The world of LGBTQ+ community is super colourful and full of love. The world is slowly adapting and yet taking it’s time to accept the individuality of the community. While a lot of people have come out to their family and friends and have been accepted, even those have been stereotyped most of the time by people who do not know their story.
Gay men often like to look good, like wear attire in a funky stylish manner, or some just crisp and slick – but the vanity shows in one form or another. These vanities are usually deemed to be a part of the community, and perhaps a default trait of gay men. While generalizing this may not be the thing to assume, as it may offend certain people and their sensibilities, it is only fair to ask those from the community who are out in the open about not just their sexuality, but also their love for finer things in life like vanity.
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Jigar Bhadra, head of procurement at a leading corporate firm in Mumbai says. “Yes, it does matter to me. I believe that the first impression really makes a difference. The effort you put in counts. But this works only for people who are dressed equally well themselves. I am someone who takes care of my body and takes daily effort to look good. It is not just vanity but hygiene too. However, this is subjective,” Bhadra says.
Virag Sahani* name changed, says that in the gay community, appearance does matter. “In the end it is all about presentation. Yes, there are those who feel that looks may not be that important, but within the community it does most of the time,” he says.
Sharad Patnaik* name changed, began with a quote from Oscar Wilde that says, “One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art,” Sharad elaborates and says that, “In the world of social media, everything is grand, so why not vanity? And when it comes to the gays, vanity is a substantial, and often a deciding factor in our dating life,” he says. Sharad feels that the looks, clothes, and your entire being is under scrutiny and explains this as “the way you present yourself, puts you on a spectrum ranging from most wanted to most ignored and no points for guessing which section takes the cake. There maybe people for whom this wouldn’t matter, neither for them nor for the person they want to date but that’s still a smaller percentage compared to someone like me who thinks vanity is essential.”
It remains a fact that gay men have a keen and flamboyant sense of style. Netflix even made a show on this, and Queer Eye – both the old and the new versions remain a favourite amongst everyone today.
Mark Mascerenhas makes a point by saying that vanity is a form of self love. "The amount of effort one puts on their grooming - even basic - speaks volumes about their personality. It shows how much they love themselves. It may not even have to be about dating or attraction but just the first look that gives an idea about how a person is. This is not just a thing in the community, but is a gobal principle," Mascerenhas tells us.
Vanity is looked at as a bad thing. Of course, Snow White’s step mother totally overdid it and tried to kill Snow White for it, but that is so not what we are getting at. The point is, that looking good, putting even a ten minute routine in place to simply fix a couple of strands of hair, apply a sunscreen and wear crisp and ironed clothing anywhere you go can go a long way.
There is a reason why women are so into it, and really appreciate men who may not be vain, but take an effort to be their best selves. One does not have to be power dressed at all times, but even casual wear and basic hygiene can create a great impression on anyone you are meeting for the first or even a hundredth time.