Over the last year, there have been great strides forward in the body positivity movement, especially in Hollywood. Scores of female celebrities have come out in support of body and size acceptance, from Lena Dunham to Kim Kardashian. But this isn't a gender-specific movement, and male celebrities can be body positive too — even if there are fewer of them talking about these issues in public.
There's been discussion surrounding the fact that men are underrepresented in the body positivity movement overall, and, IMO, that lack of gender inclusivity needs to change if this movement is going to make lasting changes. At the end of the day, inclusivity is what body positivity is all about. As with anyone in the public eye, the bodies of male celebs are put under scrutiny, and I have no doubt that such pressure to conform to conventional male standards of beauty must be totally invasive. Just look at all of the talk about Justin Bieber's junk after nude photos of him were passed around by the media.
So here are nine male celebs who have made statements that are body positive, showing the world that body positivity and size acceptance are for everyone.
1. Kit Harrington
In an interview with E! on the Emmys red carpet in 2014, Kit Harrington of Game Of Thrones admitted that he has "an addiction to skinny dipping. Maybe I'm a nudist at heart." Anyone who's comfortable with strolling around in the nude is definitely accepting of their body.
Remember Dancing Man? Back in March 2015, Dancing Man was body shamed and bullied mercilessly online and in person for dancing at a party. A good Samaritan wanted to find Dancing Man and help him find redemption, starting her own viral campaign to throw Dancing Man the best party ever. One of the celebrities to come out in support of Dancing Man was Pharrell Williams.
It's a good reminder to never be ashamed of yourself or your dancing, regardless of your size.
3. Channing Tatum
Channing Tatum starred in the definitively, but somewhat against the odds, body positive movie Magic Mike XXL , and he was quick to admit in an interview with Reuters during the movie's premiere that his super-ripped abs were totally temporary: "My Magic Mike body... lasts for about five days, like when we're shooting. You time it until that day and then you lose it immediately." Even Tatum can admit that his typically "ideal" body isn't realistic, which is a refreshing admission from a celebrity.
4. Grant Gustin
Grant Gustin plays The Flash, and The Flash's alter-ego Barry Allen, on the CW's The Flash. Though the show is critically acclaimed, in no small part because of Gustin's performance I'm sure, the actor has he received flak for not having the "right" body type for a superhero. This October, he took to Twitter to respond to those criticisms to in the most body positive way:
Gustin might just play a superhero on TV, but he's a champion for body positivity in real life.
5. Sam Smith
While accepting his award for best pop vocal album at the Grammys in 2015, Sam Smith made it clear in his acceptance speech that it wasn't until he starting loving himself and his body that he was able to make great music.
"Before I made this record, I was doing everything to try and get my music heard," he said. "I tried to lose weight, and I was making awful music. It was only until I started to be myself that the music started to flow and people started to listen." If that's not a good reason to start being body positive, I don't know what is.
6. Chris Pratt
Chris Pratt's weight loss and subsequent bulking up for his role in Guardians Of The Galaxy was heavily scrutinized — and praised — in the media. As reported by Moviepilot, however, he revealed in a press conference for the film that he suffered from his own body image issues:
"I’m sure I can’t relate to what females go through in Hollywood. I’m sure I can’t. But, I do know what it feels like to eat emotionally, and… to be be sad and make yourself happy with food. And then to be almost immediately sad again and now ashamed and then to try to hide those feelings with more food. I know what that’s like. It’s a vicious cycle and it’s a very real thing."
Emotional eating isn't just a "woman's" thing, and Pratt's admission of his own experiences is a huge step forward in inclusive discussions about size and weight.
7. Robert Pattinson
Despite being regularly included in lists of the world's sexiest men, Robert Pattinson has struggled with anxiety about his looks. He told Australia's Sunday Style that he suffered from "body dysmorphia, overall tremendous anxiety... I don’t have a sixpack and I hate going to the gym. I’ve been like that my whole life. I never want to take my shirt off." Knowing that he had to combat this fear and anxiety somehow makes Pattinson's shirtless appearances more meaningful.
8. Vin Diesel
After newspapers started circulating paparazzi images of a shirtless Vin Diesel with headlines shaming him for "showing his softer side," Diesel showed that he was above the drama with a simple Facebook post:
No hate, just love from the action star — including love for his body.
This list of body positive celebrities wouldn't be complete without Drake, a champion for "thick" women everywhere. His video for "Hotline Bling" is just one example of his support for body positivity, featuring a racially diverse group of plus size women.
If the body positive movement is going to be sustainable, I believe we need more male celebrities — and men in general — to show their support. So kudos to these nine gentlemen for making it known that being accepting is cool.