We’re all subject to continuous appearance-based pressures which impact our self-worth. The LGBTQIA+ community is no different. In fact, it’s a community that faces unique challenges regarding pressures that affect body image. And, for some people, it can escalate during Mardi Gras season.
“People will go on a big shred or a big diet for the month,” says one of Australia’s most popular LGBTQIA+ content creators, Matt, also known as Alright Hey. “As soon as Christmas is over, it starts. Mardi Gras lands around the start of March and people think they have two months to totally transform their body.”
Author, podcaster, and creator Allira Potter says much of the pressure often comes from others in each community. “I feel it 100%. Being a lesbian, I have this pressure to dress and act a certain way.”
Non-binary and queer creator, Jonti Ridley says appearance-based pressure is unhelpful to everyone. “A large facet of the queer community is enforcing these standards that we didn’t even come up with. We don’t even like them. They’re not for us.”
Actor and creator Jeff van de Zandt has this to say: “Mardi Gras prep diets come from a place of hate,” he says. “They come from hating oneself. But Mardi Gras is a celebration of love, a celebration of pride, of all these positive things. It’s just backward to me.”
Mardi Gras is a seminal time for 78er Peter Murphy who was at the very first Mardi Gras, when he was seriously injured by police as they attempted to shut it down. He says it’s not compulsory to do anything special around your appearance at all. “I’m going in comfortable clothes and comfortable shoes and I still expect to have a great time.”
Listen to these fascinating and enlightening guests as they explore body and beauty ideals within the LGBTQIA+ community, how pressures to conform can manifest, and why they’re choosing to participate in WorldPride with BodyPride, starring their unique, kind, and most authentic selves.
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