party in the fip

Body Image Issues Alive and Well in Fire Island Over Memorial Day Weekend

Ah, Memorial Day Weekend. Hopefully you enjoyed yourself a three-day weekend of ribs, margaritas, and belly flops. Maybe you spent the extended break from work with your parents or your kids; your neighbors and their kids; or you got the hell away from screaming toddlers and made your way to a gay mecca like Palm Springs or Fire Island. In that case, let’s hope you spent the last three months with your 5 Times A Week trainer and cut out your carb intake, because it’s swimsuit season and the gays are a discriminating bunch.

Michael K. Lavers, the activist-journo and Boy In Bushwick blogger, relays that his slimming down did not go unnoticed by the Fire Island fellas. And thank god, because we would hate to hear about somebody who gained weight since Labor Day. He blogs:

Image truly matters on Fire Island. Who you wear, where you work out, who lives in your house, which neighborhood in the city you live and even what time you arrive at Tea (and with whom) are among the common questions and observations one will hear on the boards and walks. And while the fact I manage the Fire Island News affords me some notoriety (or fill in the blank) on the beach, the attention I received over the Memorial Day weekend because of my weight loss remains nothing short of fascinating.

Literally dozens of people in the Fire Island Pines, Cherry Grove and even Ocean Beach noted my “transformation” and even “half of me disappeared during the off-season”–queue the sound bites about pescaderianism, exercise, less alcohol consumption and the tailor here in Bushwick who has financially benefited from my many visits over the last few months. A chuckle and a humble thank you almost always followed these compliments, but one friend in the Grove offered a particularly poignant reminder as we chatted around 1 a.m. on Saturday: Remember the people who flirted with you before you lost weight.

And completely ignore them, those chubby chasers.