Research continues to show us that the LGBTQ+ community are most likely to experience body-image anxiety more than heterosexuals. How we perceive our bodies in relation to others is commonly reported to me during therapy, so you're not alone with this one Johnny.
Gay men in particular report the need to conform with what they see as the 'perfect' body. This generally means a gym toned physique - air-brushed and Instagram ready. Studies focused on gay and bisexual men have found a connection between higher levels of body dissatisfaction, and increased likelihood of experiencing depressive symptoms and increased sexual anxiety, along with poorer sexual performance.
Beautiful bodies come in all shapes and sizes, and it's important that we celebrate them all. Having bulging muscles doesn't make a person more successful in life or relationships. Yes, it probably gets these guys noticed, though I know many people that aren't attracted to such a toned physique - beauty, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder. Gay men since the beginning of time (I'm using my narrative license here), have obsessed with body beautiful. Whether it's the size of their muscles or the bulge in their Calvin Klein's, the need to be accepted is deep routed in shame. It's about fitting in, being part of the 'norm', being accepted.
I wonder if these 'beautiful, fit gay men' do get the most attention. Often what we end up seeing is what we focus more on. There's a phenomenon called Baader-Meinhof, which is a frequency bias. It's where we notice something, and then seemingly you become aware of the same thing all over the place! Take a closer look next time you're on the scene or swiping right - I'm certain you'll see other people with your body shape.
We are seeing a more diverse body shape celebrated in advertising, and social media is shifting too. How we view our bodies is sometimes through a lens of what we see around us. You don't have to change what you look like in order to fit in with a perceived homo societal-norm. No matter what body type you may have, there's always some other image to aspire to. Your anxiety can be aggravated by the comparisons you make with these guys - ultimately, it's your inner confidence that gets you seen. If losing weight, and toning up is for you, then go ahead and find a healthy route to achieve this. If it's about being accepted by others', it's worth questioning that decision. Body confidence isn't made in the gym, it starts with the mind.