'Roid Rage: I have a good friend who happens to run a blog here on Tumblr called The Leading Blacks. He told me about a very interesting documentary released in the summer of 2008 called Bigger, Stronger, Faster which shined a spotlight on a man’s number-one best-kept secret: anabolic steroids. The reason why this documentary struck a nerve, and was brought up in the first place, was because of a recent weekend trip I took to G Lounge—a popular gay nightspot in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood.
A friend of mine and I entered the lounge which happened to be teeming with a majority of men who were, in my honest opinion, on anabolic steroids. I swore when I inhaled the air I would never have to exercise for an entire year. The men—both patrons and employees (bartenders, go-go boys)—had bodies of Herculean proportions and/or were cut even better than Michaelangelo’s David. I looked around and knew deep down inside that I wasn’t “in Kansas anymore”.
Men’s bodies on average, even in a cosmopolitan city like New York, don’t look as amazing as seventy-five percent of the men at G Lounge that night. I informed my friend that everyone was clearly on [anabolic] steroids. I mean, how else would everyone in that room achieve such Adonis-like proportions? But, he looked at me as if I possessed a third eyeball in the middle of my forehead. “You honestly really think so?” he replied. And that’s when I suddenly understood that steroids are the gay community’s “800lb gorilla”—and believe me, there were many well-developed gorillas in the room that night.
Take a trip to New York’s Fire Island Pines—a very popular beachside gay destination off the coast of Long Island. Go during the prime-time summer season and you’ll think you’ve accidentally stepped into a mass photo shoot for Men’s Health. I’ve gone many times and the men who inhabit this “gay-getaway” redefine a whole new meaning to the military term “shock and awe”. Look at the men in Hollywood, especially Twilight: The Movie’s Taylor Lautner, American Psycho’s Christian Bale, Prince of Persia’s Jake Gyllenhaal and the upcoming Captain America’s Chris Evans. Some of their roles demanded for them to get into “perfect-condition” in a very short period of time. Also, don’t forget about the male fitness models staring at you from the covers of Men’s Fitness, Muscular Development and Muscle & Fitness. If you don’t think anabolic steroids had anything to do their physiques or any other example I’ve provided in this paragraph then think again.
The documentary Bigger, Faster, Stronger answered many of my questions regarding steroid’s effect on American culture and its influence on the insecurities of male vanity. The film even changed my perspective about anabolic steroids: I would never consider using them, but I no longer consider them to be a drug—something the U.S. government would like for the American public to believe. But, the film paints an even bigger picture: [anabolic] steroids are just another extension of American society’s greed for instant gratification. Or you can rightfully agree with a YouTube commenter’s summarization of the film:
"People say this movie is about steroids. Well, I say it’s about that and much more: it goes much deeper. It analyzes our society, our people, how we see ourselves, what we expect from our children (to be number one), the lies of the mass media. It’s the truth. It’s a movie about showing some real facts, something VERY UNCOMMON.”
To view the entire movie via YouTube, click on part 1:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11