What Real Beauty Looks Like

April 17, 2013
Category: Wellness

This powerful new commercial for Dove may be about the way in which women perceive themselves, but this idea isn't exclusive to women. In fact, I'd say many men, especially gay men, share in the inaccurate ways we see ourselves. Body dysmorphia, when a person has a negative distortion of his/her body image, is extremely prevalent in our society. With so much emphasis on beauty, and in our community, having the "perfect body," it's no wonder our perceptions are so out of whack. We're constantly comparing ourselves to what we see in the media (porn included) that we sometimes can't see ourselves and how beautiful we really are. This brilliant ad is eye opening and I hope that it's message of beauty in all forms extends not just to women but to all of us.

Today, take a good hard look at yourself in the mirror and appreciate all that you are. You may not see it now, but the rest of the world certainly does.

Tags: Self Esteem, Beauty, Body Dysmorphia
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Post written by RobHeartsDH (View Author Profile)
About this author: Rob lives in Manhattan with his black pug Riley. When he’s not thinking about daddies, he enjoys writing, eating burritos, watching copious amounts of television, and thinking about his next meal.
View all posts by RobHeartsDH


Yes, we are critical of ourselves...and for good reason. The commercial media, the gay community and ourselves are focused on the minority who are young and attractive. Who would you, or anyone, want to be with and have sex with...someone who is "beautiful on the inside" or someone who is "beautiful on the outside". I think we need to be honest, here, on this point.
I think the next point we need to be honest about is who we are and what we have to offer vs what we want. Everyone seems to want a Porn Star as a lover and a sex partner. Are we ourselves Porn Stars? What do we have to offer the Porn Star?
Finally, for myself, I have always strived to be my best in the context of who I am physically (short and not the best looking), intellectually (educated, but no genius), and emotionally (functional, but have my baggage). I think it is healthy and realistic to acknowledge oneself as less than a Porn Star. Having said that, for me it is also healthy and realistic to do my best and let the chips fall. I seek the matches. Some will find me attractive for who I am and others will not. And, lastly, I think that we all need to be honest that we reject others as well as being rejected by others.
So, yes, we all have the Porn Star image rubbed in our faces endlessly, the great majority of us are not Porn Stars and, for myself, I just do my best and call it good.

Eat healthy whenever possible.
Exercise when you feel like it.
Learn to like yourself.

That's all you really need to do to look good.

I would know. I'm extremely ugly.

I think you are cute.

I disagree. You look adorable. I would love to hold you.

You must be kidding! You're as cute as they come, son!

It's really a matter of not allowing others to define you. I am 79 years old, I loom in the mirror everyday, and I am satisfied with what I see. I don't obsess about someone else's opinion. I am what I am, and who I am. I still seem to be able to attract young men, and I am NOT a sugar daddy. Contentment with oneself, rather than aiming at the elusive "happiness", whatever that is, seems to be healthier to me.

If one wants to judge by porn stars, then we need to know the standard is being is being decided by those who make a living by having sex with multiple partners. I don't disparage that, but do not want to be judged on that basis.

As always, just my opinion folks.

Well put.

...how sad we have learned to hate.......ourselves.

We have been trained to hate ourselves if we are less than "Perfect".
If we understand that, we can rise above it.

What actually amazes me about even this site... is that there are actually posts by young people who place a low age cap when it's a site for Daddy's, Silver Daddies, etc. I am 50 and have always been considered by many an attractive man younger and older alike and by women to boot. But, on paper or pic I appear less than perfect. And I am less than perfect and that's OK. I also happen to be a bottom male and that is it's own limiting category as if I would be anything different today than I was yesterday? Do bottom men just hit a certain age and then disappear? ROFLOL It's all so absurd. Oh an for me...I'm a low mileage guy because of long term relationships. I am now looking to expand my experience and horizons in the BDSM world and apparently am less desirable because of my age? WTF Oh well,...someday...? Hopefully, this will change worldwide! I think I can have better sex because of basic life experience and just age appropriate development mentally and emotionally. I am less inhibited (I don't mean raw!) today than I was 30 years ago. That in of itself should be sexy!

