How beauty standards for LGBTQ people impact body image, mental health – CBC

Shows like RuPaul’s Drag Race further perpetuate narrow ideals, say community members

Sep 25, 2022

Aron DoSouto has been doing drag in Saskatchewan for more than 25 years. Now, he’s increasingly finding it difficult to book venues.

“They want a slender Barbie doll who will look good in a pair of underwear and a bra,” said DoSouto, who performs under the drag name Iona Whipp.

As a gender fluid person, DoSouto does not find himself aligning with the well-entrenched body ideals for gay men, which he described as “chiseled, built and butch or bone-thin skinny twink.”

The 43-year-old Saskatoon resident said while the media pressure to conform to certain beauty standards for LGBTQ people has long existed, partly due to the influence of “porn, erotica and films,” shows like RuPaul’s Drag Race have further perpetuated them. DoSouto said he’s recently received backhanded comments during shows about his appearance, including his weight.

“Many of us queens come from theatre — the old school where it was about selling the song — but nowadays there’s this constant need and push all about being skinnier and real thin,” he said.

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