Zayn Malik has showed us once again why we admire him so much. The ex-1D bandmate has bared his soul in a new interview where he talks about his previous eating disorder, mental health struggles and how the double standards around men being able to be vulnerable are so wrong.
Chatting to The Sunday Times Style magazine, Zayn says society doesn't expect men to be candid about their emotional problems, which is strange seeing as he got a lot of praise for being honest about his crippling anxiety in the past. "People saw strength in that, and they didn’t seem to expect it from a guy, but they expect it from a female, which to me is crazy," Zayn explained.
"We’re all human. People are often afraid to admit difficulties, but I don’t believe that there should be a struggle with anything that’s the truth," Zayn continued, "If you were a guy, you used to have to be really masculine, but now expressing emotion is accepted and respected."
Zayn also touched on his dark times in One Direction that led to him developing unhealthy eating habits and eventually an eating disorder, saying it was the only area in his life he could control. "Every area of my life was so regimented and controlled, it was the one area where I could say, 'No, I'm not eating that,' he revealed.
This isn't the first time Zayn has spoken about his eating disorder, he first opened up about the sad news in his autobiography, saying:
"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 … 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 recognise it for what it was."
Zayn has come through the other side since leaving the band and found a successful solo career and supportive girlfriend in Gigi Hadid. His honesty is SO important in a world where men showing their vulnerable side is frowned on. Thank you Z!
If you or a friend is struggling with similar feelings, there is help at hand. You can speak confidentially to a trained counsellor 24 hours a day at headspace.org.au or Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800.
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