years & years' olly alexander speaks out about body image issues
In a Facebook live event, the singer shared that he struggled with body image and eating issues from a young age.
Years & Years' lead singer Olly Alexander has spoken out publicly about his body image issues, which he says he has struggled with for more than a decade. Olly said that difficulties with his appearance stemmed from a gymnastics class at age ten: "It was the first time I was starting to have an awareness of my body and strength and [I thought], 'Older boys, they're really muscly and they could do things that I couldn't do.'"
The 25-year-old singer went on to state how he was stuck between "being really, really, really skinny and hating it -- because I wanted to be muscly like other boys" and at the same time, "didn't want to put on weight because that was bad as well." This led to Alexander skipping meals, obsessing over what he ate, and hating his appearance in the mirror.
Despite dealing with these struggles for ten years, the singer shared that due to "a good support network" and "years of therapy" his relationship with his body and food has improved. Alexander speaking out about his difficulties opens up an important dialogue about male body issues and eating disorders, which aren't discussed enough, considering studies have shown that 31% of British men aren't happy with their body image, and 10 million men in the US will suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life.
This isn't the first time Olly Alexander has spoken out about important issues that have affected him personally. The openly gay pop star recently spoke to Owen Jones about his battle with anxiety and depression, describing the struggle of growing up gay "in a straight world." He also released a statement with recent video "Desire" about the importance of celebrating queer bodies, identity and sexuality.
Text Lula Ososki
Photography via WikiCommons