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.


  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..


    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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