“You’re so vain!”
The words flew out of my mother’s mouth last weekend as she learnt about my new gym and diet regime to become a bit more fit.
She didn’t sing it like Carly Simon, but it stung.
It’s true that exercise and gay men are like bad communication and Scott Morrison. For instance, the parks and outdoor gym equipment are jam-packed morning and night with gay men anxiously trying to work out a new fitness regime, despite obviously not following any type of social distancing recommendations. To be fair, Scotty from Marketing hasn’t been too clear on what we should be doing ie exercise.
But me, vain!? I don’t think I’m there…yet.
Sure, I walk around sometimes in gym clothes even when I’m not going to the gym. They’re comfy clothes.
And yes, I have said the words, “my trainer KILLED me today.” But he did, and there are muscles I didn’t even know existed that are sore.
Ok, ok. I’m part of the problem. But a big part of my exercise is to feel good, release the endorphins, and feel more confident.
So when does exercise and diet turn from a healthy self-love practice, to full-blown vanity?
Why must we share our daily exercise regimes to our Instagram followers?
It doesn’t matter if we’ve got 16K or 235 followers, every run, bicep curl, and any time we walk past the mirror must be documented and shared online or it’s like it never happened.
With the recent shut down of the gyms, we are sharing ‘work out from home’ regimes and to be honest, I miss the gym mirror selfies compared to the basic rug routines being gloated about online.
The line between exercising for a healthy lifestyle or vanity lies in whether or not someone exercises for the sole purpose of taking thirst trap shirtless photos to use on hook-up or dating apps, or for Insta.
What’s worse is when there are multiple photos on someone’s account that are meant to be different, but all look nearly identical. It’s like a vain spot the difference.
I admit, I recently took a shirtless picture at the beach and posted it. The first in a long time. I felt good about my body, and thought it was cute photo. But I don’t exercise so I can take pics, I exercise so I can stay mentally healthy… and to have a beer and parmy whilst staying a normal-ish shape.
Perhaps spending more time at home during this crisis will make us take pause, connect with each other in new ways, and allow some time to create new self love regimes.
You can follow Barrie Cradshaw on Twitter at @OfficialBarrie