Greatful, keep healthy and respect to other,,,cos real beauty comes from the haealty soul.

One would think, as lovers of men and coming from a history of repression and derision, we would be more lenient and accepting of our fellow male comrades but sadly, this just doesn't seem to be the case. I certainly think lesbians have us beat when it comes to their all woman-loving ways but gay men, for whatever reason, seem to be slaves to their notions of physical perfection. It's bad enough that they're seeking physical ideals in a partner...worse that they struggle for perfection in themselves.

And within this high-pressured scenario, is it any wonder that older men who don't (or can't) keep up constant gym routines and up-to-date wardrobes become more reclusive? I sometimes envy older straight men who can cultivate new and rewarding friendships with other men simply because those connections are rarely looks-based. Thankfully, there is that small percentage of us who are attracted to men with interesting life histories rather than their percentage of body fat.

I always agree that "inner beauty" is good. If that same person has "outter ugliness", will you still be interested? I note that in your Profile you are interested in "those who take care of themselves". That eliminates a lot of guys. From my perspectve as a 66 y/o who takes care of himself, it is a minority of men, of any age, who actually take care of themselves. There seems to be a bit of a conflict, here, between the emphasis here on "inner beauty" & "those who take care of themselves". I believe it is the man "who takes care of himself" that will ever even get a chance to show you his "inner beauty". Also, there seems to be the implication that being older, in itself, is ugly. I would invite anyone to take a close look at men of all ages. There are some quite unattractive men of all ages including younger men. Yes, as we age, the evidence of that is obvious. If older men are ugly to anyone, they certainly have a lot of other choices. I, personally, have never lacked for attractive men at any age, including now, at 66, old and, therefore ugly, as I am.

You seem to have a need to shoot holes in what I wrote and perhaps suggest some hypocrisy after comparing it to my profile. I know that only stems from your perception of what you read so there's no use in trying to prove otherwise however, I can assure you that when it comes to something like online profiles, my attraction is spurred by any thoughtful words that a man has taken the time and effort to write. You can either believe that or not.

No need to defend. We all have our perceptions. I respect whatever you say even if I disagree w/ it. Age & experience can hone our perceptions...or not.

Thank you for sharing this video and comments with me.
I honestly loved it. We are so critical of ourselves and I am including me in this group but the reality is that inner beauty is the best beauty to have.
I promised myself that I would nourish my inner beauty and help other to do so.
Thanks again ...

I read so many different responses bout beauty. In my opinion, beauty is like a rose. It tends to fade in time. Beauty is seen in many ways! Being handsome is only one of the ways. Take me for instance. Im not cute, handsome, or hot! Lol but Im a real man. Honestly if I were to date I would rather date an average looking guy, like myself. There will always be hot handsome men and average looking men. But in the end the one question that remains unanswered is Why am I single? Lol Be yourself, who you truly are, and you will know when you see REAL beauty! It will be reflected in the mirror!

Well put.

Wow...did anyone else get a little teary eyed while watching that? In 2000 I thought I would never be able to leave my apartment, let alone work in the public realm in social services. A condition called lipodystrophy wreaked such havoc I wondered if I would end up looking like a gay version of the elephant man. But I fought back; have insurance=will fight back, and I had a few "angels" on my side. I have had to accept the fact I will never look as I would just ageing naturally, but I have no complaints, and in the process I discovered a lot about who I am beneath the skin: a warrior, a lover of life, and one who can face down depression and despair. And I was even able to take this experience and put it in the form of a mostly fictitious and published novel, My Strange Little Oasis. It is so great to see gays of this era confronting the unquestioned and oppressive definitions of "beauty" that have hung us up for so many years; as a mid aged gay man, I love how rejecting younger gays are of the old guard, the old, tired values and images that have drug so many of us for way too long. As men, we are visual creatures, but no longer hopelessly so and that's progress worth a beautiful smile.

While I'm less critical of my looks these days as opposed to when I was a teenager, it's more that I've just learned to deal with how I look instead of liking it.

Near as I can tell, that's probably the best I'm going to be able to do.