Comedian Joel Creasey has spoken out against body shaming and unreasonable beauty standards in the gay community.
In a Facebook post yesterday, Creasey said he had seen people on social media obsessing over their body shape ahead of Mardi Gras festivities.
“I’ve seen over the past few months on Instagram and social media gay men discussing their diets and gym regimes in the lead up to Mardi Gras and, particularly, the parade and party—as if they’re training for the Olympics or to compete in Miss Universe,” he wrote.
“Body shaming in the gay community is getting out of control.”
He wrote that he was stunned to see someone post that they were avoiding food like doughnuts in order to prepare for Mardi Gras as early as November.
“What the fuck did you eat on Christmas Day?” he joked.
“A protein shake and turkey-scented air?”
Creasey said he worried about young and impressionable people heading to Mardi Gras, perhaps for the first time, who could be made to feel ashamed of their appearance.
“If you see this shit and it makes you uncomfortable, then don’t worry, you’re not alone. It sends my anxiety skyrocketing,” he wrote.
He said he feels self-conscious about his own body because of scoliosis.
“I have a twisted spine and basically my whole body is lopsided (my chiropractor came to my birthday party… that’s how often I’m there),” Creasey wrote.
“I also happen to love burgers and red wine.
“Picture me chilling out poolside with my shonky shoulder, a glass of Shiraz and a packet of chicken Twisties… can you imagine what doughnut man would think of that?!”
He slammed the norm of ‘perfect’ muscular bodies in gay culture, adding that he wasn’t criticising muscular types, just the expectation that such a build is necessary.
“I’m getting so bored of certain members of the gay community telling people that if you don’t have abs, bulging arms and ‘thighceps’ then you are not welcome at the parade or any of the surrounding Mardi Gras parties,” he wrote.
“Please let’s stop starving ourselves, please let’s stop shaming others and please let’s stop posting dumb shit like “T MINUS 3 WEEKS TO MARDI GRAS” next to a piece of steamed broccoli.
“That’s not what Mardi Gras is about. And that’s not what our community is about.
“Mardi Gras is a celebration of our community, a celebration of how far we’ve come and a celebration of love for both ourselves and for others.”
Creasey’s many followers have thanked him for speaking out, and the post has already been shared hundreds of times.
“So bored with this body image obsession our community has confused with culture,” wrote one fan in reply.
“From a bear… thank you,” posted another.
Creasey will host this year’s Mardi Gras parade, which can be seen on SBS on Sunday March 4.