Vamps star James Brittain-McVey ‘still feels pressured to look a certain way’

Vamps star James Brittain-McVey said he still feels pressured to look a certain way from social media, billboards and advertisements.

singer and guitarist, 27, spoke of experiencing body image issues at the age of 14 as he gave evidence in a House Health and Social Care Committee on the impact of body image on physical and mental health.

“At that time, there was a big fashion trend of the big American surf style companies that swept through and inspired many young people in the UK to conform to a certain body shape,” he said. , live a certain life.


The Vamps Lead Guitarist James Brittain-McVey Appears Before the Health and Social Care Committee in the House of Commons (House of Commons/PA)

“I had one of their shopping bags in a guy’s bedroom ripped off on the beach in Malibu and I subconsciously thought every morning I was going to think that was what I needed to look like.

“I think social media has encouraged me to fall further down the rabbit hole. The first thought I have when I wake up in the morning is ‘should I eat that, can I go to the gym?’ “

The musician said he “struggles to feel like he belongs in social groups” and at the age of 19 underwent fat removal surgery because he was insecure about his breast tissue – despite having 6% muscle fat body.

“One of the biggest misconceptions in my opinion is that people assume this is a vanity for vanity, which is not what happened.

“I think there was a degree of self-destruction in my mind about the way I looked, and the pressure to conform to those stereotypes and gender structures and before I knew it, my whole life was ruined. driven by this pursuit to look a certain way.

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“You are never satisfied. You think you get to a certain point and you’ll get it done but there’s always another thing you can do or another extra you can do and at 19 the next step for me is liposuction,” he said.

McVey appeared on the ITV reality show I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! in 2018 alongside former football manager Harry Redknap and actors John Barrowman and Emily Atack.

Talking about his bodybuilding experience after the program, he said: “I went into that program feeling extremely confident, I came out of that program 6kg lighter, and when my wife saw me, She was shocked, almost scared, at how sick I looked. .

“However, immediately I thought I looked pretty good again. I’ve got a 6-pack in a way I haven’t in 10 years since I started having problems with food and mental health.

“I think without realizing it, I still have unresolved demons in my head about my body.


The Vamps Attend Brit Awards Ceremony at O2 Arena, London (Ina West/PA)

“That performance was amazing for many reasons but it made me more focused on myself than ever physically.”

Brittain-McVey says social media, ads and billboards still pressure him to feel he needs to look a certain way.

“Even though I’ve been in this world for 15 years, I still feel pressured to look a certain way and that’s why I’m worried for so many of our fans. How the heck do they feel comfortable in the skin if you visit these apps when you constantly scroll, you see another person looking a certain way.

“I worry about future generations and that’s why I think we need to hold back what we consider acceptable in advertising.

“We need a transparency where the models we see are agents of society and not this completely unattainable small demographic.”

Brittain-McVey added that he would “love to see a world where companies want to market people who represent the majority, not a small percentage of body images that are not achieved”.

The musician joined The Vamps in 2012 and the band scored their first big hit in 2013 with Can We Dance, which peaked at number two in the UK charts.

Their third album, Night And Day, topped the 2017 album chart. Vamps star James Brittain-McVey ‘still feels pressured to look a certain way’

Fry Electronics Team

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