Belfast Telegraph

Strictly’s Bruno Tonioli among male stars stripping off for Loose Women campaign

The male body confidence campaign was photographed by Rankin.

Strictly Come Dancing’s Bruno Tonioli, Coronation Street’s Shayne Ward and boxing icon Frank Bruno are among of group of male celebrities baring all for Loose Women’s body confidence campaign.

Footballer-turned-pundit Robbie Savage, football star David Ginola, This Morning medical expert Dr Ranj and Judge Rinder have also taken part in the campaign to break the silence surrounding the increasing body image pressures men face.

It follows the Body Stories campaign earlier this year, which saw the ITV show’s female panellists pose in their swimwear to encourage women to embrace their shapes.

The men’s campaign was shot by acclaimed photographer Rankin.

It comes as a new Loose Women survey revealed 73% of men said they do not talk to anyone about how they feel about their body and over a quarter of men cannot name a body part that they like most.

Boxing star Bruno, 55, said he signed up after being impressed by the original campaign.

The former heavyweight world champion said: “It’s for a very good cause because everyone has got different problems when they look at themselves and criticise [themselves]. More importantly it’s all about the sort of person you are, not what you look like.”

He added: “The sad thing with youngsters is they want to look bigger than they are, puffed out and solid and whatever.

“But you’ve got to get the right balance, because you can look big and lift up weights but if you can’t run up the stairs, you get knackered.

“Life is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Love yourself as much as you can, if you can’t love yourself, who can love you?”

Tonioli, 61, said being in the dance world resulted in him being extra critical of his body.

“When you are in this profession, especially as a dancer you look at yourself with a very critical eye,” he said.

“Don’t hang on to an unattainable fantasy of what you should look like. For younger people the pressure is even worse.”

He added: “I think men find it very difficult to open up in general, women, with their girlfriends, are just more open about things like that.

“Boys, men have this kind of sense of pride which almost stops them from saying, ‘Oh, I’ve got a fat gut’.

“Just talk about it, we don’t take it seriously enough.”

Loose Women editor Sally Shelford said: “We were overwhelmed by the response to the original Loose Women Body Stories campaign; many of the viewers who got in touch were men talking about their own experiences of struggling to accept their bodies.

“Together with celebrities like Gok Wan and Freddie Flintoff who have since appeared on the show to bravely talk about their experiences of living with eating disorders and battling self-esteem issues, we knew the next chapter of our campaign needed to reflect the rise in body confidence issues amongst men.

“We’re so proud of all the stars who have taken part in this shoot and embraced the message that runs to the core of our campaign: Every Body Tells A Story. We hope it will continue to encourage and inspire everyone to embrace the bodies we have been given.”

:: ITV’s Loose Women airs on weekdays 12.30pm – 1.30pm.

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