Jack Yeo, 23, Cardiff, maths student
I had depression for a long time and that physically had a big effect on my body and I gained a lot of weight. I’m trying to lose weight for my health and I was bored of waiting for that to happen so I could feel good about myself again, so I thought this would help with that.
Weight: 17 stone
Diet: For my Masters year I’ve moved back into catered halls so they do all my meals for me. It’s good stuff, but it does tend to get a bit repetitive. They’ll have burger and chips and stuff, but they’ll also have noodle soups, stir frys and healthier meals.
Guilty Pleasures: I didn’t realise it really until friends pointed it out to me but apparently I’m always drinking Lucozade. I don’t have the best sleeping pattern so that helps with getting through a long day of studying.
Ideal man: I guess I have quite a varied taste when it comes to men. My boyfriend and I have a ‘guilt-free three’ that we’re allowed at any time. Mine are Harry Judd, Neil Patrick Harris and Ben Cohen.
Manscaping: Nope. I mean I keep the obvious areas in check, and my face and stuff like that. But by-in-large, I don’t really need to, or feel the need to at least. Who has the time?
Top Body Product: The only thing I’ll routinely get is Head and Shoulders. Dandruff can sometimes be an issue and I mean it does what it says on the tin, so yeah, Head and Shoulders would be my top buy – it delivers.
Clothes: I like to go for the t-shirt with open shirt over it look. I don’t really feel like I need to dress a certain way for my body when I’m buying clothes, you know? A lot of t-shirts and shirts scale up the design to different sizes but they won’t actually think how that will look on a real person. So, the small size will kind of hang perfectly, but for the larger sizes they’ll just make it bigger without re-shaping the fit, so it can be a bit frustrating.
Do you think that gay men are shallower than their straight counterparts?
It pains me to say it but it’s definitely an issue. It’s a great community and since going to university I’ve really found my place among it, but I do think if you’re not a confident person or you don’t have the skinny/six pack look, it’ll only take one night out to completely destroy your confidence. Even if you’re just looking to talk to someone in a purely platonic manner, they can sometimes just act like you’re invisible. I’ve been there, it sucks. But if someone wants to treat you like that it reflects badly on them and not on you. I’m a lot more confident than I have been in the past so I enjoy going out on the scene a lot more now.
Do you think that magazines like Attitude have helped shape that body ideal that so many gay men aspire to?
I think Attitude has definitely made progress to move away from this agenda of promoting the perfect male body, but yeah, if you line up all the cover photos it’s very much a type.
Do you think apps like Grindr and Tinder are also responsible for our emphasis on physical appearance?
I have used them before, well Grindr anyway when I was younger. But it wasn’t really for me. I think Grindr is very image-conscious. I mean the conversation will only arise from the physical attraction first. And that’s fine I guess, if that’s what you want. It is what it is, I suppose.
Have you ever posted a shirtless photo on Instagram?
I don’t have Instagram but I wouldn’t take those kinds of photos anyway. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll post a selfie on Facebook, but it wouldn’t be of me without my shirt on or whatever. I’m definitely more confident now.