MIRROR, MIRROR

What is your inner conversation when you see yourself in the mirror?

This past year and a half, among many other challenges, has created a rather inescapable one-on-one rapport with our minds and bodies that we may very well never have experienced before. The ongoing changes are happening in so many levels that we, as a society cannot yet begin to understand the long-term results, yet there are visible things that range from a year-long break from the hair salon, our new choice of work clothes (can someone say sweatpants?) to how we see ourselves when we take them off.

As we look at others from our screens, scroll through work goals, picture-perfect figures, unbreakable habits, dream homes, magic products, and mood settings, this year like no other, has presented the opportunity for millions of people to learn new skills, acquire better habits, virtually participate and completely change our perspective on many important collective issues and embark on an array of personal journeys.

This is the optimistic side of it, but there are what we consider the not-so-positive results of spending so much time in our own company. Looking at that very well-groomed ”reality” in other people’s lives has mostly created comparison while experiencing uncertainty, boredom, missing physical contact with loved ones, and among other things facing how we really feel about who we are. All of these are connected to how we think the world sees us.

Don’t get me wrong, all the above situations can actually be very positive and inspiring, what seems to be inescapable is there is absolutely no place to hide, for better or for worse it is all about the most important relationship you will ever have: the one with yourself.

What is the difference between self image and body image?

According to the American Psychology Association this is the definition of self image:

n. one’s view or concept of oneself. Self-image is a crucial aspect of an individual’s personality that can determine the success of relationships and a sense of general well-being. A negative self-image is often a cause of dysfunctions and of self-abusive, self-defeating, or self-destructive behavior.

Body image: is how you view your physical self — including whether you feel you are attractive and whether others like your looks. For many people, no matter the gender, body image can be closely linked to self-esteem

Many people have concerns about their body image. These concerns often focus on height, weight, skin, any obvious condition, hair, or the shape or size of any given body part.

However, body image does not only stem from what we see in the mirror. According to the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA), a range of beliefs, experiences, and generalizations also contribute to the emotional attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions of our own body, so it turns out that we may radically differ from how attractive others think we are, usually, it being a surprise how many people think we are hot while we believe we are not!

The body-positive movement aims to help people manage the pressure that media messages impose on their body image. According to The Body Positive organization, “Beauty is not a single image, but the active embodiment and celebration of the self.”

There is an open argument on whether accepting a larger body may deter people from taking action to be healthier and more conscious of their habits. However, body positivity is not just about the size or appearance of the body, confidence and control are also key factors and it is a well-known fact, that the way we perceive our figures or attractiveness has a direct impact on our worth and attitude with which we navigate life.

Where does a negative body image come from?

Intellect has nothing to do with this. A body image, negative or positive does not develop in isolation with a self-generated mental conversation. Culture, family, social and general media, comparison, expectations, and friends’ pressure all convey positive and negative messages about our body.

The general idea of beauty -for men and women, peers, and family members can all influence a person’s body image. They can encourage us, from a young age, to believe that there is an ideal body and that the goal is to achieve it in order to be attractive to others and more successful.

This proposed image is often an unnatural one, far from healthy and totally focused on the comparison, a false sense of achievement, and a dangerous strive for ”perfection” instead of being grateful, real, and in fact learning to be the best versions of ourselves, not someone else.

Building a positive bond with self and body

As adults we have learned to develop concepts for almost everything and the physique does not escape our habit of defining what everything ”should” look and be like, our image and body being the ones with the hardest criticism on our behalf.

Our goal is for you to embrace all that you have, be realistic about yourself, sensibly change what you want, and live with the infinite gratitude of having a home for your soul, a physical temple that sustains your life, and a presence that allows you to walk this earth as the unique being that you are!

People with high self-esteem know themselves well. They’re realistic, find friends that like and appreciate them for who they are and have tools to build meaningful relationships based on human connection.

When our self-esteem is strong, we usually feel more in control of our lives and know our own strengths and weaknesses. This reality allows that we do things to look better, enhance or improve our appearance without conditioning our happiness when we reach a certain weight or drive a new car that for all to see.

Focusing on building self-confidence and a positive body image may help reduce obesity and achieve wider health goals.

Not motivated yet? How about if we tell you that you are more likely to attract a truly compatible partner with solid chances of developing a happy long-lasting relationship?

See you in love soon lioness, lion or any other cat you may want to be!

A RAINBOW GETAWAY

Are you ready to glow, swim, drink and dive?

