frame of mine

I’ve made peace with this body. It hasn’t been an easy peace to come by, as I seem to get con­stant reminders about the diminu­tive size of my stature. Most recently, I met an older Chinese woman who admit­ted that she thought I looked sick and weak only after she dis­cov­ered I had col­i­tis. It was as if she thought col­i­tis caused some kind of mal­nu­tri­tion that stunted my growth, and she didn’t want to bring up the fact that I was this size because it would have been too embar­rass­ing unless it was caused by a med­ical condition.

Asian male self portrait

 

I’ve been deal­ing with all kinds of sim­i­lar com­ments since I was a kid, so when a girl­friend would say that she liked a par­tic­u­lar part or por­tion of my body, I always thought they were just blinded by love. Eventually I real­ized that if they could come to love this body, then I could too. It will never look right in any­thing but slim-fit extra smalls from Mexx. It will never be good enough for my par­ents. But it will always be who I am, and I’ve learned to accept that.

22 comments

  1. You look like a mar­ble statue. And they don’t make stat­ues unless they’re nice to look at.

    • My first reac­tion was, “Oh, it’s just some flat­ter­ing light­ing”, and it made me real­ize that I’d always come up with an excuse as to why some­one may see me as attrac­tive, but I’ve been able to over­come this habit for the most part. With my girl­friends, I thought they liked abnor­mally skinny guys (the oppo­site of this) instead of think­ing I had any sem­blance of a nor­mal body.

      That means this peace comes from two things. The first is the real­iza­tion that my body is some­thing I only have so much con­trol over, so I might as well accept it. The sec­ond is a more real­is­tic view of it, instead of one skewed by what I was told is sup­posed to look “right” when grow­ing up with my par­ents or the Chinese culture.

      • You’ve always looked like a nor­mal Chinese dude to me *. Y’all ain’t exactly Paul Bunyons.

        * Except in this photo, where you look like a David.

      • It’d be funny if you said we ain’t exactly Goliaths if I look like David in this photo.

      • Hah, you’re right. OK you delete your com­ment and then I’ll delete mine and write the funny one.

  2. I have to respond with my ini­tial shocked response at see­ing this pic­ture, which was … ahem..

    Yowza!”.

    Which means, (not to embar­rass you or impli­cate myself as a stalker or some­thing odd like that) that you remind me of some hot­ties in my past. I con­fess how­ever, that I do love it when a man is not embar­rassed with him­self, and is as will­ing to show it off as this.

    Beauty is a very sub­jec­tive thing, far more than movies and TV and the LaLaland I live in would sug­gest. And one thing I’d like to impress upon men in gen­eral, not just you, is that WOMEN LIKE DIFFERENT THINGS THAN YOU THINK. A curve of neck behind an ear. A par­tic­u­lar shape of a trim back. Hair, trim or long. Can he dance? Intelligent, slim fin­gers. Deep or shin­ing eyes. Whether or not you make us laugh. Women just aren’t look­ing at the stuff you think is impor­tant most of the time. The rest is just a plus.

    This pic­ture is .. lovely.

  3. P.S., Never ever trust old Chinese ladies to do any­thing but insult you with­out think­ing. They still call my best friend “Exploding Tree Hair” ever since the days he dressed like Robert Smith. And he’s older than you by ten years!

    • I def­i­nitely believe cer­tain cul­tures think crit­i­cism is a bet­ter way of encour­ag­ing some­one than praise, and the Chinese cul­ture is one of them, where 95% is never a good enough mark, a son is never obe­di­ent enough, and a guy can always find a bet­ter girl­friend. My par­ents are the per­fect exam­ple of this. I have to remem­ber to take any­thing Chinese peo­ple say with a grain of salt.

      • Wow that’s really true, all of those things are part of that… I never con­nected them until now.

      • I used to board with a fam­ily in Ottawa, their lit­tle girl gave me the nick­name “bones”, but I thought noth­ing of it. I won­der how such nick­names called by piers, which are com­mon, com­pare with the treat­ment by your par­ents.
        I think if it’s a Chinese kid grow­ing up in a Chinese soci­ety, there won’t be a prob­lem. But yours is a case of torn between 2 cul­tures. I think par­ents from Hong Kong who are in their 40s or younger treat their kids the west­ern way.

  4. So, are the more mus­cu­lar build an effect of light­ning? Or are you just that much more mus­cu­lar since I last saw you shirt­less in college?

    • It may be a com­bi­na­tion of both. I haven’t exer­cised much recently, but I did ear­lier this year in prepa­ra­tion of car­ry­ing all my cam­era gear to film in Paris.

      • Geezes and I just recently real­ized this Asian cul­tural epidemic.

      • Meant to reply to another com­ment, but some­how it won’t let me.

      • BTW did you added a UV fil­ter? I can see your veins.

      • Nope, no UV fil­ter, just a cer­tain black and white filter.

  5. You are a very attrac­tive, fit man.

    I love this post, I don’t know why, but I think it is very, very few peo­ple who truly accept their body and appre­ci­ate them­selves as beautiful.

    I have found out, that it is a lot eas­ier to accept my body, and feel loved and desir­able — when hav­ing some­one who loves me and appre­ci­ates me.

    We are so much more then just the skin that cov­ers us. But you have beau­ti­ful skin Jeff, you should never doubt that.

    • I totally agree that some­times the con­fi­dence or com­fort that some­one car­ries about them­selves can be a very sexy thing. And yes, it’s much eas­ier to accept myself and my flaws when another per­son has accepted them first.

      (Thank you very much for the kind words. You def­i­nitely know how to make a guy feel good about himself!)

  6. Those veins, mole, the curves of your body…stunning. I love your courage and your honesty.

    I’m a day late, but happy birth­day, Jeff!

    • What?! How? Did I ever tell you when my birth­day was? Almost no one else knows! Haha, thank you!

      • I checked out your other posts under ‘self-portrait’ and got lucky. =)

      • Oh crap! I cer­tainly didn’t know. Happy Birthday!

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