UK Fashion Guru Gok Wan has opened up again about his battle with self image and confidence. Describing his condition, he explained that his parents had a restaurant and that all of them are foodies.
It was only at 21 stone, when he moved to London, he began to feel self conscious as everyone at drama school looked ‘different’ to him. He opened up about living for weeks on end on nothing but fruit and honey, and sometimes would take up to 50 laxatives a day just to keep his weight down.
He isn’t the only man to open up about eating disorders and body dysmorphia. Something that is surprisingly common in men.
Kit Harrington opened up about when he was training 4 times a day, 6 days a week to appear in the 2014 film Pompeii. He was overdoing it so much, a trainer physically told him, he was on the brink of dysmorphia, which leads onto eating disorders.
Elton John also suffered with an eating disorder, and would regularly confide in the late Princess Diana about his demons and his struggles with his image and appearance. Although not a fan of his music, I am a fan of his attitude and view on the world.
Russell Brand, another British star has opened up about his problems with food, and other vices. Saying at 14 he developed an eating disorder and was also self harming.
Hundreds of thousands of men the world over suffer in silence. The support isn’t there for them, and to admit to the problem is seen as being weak and weak minded. There is also the ‘ideal’ body type plastered all over the world, from David Beckham to Christiano Ronaldo. Even loan adverts always have a body most people would give their right arm for.
Then there are the women. Women can be cruel at times to men. We’re too fat, too thin, too short, too tall, don’t have the right nose, we don’t have perfect teeth. Men tend to try and attract women using their best assets. But quite often, that is not enough. So men push themselves further, work harder, some going to extraordinary lengths, simply to try to catch someones eye.
We would even go as far as to say it’s almost like a game for them. See who can push their potential suitor the furthest before he breaks.
Even kids shows, like Glee or High School Musical reinforce an unhealthy stereotype on guys. Yes, we all know they are trained dancers. And trained dancers tend to be slim, supple and have the energy of a 6 week old puppy that’s been given coffee. But something you seldom see is the normal body. No six pack, no bulging biceps. What your average person looks like. We aren’t talking the ‘dad bod’, we’re talking just average.
It’s time more support was in place for men, and it’s time that people started taking male eating disorders seriously, for eating disorders aren’t only for girls.