After many, many months of confinement, being home-bound and getting a VERY precarious tan on the balcony we are finally getting past airport restrictions, travel bans, crowd gathering no-no´s, and vaccine decisions that have kept the world within its walls and borders, so how about we bring in the sunshine and give you a curated list of the best places to go… uhm, right now?

We have researched near and far to come up with an any-taste-included guide to the best gay-friendly destinations you can enjoy with your choice of fav people. It is time to take advantage of remote work, so pack your bags and enjoy a couple´s romantic getaway or an IG-worthy party vacay with your best friends.

We want to share with you this list of highly recommended Top 20 Beach destinations from the experts at the Travel Channel:

Sydney, Australia

Sydney has gay-friendly beaches that have become popular LGBT destinations:

  • North Bondi Beach
  • Bronte Beach

Secluded spots for nude sunbathers:

  • Tamarama Beach
  • Obelisk Beach
  • Lady Jane Beach

Water taxis are provided as transportation to Obelisk Beach, and during the summer, expect frequent visits from one of the famous Sydney Harbor Ice Cream Boats to help keep things cool.

Cancun, Mexico

Yucatan Peninsula is a hot beach destination for spring breakers, weddings, and Europeans who need some hot sauce in their lives, but it’s also the location of a popular gay beach: Playa Delfines.

The water is generally treacherous to swim in, but the white sand is perfect for sunning, and the view is incredible. This beach is also a great place to take surfing lessons.

Gay couples and singles enjoy Playa Delfines, and it now known unofficially as the gay spot in Cancun.

By the way, same-sex marriage is legal and officiated in Mexico.

Maui, Hawaii

It would not be fair if we didn’t have at least one Hawaiian beach on our list. Gay and lesbians converge on Little Beach in Makena State Park, located about 1 mile past the Maui Prince Hotel. To access this piece of open-minded paradise you have to be ready to fashion your bathing suit with boots because this beach is so secluded that you have to hike up and over a lava-flow trail to get to it! Ready to climb?

Fire Island, New York

Head to Fire Island’s Pines Beach if you’re ready for a fun party beach with gay-friendly shopping, hotels, vacation rentals, and vibrant nightlife. Nudity is allowed on the shore. The island plays host to several LGBT events, including the multicultural Fire Island Black Out in Cherry Grove.

Tel Aviv, Israel

Tel Aviv´s coast is famous for its pro-gay laws and never-ending beach line. Nearly 9 miles of blue sea, open horizon, sun, and lots of beautiful people make it the perfect beach destination. There are a few gay-friendly beaches:

  • Ga’ash nude beach, a popular spot outside the city
  • Hilton Beach if nude sunbathing isn’t your thing.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Known as the “Venice of America,” Fort Lauderdale is where the boys are. Sebastian Street Gay Beach, surrounded by gay resorts, is one of the most popular beach destinations for the LGBT plus community. Along with dozens of gay-friendly shops along the beach, the city also thrives with fun bars and restaurants, such as Hamburger Mary’s, a great place to start or end the night.

Vancouver, British Columbia

Vancouver has beaches that attract a LGBT crowd:

  • English Bay Beach, located on the city’s West End, close to the Davie Street Gay Village.
  • Sunset Beach
  • Wreck Beach, a little hike is required to reach this secluded spot, where nudity is permitted. Take the path marked Trail No. 7 to get there.
  • Gay and lesbian couples and singles converge on the area south of the North Arm Breakwater.

Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

World-famous eco-friendly Costa Rica has long been a vacation spot for outdoor enthusiasts, but it also has a popular gay beach,

  • Manuel Antonio’s Playita Beach. La Playita, aka Playa Dulce Vida, is a semiprivate beach, accessible by climbing over large rocks north of Playa Espadilla. Just don’t get trapped during high tide. And just so you know, there’s no nude sunbathing in Costa Rica. After having some fun in the sun, grab a drink at Bar Tutu or the Liquid Lounge.
  • There are gay-friendly vacation rentals and hotels available in the area.

Miami Beach, Florida

South Beach, or SoBe, conjures up images of sunny days at the beach, a continuous flow of sexy men and women, high-end shopping on Lincoln Road, fine dining on Ocean Drive, and nonstop nights of partying at popular gay bars and clubs.

  • Haulover Beach if you’re looking for a nude beach.
  • SoBe plays host to the world-renowned White Party in November and in March, the Winter Party, the biggest gay beach party in North America.

