Synopsis by Mark Deming
Looks may be only skin deep, but they're also where many people start to develop their attitudes towards one another, and this is as true in the gay community as anywhere else, perhaps even more so. In a time when issues of body image are discussed more than ever, it's no surprise this is also of importance to gay men. The bronzed and buff man with rippling muscles and a chiseled six-pack has seemingly become the ultimate figure of beauty in the gay media, and many men struggle to achieve the perfect body in a bid to feel wanted and accepted. Filmmaker Christopher Hines, who explored issues of masculinity and self-image among gay men in the documentary The Butch Factor, turns his camera on men's bodies and how they feel about them in The Adonis Factor. Hines's interview subjects include hunky men who are proud of their looks, others who struggle with workouts to achieve an appearance that's not natural to them, men who feel the obsession with looks is superficial but are still locked into trying to develop the ideal body, and gay men who know they'll never be body builders and feel like outcasts as a consequence. The Adonis Factor was an official selection at the 2010 San Francisco International LBGT Film Festival.
community, discrimination, gay-studies