7 Badass Men Making It OK for Guys to Be Body Positive


It’s National Eating Disorder Awareness Week — and it’s time to invite more men into the conversation.

Not only are one in three people struggling with an eating disorder male, according to the National Eating Disorder Association. — disordered food behaviors (like binge eating, purging and fasting for weight loss) are just as common in men as they are in women.

But looking at the campaigns surrounding National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, you wouldn’t think this. Men with eating disorders are less likely to be represented in the media, and less likely to seek treatment as well. This leaves men with eating disorders (or men who struggle with body image, for that matter) largely invisible in both the eating disorder recovery and body positivity movement.

That’s why we wanted to highlight some amazing men who are either opening up about their experience with eating disorders, or bringing body positivity to groups who don’t often see it. While it’s important to note eating disorder recovery is not the same thing as body positivity — it does help normalize different body sizes, which can be helpful in eating disorder recovery.

Men, we see you. Here are some people who see you too:

1. Mina Gerges: Instagram Celebrity Impersonator

You might know Mina Gerges from the “diva images” he recreates on Instagram. From Beyonce to Kim Kardashian, he puts his own spin on iconic stars for his popular account. Last week, in a more serious turn, he opened up about his struggle with eating disorders and body dissatisfaction.

I’ve struggled with my weight and body image my whole life. I grew up surrounded by unrealistic pictures of men and women that convinced me that I have to look like that to be considered attractive and desirable. Especially as gay men, where unfortunately so many of us struggle with achieving that unrealistic standard to feel beautiful. Trying to achieve this made me develop an eating disorder when I was 20…  Now at 23, I’m finally confident and comfortable in my skin, and she’s glowing. The stretch marks and love handles I was bullied for are the very thing I feel empowered by now. I know I’ll never look like the dudes we see in billboards and fashion ads, and that’s okay because I’m still cute AF.

If you or someone you know has an eating disorder, call the National Eating Disorders Association helpline: 800-931-2237.

This is the scariest yet most empowering post I've ever made. I’ve struggled with my weight and body image my whole life. I grew up surrounded by unrealistic pictures of men and women that convinced me that I have to look like that to be considered attractive and desirable. Especially as gay men, where unfortunately so many of us struggle with achieving that unrealistic standard to feel beautiful. Trying to achieve this made me develop an eating disorder when I was 20 – I would starve myself, weight myself every morning, spend 3 hours at the gym and ran 10km every day, and hated myself if I ate something “unhealthy”, and still, never found happiness or satisfaction. Now at 23, I’m finally confident and comfortable in my skin, and she’s glowing ✨ The stretch marks and love handles I was bullied for are the very thing I feel empowered by now. I know I’ll never look like the dudes we see in billboards and fashion ads, and that’s okay because I’m still cute AF with my cute little belly and squishyness. Learning self love and being confident is such a beautiful thing, and I’m so lucky to be able to have this platform to share it with you guys. ❤️

A post shared by Mina (@itsminagerges) on

2. Ryan Sheldon: Binge Eating Disorder Advocate

Ryan Sheldon, who blogs at Confessions of a Binge Eater, writes and speaks about living with and recovering from binge eating disorder. He uses social media to let others with BED know there’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Recently I spent time looking through old photos when I was ‘normal weight’ and I felt a twinge of being triggered but said, ‘Ryan stop it, you’re perfect just the way you are.’ That’s me being mindful, not super easy but it’s something that I really try hard to do, almost like a muscle. The one thing I regret during that time was never appreciating my body. I look back and can see that I was ‘Normal weight’ but I never felt it in those times. I never felt worthy of my body. Now that I’m ‘brawn’ I love my body and am learning to embrace it.

Looking back on the past is something I've heard people say don't do. But I think the exact opposite. It's looking back on your past that allows you to see how far you've come. It can be scary for some but it can also bring you internal power. • ???????? Recently I spent time looking through old photos when I was "normal weight" and I felt a twinge of being triggered but said "Ryan stop it, you're perfect just the way you are". That's me being mindful, not super easy but it's something that I really try hard to do, almost like a muscle. • ???????? The one thing I regret during that time was never appreciating my body. I look back and can see that I was "Normal weight" but I never felt it in those times. I never felt worthy of my body. Now that I'm "brawn" I love my body and am learning to embrace it. • Would love to hear your thoughts! • My sizes for this look: Pants: 42 T-shirt: XXl Jacket: XXL This photo was not edited

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3. Ryan Sallans: Transgender Public Speaker

Ryan Sallans is a transgender public speaker, diversity trainer and author of the book, “Second Son.” This week, he posted about his journey with anorexia on Instagram.

