Actor, model and Canada’s Drag Race judge Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman has opened up about overcoming body dysmorphia and being able to now celebrate and love himself as he is.
The 35-year-old took to Instagram to describe the pain and anguish of spending years believing he was fat:
“I didn’t just think it, it was one of the few things in life I knew to be absolutely true,” he said sharing photos of himself from ten years earlier, when he was experiencing the dysmorphia.
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“I was 25 year old living in NYC, on the rooftop of my agency Next Models, I stripped down to my underwear while an assistant took digitals to send to different clients & agencies all over the world, selling my body, selling me,” Jeffrey writes.
“I dreaded this mandatory bi-monthly ritual & would starve myself for days leading up & feverishly performed pushups before we began shooting using up whatever strength I had left after days of self depravation.”
He explains that his journey with disordered eating started even before his modelling days, when he was 15 years old.
“Now at 25 years old, with therapy, support from friends & organisations like Project Heal and Why We Rise, I’ve mostly healed the deep wounds of self loathing & dysmorphia & have learned to love all of myself.”
Jeffrey says that he’s opening up now because he hopes that “more young men who suffer in silence will find the courage within themselves to address & heal their own wounds.”
Referring to the photos he posted, Jeffrey says: “how crazy I was to see anything other than a blessed and radiant young man who is worth so much more than how many abs or ribs I could count on my torso.”
He describes putting on weight and exercising much less during the pandemic but can now see beyond his own body:
“I can look at my naked body in the mirror, see the dimples of cellulite collecting on my thighs, a belly that didn’t use to be there and cheeks fuller than they’ve ever been and still truly love myself. All of me,” he says.
“I Celebrate Myself. And if I can leave you all with one thing it’s this….Celebrate Yourself. & Love Each Other.”