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Duncan James on body image pressures as a gay man and feeling ‘inadequate’

"The tops come off and everyone looks amazing and pumped"

By Jamie Tabberer

Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: ITV

Duncan James has opened up about gay men’s expectations of each other’s and their own bodies, admitting he sometimes feels “inadequate.”

The Blue singer previously spoke about his fear of trolling over lockdown weight gain and his use of Botox ahead of an appearance on MasterChef this summer.

The ‘All Rise’ singer returned to the subject of self-image in an interview with the Daily Mail this week.

“I need to step up my s**t”

The dad-of-one explains: “You go out to somewhere like Mykonos or Ibiza, or just to any gay event, like a WE Party – and the tops come off and everyone looks amazing and pumped.

“All these gym boys can instantly give you a feeling of ‘I need to step up my s**t’ and make you feel too skinny or inadequate.”

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A post shared by Duncan Inglis (@mrduncanjames)

The 43-year-old continued: “And so cosmetic treatments on guys is definitely becoming more and more common.

“It certainly used to be a female-led industry but now guys, especially the gay community, are making it bigger and bigger because people want to enhance their bodies. There’s nothing wrong with that!”

The star also shared how his exercise regime has been impacted by a serious injury to his spinal cord sustained five years ago.

“One of my discs fell out, landed on a sciatic nerve, and I had to have an emergency decompression,” he said. “While it’s a lot better now, the whole thing left one of my legs paralyzed and numb.

“Five years later, it’s still completely numb thanks to the nerve damage. The nerve was completely ruined and I probably won’t have feeling in that leg again. This is why I’m a Cauda Equina Syndrome ambassador.”

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