zayn malik gets serious about the pain of being in the world's biggest boy band

The musician discusses his darker One Direction days.

by Isabelle Hellyer
03 November 2016, 3:07pm

In an excerpt from his eponymous upcoming book, Zayn Malik has revealed he was suffering from an eating disorder toward the end of his tenure in One Direction. The signer explains how the pressures of being in such a famous act took an incredible toll on his mental health, and describes the moment he realized something was wrong. "When I look back at images of myself from around November 2014, before the final tour, I can see how ill I was," he writes. He left the band four months later, in March 2015.

"Something I've never talked about in public before, but which I have come to terms with since leaving the band, is that I was suffering from an eating disorder," Zayn admits. "It wasn't as though I had any concerns about my weight or anything like that, I'd just go for days — sometimes two or three days straight — without eating anything at all. It got quite serious, although at the time I didn't recognize it for what it was."

"I think it was about control," Zayn continues. "I didn't feel like I had control over anything else in my life, but food was something I could control, so I did." When we think of celebrities' lives we tend to focus on the luxuries, rarely pausing to consider the toll that grueling pace can take on their bodies and minds. Zayn's admission is a reminder that the attention of millions weighs very heavily on a single person.

"The workload and the pace of life on the road put together with the pressures and strains of everything going on within the band had badly affected my eating habits," he concludes.

The singer has spoken very openly about his struggles with mental illness in the past, postponing a number of shows because of anxiety attacks. By-and-large, Zayn's honesty has been met with great empathy from his enormous fanbase. Hopefully, this new admission will treated with the same respect.


Text Isabelle Hellyer
Photography via Instagram

mental health
One Direction
music news
Zayn Malik