20 years ago, at age 19, I nearly died in my dorm room due to anorexia. I was female-bodied at the time, scared and hopeless. Thankfully, my spirit told me it wasn’t my time to go, and I decided to dedicate myself to recovery. Now, as a transgender man, it is important to be visible and speak up about eating disorders so that other folks in the #lgbtq community know that they are not alone and recovery is possible.

4. Connor Kianpour: Eating Disorder Recovery Advocate

Connor Kianpour posts about eating disorder recovery, fat acceptance and body positivity. He gets real about body insecurities, and also spreads plenty on positivity.

It’s National Eating Disorder Awareness week! Smiling in pictures hasn’t really been my thing as of recent, but I can’t help but have this big grin on my face because I’m so hopeful. For a future where healthcare companies cover treatment for eating disorders, where people who struggle with food are able to confide in their loved ones about the diseases that are wrecking their lives, where we all can be free in the truest sense of the word. And where, above all, we all can at least have a shot at loving ourselves. That’s hard for us with ED. But I have hope.

5. Kelvin Davis: Body Positive Author and Model

Kelvin Davis body positive gentleman who models, blogs and dances. He’s author of the book, “Notoriously Dapper,” and tries to make style accessible for men at any size.

Style. Has. No. Size.

Style ???????? Has ???????? No ???????? Size ???????? #facts #beyoubeconfident

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6. Stevie Blaine: Self-Described “Baby Faced Body Positive Warrior”

Stevie Blaine is a U.K.-based male body positive activist and Youtuber who talks about media representation and other issues in the LGBTQ community. He’s also open about living with surgical scars and living with extra skin.

I can’t begin to tell you how proud I am to see brands diversifying their models, to see campaigns focused on body types other than what we already see 99.9% of the time. Although we aren’t there yet, and although we have so much work to do. We are making progress – but it doesn’t feel that way for male representation
•why aren’t there fat men walking the runway?
•when will we see trans men modelling on our tv ads?
•when will men with impairments be shown on a billboard?
•what is wrong with displaying all body types – after all, the people who use these products and buy your clothes don’t all look like the 1% you show in your ads
So I’m asking all brands, all campaigns and fashion designers to diversity. To embrace all body types. To break the narrative and show the true beauty of diversity!

I can’t begin to tell you how proud I am to see brands diversifying their models, to see campaigns focused on body types other than what we already see 99.9% of the time. Although we aren’t there yet, and although we have so much work to do. We are making progress – but it doesn’t feel that way for male representation ???? •why aren’t there fat men walking the runway? •when will we see trans men modelling on our tv ads? •when will men with impairments be shown on a billboard? •what is wrong with displaying all body types – after all, the people who use these products and buy your clothes don’t all look like the 1% you show in your ads ???? So I’m asking all brands, all campaigns and fashion designers to diversity. To embrace all body types. To break the narrative and show the true beauty of diversity! #bopo #bodypositive #bodypositivity #bodyposi #bropo #malebodypositivity #malefashion #malemodel #diversity #brawn #plussizefashion #plussizemalemodel #bopowarrior #bopobabe #bopotribe #beunapologeticallyyou #embracethesquish #allbodiesaregoodbodies #lgbtqia #bodyconfidence #gay #gayuk #positivevibes

A post shared by Stevie (@bopo.boy) on

7. Zach Miko: First Brawn Model With IMG Models

Zach Miko is an actor and male model who hosts the podcast, “Big Things with Zach Miko.” He was the first “brawn” model to be signed with IMG Models, an international modeling agency, and has modeled for Target, Esquire, Cosmopolitan and more.

Sweaty, hot, and cooling off on a brisk NYC day. Got my butt kicked in a cycling class today but I finished and I think I rocked it. You can do it. No matter your size.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, you can call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237.

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