Brighton, East Sussex, England

Brighton is the UK’s gay capital. The town’s seafront has bars, restaurants, nightclubs and amusement arcades between the piers.

  • Brighton Beach has a nudist area, south of the easterly part of Kemptown, aka the “gay village.”
  • West Beach
  • Telscombe Cliffs
  • Duke’s Mound
  • Shoreham are a few hot beach spots.

Visit Brighton and enjoy the fabulous bohemian atmosphere of this beach town!

Cancún, México
Tel Aviv, Israel

Ibiza, Spain

¡Hola! straight or not so much, everyone knows about the small island of Ibiza’s reputation as a party haven, but it’s also known for its beaches, each with its own distinctive beauty.

  • Figueretes, the town beach, is for sunbathers who enjoy a low-key crowd and calm sea.
  • Es Cavallet, located on the southern side of the island, is the main gay beach, where nudity is welcomed.
  • Cala Conta for stunning sunset views.
  • Port Des Torrent is perfect for gay couples.
  • Ses Salinas is known for its diverse crowd and great beach bars.

Provincetown, MA

Provincetown, a gay and lesbian resort community at the tip of Cape Cod, ranks among the world’s great seaside vacation destinations. Along with hosting its annual Gay Pride celebration, P’town continues to improve with more upscale inns, fine art galleries, and superb restaurants. Peak season for the New England town is usually July through August. Stay in the town’s West End, go for a fun bike ride and go sunbathing on:

  • Herring Cove Beach
  • Race Point Beach.

Sitges, Spain

  • Playa de la Bassa Rodona is packed with gay men during the peak season.

This beach is located below the Picnic Restaurant and across from Hotel Calipolis.

  • Nude sunbathers looking for more privacy should head to Playa del Muerto or Playa de las Balmins.
  • Visit Barcelona’s Barcelonetta Beach if you’re looking for a quick day trip. Barcelona is only a 45-minute train ride away from Sitges.

Cape Town, South Africa

Most people know about Cape Town’s turbulent history, but few people know about Clifton, the small, affluent suburb located outside the city.

  • Clifton Third Beach has become the popular spot for gay sunbathers, primarily men. This paradise is a great spot to watch the sunset in the summer, but be mindful of the no-public drinking policy. It’s strictly monitored, so get your tan first and your drinks later.

San Diego, California

  • Black’s Beach is a popular beach hangout for gay travelers. This is one of the oldest nude beaches in the US. The expansive beach has room for everyone, and even the dolphins and seals make an appearance offshore. Just a word of caution: The climb from the beach back up the cliffs is a tough hike.

Mykonos, Greece

Mykonos has become the beach and party global hangout .

  • Elia Beach is probably one of the most gay-friendly stretches of sand in the Mediterranean. It’s a central station of the LGBT community from all over the world, basking in lounge chairs while sipping cocktails and gazing at the electric-blue waters.

Plan your trip ahead and mind that land transportation may be hard to come by and stop at relatively early hours.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

We know all about the popularity of Copacabana Beach, but Ipanema is what’s really hot!

  • Farme Gay Beach is a little to the east of Rua Farme de Amoedo. It’s the best place to make friends with the locals outside of the bar and club scene.

After the beach, head to the popular hangout Cafeína e Tô nem Aí for a beer or a snack.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Puerto Vallarta is already a hot spot for thousands of sunbathers, but the hot spot for the LGBT crowd is on the south end of Playa Los Muertos Beach.

Nice, France

Nice is now the second-most-visited city in France for gay tourists, after Paris, and with more than 35 gay outlets, we’re sure there’s something for everyone. In addition to the vibrant LGBT club scene, this beach town has several museums, high-end shops, and a famous flower market, and it plays host to the annual Pink Parade.

  • Coco Beach is the official gay beach
  • Castel Plage is gay-friendly

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Rehoboth is the quintessential beach town, with dozens of small shops, restaurants that serve up fresh seafood from the Chesapeake Bay, and a boardwalk with a few amusement thrills and arcades.

  • Poodle Beach is the gay section on Rehoboth Beach. It can get crowded here during the peak season with is an energetic social scene.
  • North Shores Beach is the lesbian spot.

After the beach, most gay men grab a few beers or cocktails at the Aqua Grill or Blue Moon, 2 of the town’s popular gay hangouts.

Cape Town, South Africa
Mikonos, Greece

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