There are several theories as to why body-shaming is so commonplace among gay men in particular. One 1993 book, Alan Klein’s Little Big Men
, presents a study of competitive bodybuilders which suggests that gay men worked out excessively to battle against stigma formulated during the AIDS crisis. Men would work out to look fit as opposed to frail; the implication was that appearance and health were linked, therefore an increased pressure to look ‘healthy’ was born. Physique culture – which pre-dated AIDS but stuck around in a more commercialised guise throughout the 1980s – is notable because it queered masculinity, placing bodybuilders and muscle men in homoerotic contexts. Although undeniably queer and progressive in its intentions, this led to a prevalence of muscle-bound men in gay porn, which is often still the case today. There are, of course, countless alternatives, but this could explain – at least in part – the ongoing fetishisation of muscularity which still excludes so, so many.