Troye Sivan Rush video

Troye Sivan only used skinny bodies in the Rush video and I’ve had a bellyful

I guess he just forgot gay men bigger than a size small also enjoy sex and partying

Like every other terminally online gay man in his 20s, the last nine weeks of my life have been barraged by the unrelenting marketing promotional campaign for Rush, the new era lead single from Troye Sivan – YouTuber turned pretty great pop twink at large. I’ve been varying levels of fan for Troye since he started his music career. I mildly enjoyed his pastel boy shrew Blue Neighbourhood era. I much more enjoyed the era of bottoming anthems like Bloom and the chicly underrated My My My and The Good Side. Following his smash collab with Charli XCX on 1999 and after an outstanding 2020 EP, his best work by a mile, I wa a bonafide, card carrying stan. Rush, teased aggressively on TikTok and with sexy posters in major cities, sounded like his best single potentially ever and debuted yesterday to critical acclaim. It’s a banger – an instant contender for song of the year and I absolutely love it. What I love a little less about Rush by Troye Sivan the music video – a beautifully shot ode to queer hedonism that falls short on one major thing: Every man in it is stick thin or shredded with muscle.

Dysmorphia is dysmorphing

I guess some context is needed, body wise. Like most people in some way or another, me and my body have been on a fucking rollercoaster of a journey together. I’m a broadly built lad, and my weight has gone from barely fitting in XXL tops to a large feeling too baggy. For most of my adult life, we’re talking from 19 until 24 years old and I’m 27 now, I couldn’t stand my body. I moved in gay spaces and nightlife feeling like a ghost and like I didn’t belong. After a life shakeup and a fitness journey, I now go the gym four days a week at least, walk fucking everywhere and eat healthy. I still have a stomach that moves about. I still have a chest that I feel self conscious of in a tight t-shirt. I still have a difficult relationship with food to try and make myself feel more confident on nights out and amongst gay men slimmer than me – I won’t eat past lunch time if I’m going on a night out. But overall, I mostly love my body – as do the men in my romantic life. I go to sweaty, hedonistic gay nights like people both slimmer and bigger than me. So why didn’t the Troye Sivan Rush video represent that?

I don’t know if I think that Troye and his team’s choice to feature exclusively thin and muscled up men was intentional or not, or perhaps just an oversight. I’d like to think it innocently didn’t cross their mind that anything from a fat person to someone with a flat yet untoned medium build might want to see themselves represented in a video that emulates such queer euphoria. But I just can’t help but think that Troye Sivan, an extremely online, intelligent, thoughtful and compassionate creative with his finger on the pulse, wouldn’t overlook something like that. It’s not hard to see conversations for body diversity in literally all forms of media. I don’t want to come across as woe as me or a moaner or even someone gagging for discourse for the sake of discourse, but I think if you’ve never felt self conscious about not feeling sexy in spaces like the party shown in the Rush video you don’t know how it can feel to be there.

I’ve been at gay clubs and events where it’s dripping with sweat and most have taken their top off, but I’d never dare to take it off myself. It’s not stopped other bigger lads around me, but it’s just something I know I struggle to be comfortable with. That’s on me. But watching the Rush video and seeing Troye Sivan with men who only look like him just makes you feel like… God, I’d knock them sick if I was joining in.

I was disheartened to see people on Twitter yesterday say the likes of “What were people expecting, a Sam Smith video” in response to several people feeling the same way I did. I think it’s pretty bleak to suggest the only people we should look to for diverse and realistic bodies in clubby videos is from someone with a bigger body. Of course, it feels like the conversation from people who have never related to how I feel about this is scorn and being shrugged off. And no, I wasn’t completely expecting twink of the decade Troye Sivan to be a pariah for body diversity and I didn’t expect the Rush video to fix every toxic thing about bodies in the gay community. But if we don’t voice frustration and disappointment for a major release, when do we?

I don’t want this to be a CANCEL TROYE SIVAN, FATPHOBIC VILLAIN tirade – that’s genuinely not what I’m going for here. But is it too much to ask to get to enjoy what is arguably the song of the summer without being left with feelings that you’re not quite good or sexy enough to play with the cool kids?


Watch the music video for Rush by Troye Sivan here

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