I’ve not been officially diagnosed, but I do think that I had a mild form of body dysmorphia when I was modelling.
Fashion can be a judgemental space – I was once standing shirtless with a bunch of other buff models when the creative director pointed at me and said, “Get that guy a shirt.”
For the sake of my mental health, I realised I had to stop caring about whether I met those “standards” and whether or not my body was “acceptable”. It can be healthy to care about your physical appearance to some extent – you might feel motivated to pick up a new fitness regime or indulge in some selfcare – but it’s not healthy if you’re obsessing over your food and exercise.
To deal with this unhealthy obsession, I started writing and learning about acting, and tried to improve my inner self rather than my outer shell. After all, being overly concerned with your looks is a sign of low confidence. By getting better at other things, I began to have a more realistic view of myself, where maintaining rock hard abs wasn’t the norm. Now that I’m a 40something with a definite Dad-bod, I’ve never been happier.