Ed Sheeran, the UK breakout star, reveals he suffered from body image issues when he became famous because he couldn’t stop comparing himself to Justin Bieber and the the boy banders in One Direction. “I should look like that,” he told himself.
Sheeran’s remarks show body image is not just a female problem.
The 26-year-old singer said he used to have “zero insecurities” about his appearance. But felt pressure to slim down after comparing himself to Bieber and One Directioners Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik.
“I was like, ‘They’re so photogenic and they’ve got six packs… and I should look like that,” he lamented.
But he later reasoned, “should I actually care if I’m fat or not? No-one’s bought my records based on me looking a certain way.”
Before, he said, “I didn’t care. I’d have a beer belly, ginger hair, wouldn’t wash and wear scraggly clothes.
“But as soon as you become in the public eye and people start picking holes in you, you start thinking things are bad for you. Like, ‘Am I fat?'”
For a time, he confessed, he even tried fad diets to lose weight.
“I was doing no carbohydrates and just drinking vodka and slim tonic,” he told musician George Ezra on his new podcast.
But Ed drew the line at some extreme ways of losing weight.
“I was hanging out with a model ages ago, and she used to dip cotton wool balls in diet Pepsi and that would be her meal for the day. That’s a bad diet tip.”
Today, Sheeran said he keeps his weight in check with a more sustainable routine.
“Eat what you want and exercise every day,” he said.
Body image refers to how people see themselves, according to experts.
Distorted body image–also called negative body image–refers to an unrealistic view of how someone sees their body. Like eating disorders, it is seen most commonly in women, but many men also suffer from the disorder.
Treatment is a critical step to recovery. But the first step is recognizing and acknowledging your feelings and accompanying body sensations.
It will help become more comfortable in your body and lessens the tendency to suppress feelings and revert to unhealthy, negative inner diatribes to escape uncomfortable feelings.