Ethan | Male, Vietnamese, He/Him

What does “body positivity” mean to you? How has your body image changed over time? How does your body image play a role in your identity or even in your daily life?

Body positivity means being able to stay confident in your appearance even when the other kids call you “Cakes.” I used to hate the name, but after a while, I realized that was a banger name and I should be proud of my assets. My body image plays a role in my identity by giving me a neat little party trick!

How has body image affected your mental and emotional health? What’s something that helps you feel comfortable in your own skin?

Being able to be confident in my body image definitely helped me emotionally mature; I used to be really insecure about it, but I’m in a good enough place where I’m at the very least okay with showing up nude for a photoshoot. Something that helps me feel comfortable in my own skin is getting complimented. Sometimes I fish for compliments to make myself feel better.

OPTIONAL: How can we talk about our body image with our loved ones in a way that is supportive and helpful? How has the media influenced your body image?

The important part is to make sure that they won’t put you down unnecessarily (Asian parent moment) but that they are also honest about it (Asian parent moment again).

The media makes me feel a lot better about my body image. That “Family Guy” episode where Stewie takes steroids really scared me straight as a kid, so it’s been a lot better since then.

Is there a specific message that you’d like to convey by participating in this project?

“I will do this again but in public!”