Views on pop culture through my eyes

Posts tagged ‘self esteem’

‘Real World’ Issues

The latest season of MTV’s The Real World just ended. This is the ground-breaking reality show that takes seven strangers, puts them in a house, and let’s us watch as things get ‘real.’ The latest installment was filmed in Portland, Oregon. There were a few issues raised this season that I wanted to comment on.Real World Portland

• Open Marriage
The roommates like to party and are often seen out at local bars/clubs. On the first episode of the season, Jordan met a cute girl at a club. She then proceeded to introduce him to her husband of 1 week. Fine enough, but did I mention that the girl was looking to hook-up and that the husband was fine with it? Woah — Way to honor your marriage commitment. These are probably the same people who would deny me the right to marry my partner.

• Gay Sex
Sex is another favorite topic in the household. Somehow the topic of anal sex came up. Marlon, a good-looking masculine black guy, admitted to having anal sex with a man. What was his role, top or bottom — it wasn’t said. He identifies as straight and I applaud him for his honesty. The other guys seemed cool with his answer. Women have always been more open about bisexual experiences, but with men it is still taboo to mention in many circles. I hope we are coming to a place where an admission like this is no big deal.

• Purity Ring
One girl in the house, Jessica, started to date a cute, tall guy named Tyler. They seemed to be getting closer, but then Jessica sacred him off by putting up a bunch of photos of the two of them around her room. After the sad breakup via email, Jessica decided to buy a purity ring for herself, and made a big announcement to her roomies. While I applaud her for realizing she doesn’t need a man to make her happy, I don’t get the whole announcing it to the roommates. Her celibacy is between her and God — we don’t need to know. To me, there is something to be said for not hopping into bed with the next person you meet. Waiting can be a good thing.

• Self Esteem
One roommate, Jordan, was born with a birth defect on one arm. He doesn’t have a full hand, but just some nubs there. He has been very hard to get along with sometimes, and one roommate insists it is because he supposedly has a small penis. But Jordan had a good confessional moment, and admitted that he didn’t like himself very much, and he didn’t know how to change. I think we have all been there with this one! I know I had low self-esteem in my late teens and early 20’s. I hope he comes to love himself.

So what issues will come up on the next season of the show? We will have to stay tuned to find out.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and  Rock the Kilt lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

Loving Me for Me

Do you look in the mirror and love what you see? This weeks column is about self esteem and body image.

When I was a teenager, I wanted to be buffer and not have acne. I was always slim, I can thank genetics for that. I was one of those people who could pretty much eat what they wanted and get away with it. I can’t do that now in my 40’s. Not so much concerned about weight issues, just about having energy and not feeling depressed cause I ate too much sugar. I remember having a Cinnabun about 6 years ago and getting horribly depressed afterwards. I will never eat one again in my life.

OK, so I can build muscle, but it is still an uphill struggle. I go to the gym and lift weights 2 times a week. Plus I do hikes on the regular too. I look fit though not a gym rat. I can take my shirt off and feel comfortable.

I have had issues with self esteem and my looks: I felt I was a nerd, too much acne, too skinny, glasses, not sexy enough, plain, average looking. Even if I was OK with my looks, I had issues with ME: I wasn’t funny enough, I was shy, I was boring, nobody wanted to talk to me, I was a wallflower, I was afraid I would stumble over words., I wasn’t one of the cool kids.

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Being Out in School

It’s an interesting thing to see how times have changed. I was never out of the closet in grammar school or high school. In college, I was out to myself, but not very open about it all. These days it is not unusual to hear about kids coming out in high school or grammar school even. How great that they feel that confident about themselves to do so, and that they have supportive family and friends to support their decisions.

Out in Schools

I always felt different even if I wasn’t sure what that meant in reality. I tell people I always felt like the giraffe in class, someone who didn’t fit in and stood out from the pack. I was the round peg trying to fit in a square hole. I was a good student in class, but also very shy and quiet. And not very good at sports.

So I was picked on a lot by the time I was in junior high. I remember that my family tried sending me to these group therapy sessions at school with one of the teacher’s husbands who was a therapist. I was called fag and gay a lot, because I was the shy, sensitive one. I didn’t think I was that — but somehow the kids around me knew better. I remember that I felt very stressed at times, and my family even took me to the hospital to see if I had an ulcer. Turns out I didn’t have one.

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