the more common poor body image among cis people, I think the pressures of cis-straight conventional beauty are especially felt by members of the queer community who already feel like they aren’t “normal” enough to fit in. The need to be perfect in every other way in order to compensate for the supposed flaw that is my sexuality is something I’ve struggled with a lot. I’d be remiss not to mention that within the queer community there is a lot of blatant fat-shaming, racism, transphobia, and ageism, all of which is more freely expressed since people who feel that they are oppressed don’t see themselves as potential oppressors.
As a queer woman with a conventional feminine appearance and an incredibly supportive girlfriend, I still struggle with my own body image. Growing up chubby and then “blossoming” in late high school and early college (not necessarily by healthy means), I saw very clearly how differently I was treated when I was slimmer. The message I had gotten (often directly told to me by people I looked up to) that my life would be easier if I were thinner, was confirmed. Now, whenever my life feels like it’s falling apart, there’s the nagging thought that if I lose some weight everything will get better. Which is definitely not healthy, but here we are."
- Jordan Scherer
Thank you so much to Jordan for sharing her perspective on this, and for taking part in the countdown to Sculpt Yourself. This novel explores the perspectives of multiple different women, both straight women and those in the LGBT+ community, in terms of what beauty standards mean to them.
Sculpt Yourself will be available in both paperback and ebook on Friday, November 2!