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Judge Rinder talks body fascism in the gay community: “It’s complicated”

© ITV / Rankin

Robert Rinder has spoken about the pressures young gay men face when it comes to body image.

The Judge Rinder star has been pictured by renowned photographer Rankin for Loose Women’s Body Stories campaign, which sees seven famous men strip off the talk about body confidence.

Asked if some form of body fascism exists in the gay community, Rinder agreed to a certain extent, but maintained that the issue isn’t clear cut.

“It’s a complicated answer, the answer is absolutely that there is a truth in that – it’s complicated,” Rinder said. “It’s not quite as straightforward as that.

“I think there is, clearly in the gay community, different kind of sub sets and aesthetic interests. People who are interested in people who are bigger or smaller, but certainly the male physical form absolutely has to meet certain expectations or paradigms.

“[These] are very, very deeply set and held and can have an enormously corrosive effect on young men, especially young gay men – I would agree with that that to that extent.”

But Rinder also added that the rise of social media has certainly played its part in recent years too, even if editing pictures isn’t necessarily a new phenomenon.

© ITV / Rankin

“We live in a world of irreality, a world where you can touch yourself up, camera speaking,” he said. “Undoubtedly that engenders.. this is not new.. it engenders a sense in which the body is filtered through a technological prism where you can look different from reality. But that’s not new.

“Touching up in camera work has been happening for years and still continues and that’s never going to be changed. It’s never going to be changed, people want a good picture of themselves.

“It’s very rare, if we’re all honest, to find one that we actually like. Just like we don’t like the sound of our voices when we first hear them, we never like the look of our bodies when we see them.

“It’s like exams, you come out and you only remember the stuff you didn’t write. You never remember the good stuff that you did. The vast majority of people are perfectly average and you look perfectly great.

“Also, intelligence, humour and a sense of joy is infinitely more attractive and important than a six pack.”

Coronation Street’s Shayne Ward, Strictly Come Dancing judge Bruno Tonioli, footballer-turned-pundit Robbie Savage, This Morning’s Dr. Ranj, boxing icon Frank Bruno, and football star David Ginola are among the other men who have posed as part of the campaign.

Loose Women airs on ITV weekdays at 12.30pm.

Related: Dating apps give men lower levels of self-esteem, according to new study

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