By now you’ve probably heard that Cory Monteith (Finn on Glee) died on Saturday. He was 31 years old.
There are many tragic aspects to this death. He was very young, insanely talented, and open about his struggles with addiction. He shared his story of not only the highs but the lows, and was not ashamed to go back to rehab when he needed help. Now his family, his loved ones, his friends, and his legions of fans are left grieving. It is truly a sad day for all of my fellow Gleeks.
Normally I don’t like to write about current events/tragedies because they rarely have to do with myself, or my blog. But I did want to take a moment and share a story about a certain episode of Glee involving Finn and body image. Glee did a great Rocky Horror Picture Show episode and Finn was cast as Brad Majors (of course, Rachel was his fiancé Janet).
If you are familiar with Rocky Horror, you’ll know that there is a scene where Brad gets stripped to his underwear. This was a big deal for Finn; Santana always taunted him for his weight and called him chubby and fat. Neither of these are true, but he wasn’t chiseled like Sam or Puck or even Mr. Schuester.
There is an awesome scene between Sam and Finn in the locker room where they talk about their bodies and body image. Sam admits that he works out a lot to keep his extremely toned body because he feels like he has to. Finn decides that he’s not going to starve himself or start working out for hours everyday; he’s just going to take off his shirt and not worry about it.
I loved this episode for two reasons. 1- Cute boys without shirts! 2- The way Glee addressed male body image issues. Women talk about our body image issues all the time. There are blogs and posts and magazine articles and conferences dedicated to it. But we don’t hear nearly as much about male body image issues. And believe me my friends, they are there. Sure guys are better about focusing on the positive with their bodies, but there are many guys that struggle with taking their shirt off at the pool, or wearing certain styles of clothing.
I really loved Finn’s approach to talking about his issues with his peers, and his way of dealing with Santana’s taunts. He was so honest about the things that bugged him, and that he compared himself to other guys.
There are a million reasons to love the character of Finn Hudson, but there are even more reasons to love Cory Monteith. My heart is truly broken over the loss of a great talent. May his family and loved ones find solace in the outpouring of support from his many fans.