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Sanjay Sood-Smith: ‘Perfection isn’t for everybody’

By Will Stroude

We couldn’t help but notice one thing as the reader votes poured in for this year’s HOT 100 contest: more than any other year, a whole lot of gay and bi guys had made the list.

We decided to specially spotlight a few of them in our new HOT 100 issue, out now. Among them: Apprentice star, entrepreneur and former Attitude Naked Issue cover boy Sanjay Sood-Smith…


What is ‘sexy’?

Confidence, charisma, a good sense of humour and a great smile. Plus I’m a sucker for blue eyes and a northern accent.

Who was your first male crush?

Tom Cruise in the first Mission Impossible movie back in 1996 when I was 9 years old! Huffington Post did a feature on ‘Apprentice Celebrity Lookalikes’ and they said mine was Tom in the film Vanilla Sky – which is pretty ridiculous but quite funny! I’ll take it.

Do you feel a pressure to look a certain way?

Seeing myself on television has definitely made me more conscious of the way I look, but at the same time I want to enjoy myself. I try to keep in shape by going to the gym but if I want to go out for a curry and a beer, then I will. As gay men, we are bombarded with images of beautiful white men with rippling six packs, loads of tattoos and bulging biceps and made to feel that this is what we should aim to look like. One of the reasons I did the Attitude Naked Issue earlier this year was to prove that this idea of ‘perfection’ isn’t realistic for everyone so good on the mag for putting a half-Indian guy with a more regular body on their cover!

What about body insecurities?

I used to be quite insecure when I was a teenager. I never felt I was in quite as good shape as everyone else; that I had a big nose, sticky out ears and lots of spots. But as I’ve got older I’ve learnt to be more comfortable in my own skin. I think it’s normal for most people to be insecure about something but we just need to remember that these quirks are what make us individuals and we should embrace them.

You can read our full chat with Sanjay as well as some of the other lads from our Hot 100 – including Charlie King, Joe Lycett, Andrew Hayden-Smith and our winner, Aussie bobsledder Simon Dunn – in our special Hot 100 issue, out now. You can buy it in shops, download it from and order a print copy from

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