This Morning’s Dr Ranj has opened up about his body insecurities, saying that the pressure exerted on men to achieve incredible bodies is ’10 times’ greater in the gay community.
The TV doctor admitted that his own body issues have often left him on the “verge of tears” as he stripped off as part of f Loose Women’s Body Stories campaign celebrating male body image.
The project has seen Ranj join Coronation Street star Shayne Ward, boxing legend Frank Bruno, Strictly Come Dancing judge Bruno Tonioli, TV’s Judge Rinder and former footballer David Ginola and Robbie Savage to strip off for an open and honest shoot with renowned fashion photographer Rankin.
Discussing his own body issues, Rank told HuffPost: “I’m not the most body confident person and I’m the last person who’s going to take their top off on holiday. I hate going swimming because it means I have to take my top off.
“People assume that doctors are all fine. If you’re a doctor on telly, you must be amazing. You must be so cool with every aspect of your life and the truth is so far from that. I have really down days where I really doubt myself.
“I have days where I scroll through my social media, seeing all these images of the perfect body and being on the verge of tears because I don’t, I’m never going to look like that and I feel bad.”
Ranj, who admits that at one point he was so unhappy with his body that he considered undergoing liposuction, says the pressure faced by gay men surrounding body image is even greater than for straight men.
“Imagine the pressures you feel and see in general society and magnify it by 10. That is the absolute horrible reality of it,” he said.
“It’s so sad that gay men ask for understanding and tolerance, but at the same time are so intolerant in so many ways – that stems to racism within the gay community, body fascism within the gay community and judgement and all that kind of stuff.
“What we need to be doing is celebrating individuality. That’s what we need to be doing. It’s all about diversity and let’s celebrate that. Nobody wants to be the same.”
Loose Women airs weekdays at 12.30pm on ITV.