The Channel 4 Paralympic and Last Leg presenter is delving into the world of male body image as he sheds some light on how men really feel about their figures in Channel 4 documentary Alex Brooker: My Perfect Body.
In his own battle with fat he’s hoping to win the war with weight, lose two stones and get a six-pack in just two months. – Channel 4
Women’s magazines notoriously scrutinise the female form, applauding the flat stomachs and pointing the finger at the lumps and bumps, proving a self esteem crusher for the average woman, but do men’s magazines have the same affect on the average fella? Are the boys as conscious of their muffin tops and bingo wings as their girlfriends?
A study in 2012 revealed that 1 in 3 men would give up a year of their lives for their perfect body. In the same year, it was reported that 80 per cent of men were concerned about body shape, whilst in February of 2013, the NHS and Social Care Information Centre stated that 65 per cent of British men are overweight.
Self-confessed ‘perennial porker’ Alex, thinks he might be one of those overweight ones. He’s always been the biggest of his brothers and his male friends, and even confesses to hitting the junk food after a big night out, but it’s worse than he thought. After donning the speedos to have his body fat measured, he’s incredulous to hear that he’s in fact considered clinically obese.
Nowadays more than ever, men are conscious of how they look, and more conscious of their weight. I noticed it with my mates – we talk about clothes, we talk about hair, we talk about what we’re doing up at the gym. I’ve always been quite big, and always intended to go on a diet, but never really stuck to it. Even when I was going into television, last year I thought I’d lose weight ahead of the Paralympics, but I just kept putting it off and off. – Alex
To kick start his new svelt self he follows in the footsteps of Beyoncé, and does a week of cayenne pepper diet. It’s a harsh start, especially the salt water flushes, but he sticks it out and loses 10lbs in seven days.
Chatting with porn producer Justin Ribero, Alex discovers how the pornification of society has influenced the way men look. And it’s not just the porn industry that influences male body perception.
Ex-Deputy Editor of Men’s Fitness magazine, Joe Warner, wanted to prove to readers that an average 30-something guy could turn his body around and be a front cover pin up with a six-pack in just 12 weeks and its just the added incentive that Alex needs.
We’re getting really vain. I’m not sure it’s a bad thing though. We’re taking better care of ourselves. Everyone wants six-packs and skinny jeans. I’m not into skinny jeams though. I think it restricts – you know [indicates his crotch]. I don’t want to damage my chances of having children, and I don’t think enclosing yourself like that is healthy. Once I’ve had kids, maybe I’ll go into skinny jeans, but not before! – Alex
Alex’s dad is part of the generation that can’t understand the new found male obsession with weight and image – it certainly wasn’t a talking point with his friends when he was Alex’s age. But Alex’s mum, has a different tale to tell as she gives some touching and revealing insights into Alex’s history of weight issues.
Alex Brooker: My Perfect Body airs on Wednesday July 31st at 10.50pm on Channel 4