Miles Alexander explains why he isn’t shy about posting pics of himself almost naked online
If you were to spool through Instagram at any given time of the day you’re more than likely to, er, come across thousands of pics of half naked – who are we kidding – totally naked men showing off what hours in the gym have achieved for them.
What is it that makes guys post such revealing pictures in the first place? Is it for attention? Or is it really to detail the progress of gym bunnies, keen to show off their ongoing body development?
We chatted to 23 year old PR Miles Alexander, a prolific Instagram poster, who appears to love sharing pics of himself barely wearing a stitch, to find out why he does it and why having such a built physique is so important to him. Hey Miles, your Instagram feed features a lot of pictures of you not wearing very much. You really must enjoy showing off your physique…
It’s not something I have always been comfortable with. I was the chubby bubbly gay kid at school and whilst that was advantageous in many ways, as you move into sixth form and university, you start to feel the pressures of having a good body and not just being typecast as the fat funny one. I do enjoy documenting my progress because it’s something I work really hard at and certainly something that doesn’t come naturally to me.
What is it about showing off your body you like?
I think it’s a feeling of accomplishment. It’s not like being wealthy and showing off all the luxury items you’ve just bought on a shopping trip. It shows dedication and commitment and is an achievement that you can truly be proud of – it’s literally transforming your body.
Obviously body image is important to you. Are you creating a body to make YOU happy or to attract attention from others?
I would be lying if I said this is all for me and all to promote being healthy. It most certainly isn’t. It’s all about the aesthetic and trying to find a happy medium between what the media suggests is a good body type and one I am comfortable promoting. I think the attention I receive from others over my body and this sense of happiness and accomplishment goes hand in hand. People recognise that I’m putting in a lot of work (compared to where I was just a few months ago) and it’s nice to see it being rewarded. There’s also that amazing, fulfilling feeling you get where the guys who wouldn’t even acknowledge you a a few months ago come crawling out of the woodworks with the classic ‘Hey Mr. Looking great in your new pics’… Scuse me hunni!? Now you wanna talk? There’s nothing like that feeling of empowerment when you acknowledge the compliment but then leave them out to dry. I think it’s awful when people just pick the guys they associate with on the basis of their image. Grow up.
Have you always been confident about your body?
I wouldn’t say I was ever not confident, but If you asked me a couple of years ago ‘would I be dancing around half naked in club packed full of beautiful gay guys and feel comfortable and confident’? I would’ve laughed. Despite being a porker of a child, during my teenage years I was a professional figure skater so had a very athletic, lean upper body and huge legs and juicy butt. I still have the bottom half and recently been bulking out the top half. I think the bulky, filled out aesthetic is most certainly the most popular in the gay community at the moment.
How have other people made you feel about your body?
A lot of the criticism about my body has come from myself and my own feelings of unworthiness. I would draw comparisons between my body and other ‘admired’ guys on the scene and just think ‘there’s no way anyone is ever going to fancy me’ because I just didn’t fit that aesthetic. But the reality is, you can’t just draw direct comparisons. Everyone’s body is different and evern reacts differently to exercise and I just had to capitalise and work hard to amplify my best assets and own them. Of course, there are times where people wouldn’t even acknowledge me as a person, as I mentioned earlier. And now because I’ve put on a bit of muscle, they suddenly want to know all about who I am.
Typical. Do you think gay guys judge each other on their bodies a lot?
Categorically yes. Unfortunately, to survive, especially on the London gay scene, it’s all about how you look and who you socialise with. We constantly categorise people on their bodies – heck even dating apps like Grindr allow you to filter out people based on body type and aesthetic, guised as ‘tribes’. Whatever popular media promotes, we promote.
Why does it matter to you that you have a toned body?
It depends what you mean by ‘why does it matter?’. In the grand scheme of things, it really shoudn’t matter. But the reality is, before we get to know someone, we make initial judgements based on whether we think that person is sexually appealing. I make a conscious effort to get to know anyone who is happy to engage in conversation with me. That doesn’t mean I’m not creating sexual scenarios in my head when looking at them (I probably most certainly am). But sex and intimacy does play an important part in our social lives. Therefore, I think it’s important to be mindful and realistic, despite how harsh it may sound, to be honest and say ‘this guy puts a great deal into how he looks, do I mirror that with my efforts’. This way of thinking is probably also a clear indication of what that other person are interested in, what kind of lifestyle he leads. The way someone’s body looks does give great insight into their lives to a degree. Our bodies are one of the most important communicative tools we have.
