Since entering my teenage years, the relationship I had with my body started to change. I became somehow “aware” of it. I was not much of an athletic boy, so watching other boys my age have more sculpted bodies made me feel a bit ashamed. For example, I could not be around other people and be shirtless, like other men did. Then, when high school started, I also began to realize that the male body turned me on. The shame and the fear I felt, pushed me to a deep denial that lasted until my freshman year in university.

Things then started to change as far as my homosexuality is concerned. I finally got the courage to accept myself and be honest about my nature. But accepting my body was something different. You see, growing up in a society where images of “perfect bodies” are everywhere, in magazines, in TV and films, we tend to compare ourselves to them. This is what brought me such difficulty in accepting mine.

Again, I experienced some changes in my body. Attempts to become fitter and a year of struggling with acne on my back left me with mixed feelings. As I said I am not the most athletic guy, but I was quite happy with the result. On the other hand, acne therapy healed my back, but I was left with scars on my skin, which I had to come to terms with. The quarantine definitely didn’t help my psychology with all this.

Posing naked in front of a photographer was definitely a challenge. Even minutes before doing it I wasn’t quite sure about it, as I am a bit shy. After I left, I kept thinking about how people would react to that, if I was going to be judged and stuff like that. But at the end of the day, I was quite impressed with myself that I had done it. So, I guess it was something positive after all.

Now, I’m not writing this in order to sound wise, as I’m 23 right now and still a boy, and if you see my body, you will probably say that it’s really alright and ask me why am I making such a fuss about it, but I have come to a conclusion. The most important thing is for us to respect our bodies in the first place. Be proud of them and love them. It’s the comparison that destroys our image of them. An image that should stand proudly in our vision. Remember that no other than you should be responsible for loving your body. Bodies are different as we are different and that’s the beauty of it. Nothing of that is easy though and I still have when I look myself in the mirror. But I’m thinking if I have the courage to pose naked in front of a camera so do you! So does everyone!