“Because I was nowhere near that body type, I have always considered myself as not worthy of other’s attention…”

By August 27, 2022 Advocacy, Newsroom, Showcase, What We Do

Inad Rendon

To celebrate the beauty, APCOM is inviting you – yes YOU – to join our “Body Positive” campaign.

Your submission may be chosen for exhibitions planned in November 2022! 

Photo from APCOM’s Body Positivity Photo Exhibition, June 2022, Bangkok

Tell us about your photo/s? 

This was the first time that I posed naked for a photoshoot, making this one of my unforgettable experiences. Previously, I was like many gay men who put value or currency in their physical appearance. This naked photoshoot made me carefree to explore more on my sexual preferences.

Tell us about your relationship with your body

Until a few years ago, the relationship I had with my body was mostly physical – physical health, physical appearance, etc. That caused a love-and-hate relationship with my body (mostly hate). It is possible that I may have seen a lot of unrealistic men’s body types that I wanted for myself. I am aware of the fact that such is unrealistic but, inside my head, I am denying the body type’s unattainability.  The relationship still lingers until now, but I am progressing in building a relationship with myself based on my values, character and intelligence.

How has the stereotypical image of gay men’s bodies affected how you look at yourself? Do you think social media play a big part in negative/positive self image for a gay man from Asia such as yourself?

The stereotypical image of gay men’s bodies cost me my self-esteem and self-worth. Because I was nowhere near that body type, I have always considered myself as not worthy of other’s attention, not belonging to a particular group and someone outside other people’s league.

I agree that social media has played a big part in the negative self-image of gay men in Asia. Twitter and Instagram have played a role in inflating and glorifying the stereotype image as something that is to be achieved. But there is a disregard on the fact that most of us, regardless of sex and gender identity, are born with different DNA and body types.

Which part/s of your body do you love the most? Why? 

I now avoid answering this question because this will consequently compare with what I hate the most. I am in the process of looking at my body as a whole instead of something made of different parts.

Which part/s of your body do you dislike? Why?

My response is the same as above.

When are you most body conscious?
What do you normally do when you’re body conscious? 

As someone who values confidence, I am body conscious most of the time. This includes me checking my posture or stature, how I walk, or how I project myself. I have learned that one’s confidence is a package of the right combination of different elements including physical appearance, posture, expressions, among others. I realized that I am happier with myself when I am confident despite being far from the stereotypical image.

What do you like about the APCOM body positivity campaign and what would you like to see happen as part of the campaign? 

I hope that APCOM’s body positivity campaign will go beyond tackling physical appearance and image. I hope the campaign will also explore the humanity embodied within the participants. This may be far fetched, but the campaign may cause the imploration that more than physical persons, we are all humans.  

What would your advice be if someone feels they are not comfortable and confident to do what you’re doing as part of the campaign? 

At this point, I am not in the position to give advice. I am still learning this myself as well.

See also:

“I get judged first about the colour of my skin rather than being gay”

Thisanut Keawnukul (Bright)

“I always wanted to grow long hair because it makes me feel more authentic”


“This entire narrative around ‘beauty’ and ‘fat shaming’ needs to be destroyed and healthy conversations sparked. Normalizing conversations around positive body image need to start from homes!”

Max Wahid

“Before I did this campaign, I was super sensitive about my scars on the chest. However, after I reviewed these scars, they became less ugly and annoying. I started to accept them as one part of my body.”

Michael Liu

“This campaign is a very good start to change the negative perception about your own body, to make you realise that you are already beautiful and that you do not need to be perfect in the eyes of others.”

Vaness S. Kongsakul, Operations and Communications Officer

“My photograph expresses my vulnerability and, as we all struggle in this long journey of growth and self-acceptance, I hope people can feel they can express any emotions they have or relationship they have with their body.”

Chartlada Sangakij (JJ), Creative Communications and Media Assistant

How to take part in the campaign?

Through any of your online activities, please message about body positivity with the hashtag #apacAllBody. The best way is to speak up about body positivity on your private or public platforms. Give your opinions and motivate people. 

You can share through our social media as well

  • Photograph – Post your photo(s) that show how proud you are with your body and hashtag #apacAllbody together with other hashtags you would like to support. For example, #mybodymypride, #realsizebeauty , etc.
  • Nude photo: Full naked, half naked or showing only some body part(s).
    For the skin color & texture matter, we suggest you show your bare skin.
  • Wear body fit clothes: You can show your body shape through fabrics as well
  • Body paint: Paint or write word(s) or short messages on body part(s) for example back or belly
  • Signboard: Write word(s) or short messages on a paper or tablet, taking a photo with you (naked or with clothes on) holding it.
  • Video – Instagram Reel or TikTok no longer than 20 seconds.

14 February – 25 November 2022

Your submission may be chosen for two exhibitions planned in November 2022! 

If you are interested in sponsoring this campaign to show solidarity for a more equal and just society for LGBTQI human rights, and people living with HIV, please contact APCOM on [email protected], facebook.com/apcom.org, twitter.com/apcom

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