If you fell in love with someone and they had a cuddly body would that change the way you feel about them?
Not at all! I love a cuddly man. For me personally, I favour a cuddly, built aesthetic over someone who is super super ripped. I think someone with a bit of meat demonstrates that they still live life and make choices for themselves; they are strong enough not to bow into the pre-defined muscle-mary physique; which unfortunately I do try and buy into (I’m not professing to be anywhere near this but I am envious of those who are).
Are you worried that you are only going to attract guys who like your body more than they like you?
I think this is often the case initially. But, sadly, looking after your body does open up conversations that may never have existed before. I do however firmly believe that, although a great body draws you in initially, if the person turns out to be an unintelligent, vapid, self-induldged wanker, it will simply be a case of bang and run. You can still get what you want out of someone’s body without taking it any further.
What kind of body type attracts you?
I’m all in favour of the built-up, bulky aesthetic. I love a guy who is bigger than me and is really dominant. It doesn’t have to be about the most muscular physique or most ripped abs, I just love the sense of power that comes with a large, forthright guy. I’m all for a big chest, arms that I can hang off and a waist I cant get my arms all the way around!
What’s your favourite part of your body now.
My favourite part is my chest. It’s naturally big and the part I find easiest and most satisfying to work out. It makes my tee shirts fit really nicely and covers my belly! I think men would say they like my ass the most. It’s certainly very perky and I’m not afraid to get it out. Luckily it’s retained its shape from my skating days.
Is there anything you’d like to change?
Its not so much change as I’ve grown to accept my body and the limitations it imposes, but I would really like bigger arms. I think because my chest is big, it sometimes makes them look a bit disproportionate.
Are you happy with the way you look now?
I’m happy with how I look but I’m more proud of how much commitment and energy I’ve put into making a change that I once used to moan about (both internally and externally). I’m by no means perfect or completely satisfied and the hardest part is maintaining the achievements, but I’m comfortable and confident in myself and I think that is something to be celebrated.
Is sex a big part of your life.
Is this a trick question!? I think anyone who knows me will know that sex is a big motivator for me. I just love men and don’t like how society sometimes tries to make us feel guilty about expressing our sexuality. It shouldn’t matter to anyone else whether I want to sleep with one person for the rest of my life or 10 in one weekend. I think sex is a very important compatibility factor so why not test the waters!
Is sex better when your body is so toned?
Wow, that’s quite a divisive question… I’ve enjoyed sex all throughout my life. When I was chubbier, skinnier and now that I’m a bit more built. I think feeling comfortable in your body is intrinsic to how you feel about sex. If you like and are proud of your body and not too seld conscious, that comes across when you’re getting with someone. I’m definitely more relaxed with getting my kit off now than a couple of years ago…
What do your friends and family say about you posting your very revealing pics online?
Friends and family do like to take the piss because at the end of the day, it is a very self-serving act when splashing your Instagram with half naked pics. In the run up to this article, I populated my Instagram with loads of half naked pics just to see what the reaction would be and it was largely positive. An unfortunate fact in life is those who you know or those closest to you often want to bring you down and don’t want you getting to big for your boots. I’ve had a couple of sly comments about how many filters I use of whatever but you know what, it doesn’t really matter. It makes me feel good and I don’t think there’s any harm in that. I’m very conscious not to bring others down when clearly they are trying to celebrate their bodies and build their confidence. I think we are now at a point where we need to build each other up more than ever.
Do you think people are too sensitive about being naked?
I think the whole censorship around being naked and exposing our bodies is absolutely ridiculous. We should not be made to feel that being sexual, celebrating our bodies and expressing them is by any means counter-conducive to a healthy society. Rather, I think by making people feel like there are levels of appropriacy when it comes to being naked or expressing sexuality, we create a more fragmented society. You wanna get naked? Good for you! You don’t want to – that’s also great! There is no right or wrong when it comes to how we want to express our own bodies.
Do you post near-naked pictures of yourself online? What do you think of boys who do? Do you think they should be censored?