LGBT athletes Pat Manuel, Robbie Rogers, Julie Shaw, and Lypheng Kim talk about what a perfect body means to each of them in a new video posted Monday.
The idea of a “perfect body” brings up issues of body shame, body dysmorphia and idealized body types disseminated by mass media for some of the respondents. And yet, for all of the athletes, the “perfect body” also means something very personal.
Amateur Boxer Pat Manuel says, “Actually the first thing that triggers in my head is oppressive.”
Part of the oppression inherent to many notions of the “perfect body” has to do with race. Lypheng Kim asks, “Oh why is the world idolizing the perfect white image?”
For Robbie Rogers, much of his concern over his body has to do with his performance as an athlete: “I don’t really care what I look like in a bathing suit so long as I’m able to run 8 or 9 miles a game.”
The bottom line? “We all need to own our bodies and know what’s healthy for us,” as Julie Shaw put it.
Kim hit it home when he said, “[A] perfect body to me is just who I am. I look this way and I’m going to love myself this way.”
Watch the video from BuzzFeed below: