David, 28, singer
Do you stick to a regimented diet at all and has this always been the case?
I lost a lot of weight through a group a few years back, and was even named their “Man of the Year” two years running. It wasn’t so much a diet as a way of just keeping tabs on what you were putting in your mouth.
What made you want to do this shoot?
A colleague pointed out that I’d piled on the pounds and it could have gone one of two ways: I could have felt very sorry for myself and headed to the nearest weight-loss class (or tub of Ben and Jerry’s) or I could embrace the body that I have at this moment in time. I decided to do the latter.
Has social media had an impact on the way you feel about your body?
It can be disheartening when all you see is half-naked hunks and sidebar of shame-esq stories of how ‘grotesquely overweight’ some poor soul half your size is, but you have to detach yourself from that. It’s all just stuff and nonsense.
Are you happy with how you look and would you change anything about your appearance?
The devil and the grave are never satisfied, and neither are we! Of course I’d love to be a muscled Adonis with a face fit for billboards, but then I wouldn’t be the person I am today.
Do you think apps such as Grindr and Tinder are also responsible for the emphasis on physical appearance?
Absolutely! The sheer nature of those apps means that people are judging the proverbial book by its cover before they’ve even had a chance to read the first page! People tend to focus on what they don’t want rather than what they do, and more often than not it’s referring to physical appearance. Things like “no fatties” or “slim and smooth only,” are common place, and it’s quite sad.
Have you ever posted a shirtless selfie on social media?
I have, and it was quite liberating at the time, but it’s not something that I would do too often.
What advice would you give to people about loving their body?
I think it’s important to just embrace whatever state your body is in at this moment in time. I have been super slim, and I still had the same amount of insecurity as I did when I was bigger. No matter what shape your body is in, there will be things you want to change. If you’re not happy with your body, do something about it, but don’t beat yourself up about having to be “perfect”.
If you’d like to take part in our Real Bodies series and are available for a photoshoot in London email firstname.lastname@example.org.