Zayn Malik has spoken out about his anxiety and eating disorder in a candid insight into male mental health.
The former One Direction boy band member left the five-piece to embark on a solo career in music, and his subsequent mental health challenges have been well documented in Zayn’s self-titled autobiography.
However, the 24-year-old candidly spoke about his struggles with The Sunday Times supplement, Style, explaining that he has overcome his demons.
Zayn told Style about his formative anxiety and disordered eating, saying:
People saw strength in that, and they didn’t seem to expect it from a guy, but they expect it from a female – which to me is crazy.
We’re all human. People are often afraid to admit difficulties, but I don’t believe that there should be a struggle with anything that’s the truth.
If you were a guy, you used to have to be really masculine, but now expressing emotion is accepted and respected.
Malik, who is currently in a relationship with Gigi Hadid, suffered a series of anxiety attacks in 2016 that forced him to cancel numerous shows as he was not ‘sufficiently confident’.
In June 2016, the pop star pulled out of playing the Capital Summertime Ball in London 90 minutes before the show.
Malik explained his eating disorder stemmed from a desire for control in his life as a young man swept up in the pressures and limitation of fame.
He told Style:
Every area of my life was so regimented and controlled.
It was the one area where I could say, ‘No, I’m not eating that’.
Zayn recently starred in the new Versace campaign shot by Gigi herself. After achieving chart success with his first, Malik’s second album is set to be released later this year.
If you are affected by any of the issues above, please don’t suffer in silence. You can contact Samaritans for free on: 116 123 in the UK.