Documentary Takes A Closer Look At Gay "Taboo" Subjects
Not one single social group reveres and objectifies the Male Body Beautiful more than the GLBT community, and there are several documentaries that go into the subject to varying degrees. None, however, approach it with quite the tack that DO I LOOK FAT? takes, which is to look hard (if not nearly hard enough) at the Taboos That Dare Not Speak Their Names: body dysmorphia, anorexia, bulimia and other eating disorders, and how these maladies affect and decimate the gay community-at-large, resulting in everything from depression, self-mutilation, alcoholism, domestic abuse, AIDS infection rates, you name it.
THE SOUND OF MUSIC this is not, which is probably why this doc hasn't received the attention or exposure it truly deserves. I had never heard a thing about myself, before I received an invitation from a friend to attend a screening and a discussion group afterward, which was very informative and enlightening...maybe even more so than the documentary itself.
Which leads me to probably the one complaint I have about it: that the way it roots itself into one location (San Francisco) dilutes the power of its message somewhat, since it opens the door to the possibility of alienating or leaving cold those viewers who are not familiar with or have no investment in the SF/Castro scene or its GLBT community.
Other than that, the interviews with subjects from different backgrounds, age groups and nationalities, combined with retro stock footage from the Fifties and beyond delivers a simple yet powerful message about a universal truth that faces anyone concerned about their weight and their dietary habits...whether you are a "gym god" or someone who has struggled with weight your entire life. It's never about what you're eating, but ALWAYS about "WHAT'S eating YOU."
A documentary I would highly recommend for its educational value, to GLBT people, and also to those who are GLBT-friendly. You'll be surprised at what you might learn from seeing this.
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