Mandatory Man: Musician Greyson Chance Opens Up About Anorexia (Yes, Men Can Get It, Too)

When people think of eating disorders (if they think of them at all), they tend to imagine only young women are the ones afflicted. But men suffer from conditions like anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder, too. In fact, one in three people with eating disorders is male and as many as 10 million men will suffer from one form of eating disorder or another in their lifetime. What makes their cases different from those of women, however, is that men are less likely to seek treatment.

One celebrity is raising awareness about these life-threatening illnesses and the stigma attached to them. Greyson Chance recently opened up to People about his battle with anorexia. At 23 years old, after leaving school and going through a breakup, the musician began to lose weight.

“I remember just telling myself, ‘You just have to get through this period of sadness,'” he told People. “‘That’s why you’re not taking care of yourself. That’s why you’re starving yourself. It’s fine. It’s fine.'”

But it wasn’t fine. Losing weight made him feel in control, and soon, he was going two to three days without food and forcing himself to exercise. He wore baggy clothes to hide his skeletal frame and refused to talk about his eating disorder with anyone – not even his therapist. Despite his physical condition, he continued to tour, performing almost 100 shows in 2019.

“I denied it for forever,” he told People. “I was just blaming a heartbreak. And it took me a while to look in the mirror and say ‘No, you’re actually battling with this and we need to take care of this.’”

It wasn’t until he woke up in a hospital bed that he got serious about getting better. In addition to seeking treatment, he detailed his experience with anorexia (and drinking) in a new song titled “Bad to Myself.” He also wrote a letter to his fans detailing his ordeal with anorexia.

“Not only do I finally feel confident to talk about it, but I want to create a crack in this stigma and this taboo about eating disorders,” he told People. “I want people to realize that this is something that’s affecting a lot of people.”

It takes a lot of guts for men to admit they’re struggling with weight, shape, and/or food issues. We applaud Chance for not only seeking help but using his platform to help others. Those are the marks of a true Mandatory Man.

Cover Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer / Staff (Getty Images)

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