Comedian Joel Creasey has spoken out about body shaming and unrealistic standards of beauty in the gay community.
In a lengthy Facebook post, Creasey expressed his “disappointment” at seeing social media users obsessing over their bodies ahead of Mardi Gras season.
“I’ve seen over the past few months on Instagram and social media gay men discussing their diets and gym regimes in the lead up to Mardi Gras and, particularly, the parade and party… as if they’re training for the Olympics or to compete in Miss Universe,” he wrote.
“Diet is great, exercise is awesome… but a lot of what I’ve read is really disappointing.
“Body shaming in the gay community is getting out of control.”
Creasey said he was shocked when he saw someone “post a photo of a doughnut with a big red cross through it with the caption ‘4 months to Mardi Gras'” on Instagram in November.
“What the fuck did you eat on Christmas Day?” he wrote.
“A protein shake and turkey-scented air?!”
He said he was concerned about young, impressionable Mardi Gras revellers who could be made to feel insecure about their appearance.
“This person has a lot of followers and I started to think about who else might have seen this post about the oh-so-scary, carbohydrate-loaded doughnut,” he wrote.
“If you see this shit and it makes you uncomfortable, then don’t worry, you’re not alone. It sends my anxiety skyrocketing.
“The thought of taking my shirt off or going to a public pool or the beach to me is horrendous.
“I have scoliosis which means I have a twisted spine and basically my whole body is lopsided… I also happen to love burgers and red wine. Picture me chilling out poolside with my shonky shoulder, a glass of Shiraz and a packet of chicken Twisties.
“Can you imagine what doughnut man would think of that?!”
But Creasey said he was not attacking “anybody who lives a healthy life and rocks a bangin’ bod.”
“I’m talking to those people who think it is a NECESSITY to be ripped, tanned and have 20k plus Instagram followers to be welcome,” he wrote.
“I’m getting so bored of certain members of the gay community telling people that if you don’t have abs, bulging arms and ‘thighceps’ then you are not welcome at the parade or any of the surrounding Mardi Gras parties.
“Please let’s stop starving ourselves, please let’s stop shaming others and please let’s stop posting dumb shit like ‘T Minus 3 Weeks To Mardi Gras’ next to a piece of steamed broccoli.
“That’s not what Mardi Gras is about. And that’s not what our community is about.
“Mardi Gras is a celebration OF our community, a celebration of how far we’ve come and a celebration of love for both ourselves and for others.
“Get out and about in Sydney and enjoy the delicious restaurants and food it has to offer. Feel the love. Pash a stranger.
“And just remember that at the end of the day – the boy with scoliosis is hosting the whole god damn Mardi Gras Parade.”
Creasey’s post has been shared more than 300 times, with many of the comedian’s following praising him for starting a conversation on the topic.
“As big ol’ bear that has struggled with weight loss for decades, I truly thank you for this post Joel,” one man wrote.
Another commented, “I don’t think what you’re describing is a particularly new thing or any worse than it was in the 90’s… That was in the dark ages before Instagram and we weren’t so sensitive as a society about it.”
“Let’s just be happy with our fine selves whatever size and shape we are and enjoy life,” another wrote.
Creasey will host SBS’ coverage of this year’s Mardi Gras parade alongside Magda Szubanski, Urzila Carlson and Patric Aboud on Sunday, March 4.