Words: Jamie Tabberer; interview: Tom Stitchbury; pictures: Attitude
Joshua Bassett, star of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, has revealed he has battled body image issues in the past.
The 20-year-old says the problem started in 2019, when the hit Disney show first started airing, and that it eventually got "really unhealthy."
Asked if he feels better about himself these days, he replied: "I do - and not because anything has changed. Sometimes you can have a warped perception of yourself and so I've gotten to a state where I'm more accepting and embracing."
The American actor addressed the subject in his cover interview with the Attitude September Style Issue, out now to download and to order globally.
Joshua Bassett wears knitwear by Isabel Marant (Photography: Petros Kouiouris; Styling: Nicholas MacKinnon)
"I've never actually spoken about this before," the 'Lie Lie Lie' singer tells us. "I have struggled with body image issues and some serious problems, around the time when High School Musical... started airing [in 2019].
"I was constantly worrying about how I looked and taking certain actions to keep myself at a certain weight and physique, and it got really unhealthy."
Joshua, also known for songs like 'Sorry' and 'Heaven Is You', continued: "The danger is when you start to equate how you look with your worth. I think I deal with that on a grand scale, but I know many people, if not most people, deal with that in a micro way every day.
Photography: Petros Kouiouris; Styling: Nicholas MacKinnon
"In the acting industry, you're selling your look, you're selling yourself, you are the product... that pressure to keep up with that image and to keep up with [that] expectation can be detrimental if you don't learn how to accept yourself for who you are."
He added: "[People] think if they don't meet this standard, people won't like them, or people won't want them or whatever, and that's a dangerous attitude that I've fallen into many times.
Joshua wears shirt by AKNVAS, tank top by Uniqlo, trousers by Dsquared2 (Photography: Petros Kouiouris; Styling: Nicholas MacKinnon)
"I'm learning how to not be so attached to how I look... what's funny is, I don't have any selfies on my phone; there are no photos of me. I take photos all the time, but they're never of me."
The star confirmed he a member of the LGBTQ community in a social media statement earlier this year. Elsewhere in his interview with Attitude, he said of the moment: "I wrote the statement in less than five minutes, and there was no part of me that was anxious, no part of me that was hesitant at all. It felt so right. I put it out and I’ve never looked back.
"It was liberating, it was freeing; it was nothing like I expected it to be.”
Read the full interview in the Attitude September Style Issue, is out now.