Financial adviser, 26, shares unedited snaps of his ‘man boobs’ and belly rolls on Instagram – and says men need body positive role models too
- Stevie Grice-Hart, from Southampton, Hampshire, shares ‘warts and all’ photos
- Blogger, 26, changed view of dieting when he stumbled upon plus-size model
- Now he shares snaps of his body to inspire men to embrace body positivity
- Stevie has helped men of all ages – from 11 year olds to grown men in their 60s
A financial adviser who moonlights as a blogger shares candid photos of his fluctuating weight on Instagram in an effort to become a body positive role model for men.
Stevie Grice-Hart, 26, from Southampton, Hampshire, says he hopes that his ‘warts and all’ pictures of his ‘man boobs’ and belly rolls will help people realise it’s not just women who have body hang ups.
The financial advisor, who yo-yos between a size medium and an XXL, initially turned to Instagram for fitness inspiration – but instead stumbled upon a female plus-size model who inspired him with her honest approach.
He decided that instead of dedicating himself to going to the gym and dieting that he should emulate her, documenting the reality of his weight ups and downs.
Stevie told how he saw nobody on TV that represented him – only ‘ripped’ men – and said he wants to reflect changing society.
‘We have plus size Barbie – now it’s time for a plus-size Ken,’ he said.
Stevie Grice-Hart, from Southampton, Hampshire, is sharing ‘warts and all’ pictures such as this one on Instagram in a bid to help men become more body positive
The financial advisor, who yo-yos between a size medium and an XXL, became obsessed with going to the gym and dieting, but after going from 18-and-a-half stone to 10 stone he was left with excess skin and stretch marks
Stevie, 26, turned to Instagram for fitness inspiration but instead stumbled upon a plus-size model who changed the way he looks at himself. Now, he eats what he wants instead of having meal replacement shakes or taking weight loss tablets
With the support of his store manager husband, Sam, the 26 year old is sharing his experiences and talking openly about his toxic relationship with food and body image online.
He said: ‘I’ve grown up always being a larger kid and feeling like no one else looked like me.
‘I looked for validation on TV and tried to find people who represented me, but there was no one, which made me feel even worse.
‘All I saw was ripped men and, after that, I spent the majority of my life dieting and exercising.
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‘After years and years, I did lose a lot of weight between the ages of 22 and 24. I forced myself to go the gym every day – obsessed that if I didn’t, I’d become obese overnight.
‘I had three meal replacement shakes instead of actual meals, even ordering and gorging on weight loss tablets.
‘I thought by doing that, I’d be popular and successful, but neither of those things happened, I just went from 18-and-a-half stone to 10 stone and was left with excess skin and stretch marks.’
Growing up, Stevie was a larger child (left) and turned to TV and movies for validation but instead found only incredibly ripped men
Now, with the support of his store manager husband Sam, he’s sharing his story to help men of all ages with body confidence
So far, Stevie has received messages from boys as young as 11 and grown men in their 60s saying he helped them. He is hoping to spread the message and body dysmorphia in men needs to be taken more seriously
After stumbling upon the Instagram account of a plus-size model, the way he viewed himself changed altogether.
Stevie added: ‘By chance, I found a girl who was about a size 16. She was in a bikini and had belly rolls and a huge smile.
‘I realised I should be like her and start living my life. I decided to do the same and post a video of myself in my underwear, discussing men’s body image; although it was scary since it’s something that no-one really does. It was really liberating.’
Since making his body positive films, Stevie has attracted plenty of attention from other Instagram users, who agree that men’s body dysmorphia – a mental health condition, where someone obsesses about flaws in their appearance – needs to be taken more seriously.
He has also been delighted by the variety of men he has inspired – ranging from gay males like himself to happily married hetrosexual fathers.
Stevie said: ‘I like to think that I’m helping to start something new for men and their body confidence. It’s usually hidden for us. I want to create a space for men to talk openly about it.
‘The most humbling thing from my page has been hearing young boys aged just 11 and grown men in their 60s say I helped them to improve their body confidence.
Stevie and Sam are currently in the process of adopting a child – and has vowed to help their child, no matter their gender, embrace their body
Stevie said: ‘The problem with modern TV is that it doesn’t represent how people really look. Young boys are exposed to this even more than I was in the 90s – it’s worrying’
‘Even super masculine, bearded, tattooed men who look like truck drivers thanked me for what I do!’
While he has received positive feedback for his bold posts, Stevie has also attracted vicious comments from people who disagree with his message.
He explained: ‘Some people say I should change the way I look and stop being lazy, but they are clearly so deep in diet culture that they think what they’re saying is right.
‘I did the same when I hated myself too – I would comment on how other people looked to make myself feel better, just to deflect the pain onto someone else.
‘I do remove the negative comments, but some stay with me, such as someone who said “if I had a body like that I’d kill myself”.’
Currently in the process of adopting a child with Sam, Stevie has also vowed to make sure that their child – whatever gender – will not be worried about body image.
He said: ‘If we have a boy, I want him to see that men and being a man comes in all different forms.
‘I would give my child the freedom and space to be whoever they want and I’d like to hope that when I feel crap about my body, I don’t project that onto my son.
Although many comments on his Instagram posts are positive, Stevie also receives a lot of abuse from people calling him lazy
But he doesn’t mind – he thinks those commenting are deep in diet culture, and he previously thought the same way
‘No matter what gender we have, boy or girl or trans – whoever they identify as – I would embrace them for all that they are and let them do what they want within reason and safety.’
While Stevie believes social media has been a useful tool to promote the body positive message, he feels reality TV is woefully inadequate when it comes to showing diversity in body shape and size.
‘Reality TV is horrendous, everyone on it looks exactly the same and all it does is reinforce the idea that if you don’t have abs there is something “wrong” with your body,’ he said.
‘The problem with modern TV is that it doesn’t represent how people really look. Young boys are exposed to this even more than I was in the 90s – it’s worrying.
‘For the men who are struggling, I would recommend following people who actually look different – stay away from the Hollywood actors who have airbrushed and edited photos.
‘That’s why I don’t edit my photos – I don’t want to contribute to that side of social media.’
Stevie hopes that in the future men will find the support and visibility they deserve for their body issues in the same way women do.
He added: ‘As a society, things are changing. We have plus size Barbie – now it’s time for a plus size Ken!’
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