When people talk about their body positive moment, it’s all too often accompanied by stories of judgement, bullying, or harassment. A lot of our body positive influencers found their strength when they chose to shut out the negative comments that people would say about them. Steven Martin is a successful plus size male model, and has a similar story in that others were commenting on his body, this time saying that he was working out too much and getting too big and buff.
When I was 15 years old, my mum was summoned to appear at my school for a 1 to 1 with the headteacher.
The headteacher said many of the other teachers were concerned about me and they wanted to talk to my mum to find out how she could let that happen to me.
The reason why my teachers thought it was necessary to interfere was that I was exercising a lot. Yes, you got that right. The fact that I was going to the gym almost every day, and that I looked extremely toned made people concerned.
Back in the 90s when discount gyms, yoga gurus and activity trackers weren’t a thing yet, such frequent exercise was regarded as special.
No one else looked like me at school.
They asked my mum how a teenager could spend so much time on their body and looks. She was speechless as to what extent my teachers got involved in how I chose to treat my body, and even implied that something that made me feel good, wasn’t in fact something I should be doing.
It was a polarising topic to say the least. Some fellow students complimented me on my looks, but many more criticised it.
One of the most frequent questions that I got was if I was taking anabolic drugs.
It was then that I realised I didn’t need society’s approval for how I look or how I decide to treat my body.
You are the owner of your body. Society, and even your friends, might tell you how they don’t agree with the way you look, but I found confidence in doing things my way. I’ve always been a big guy – this is my body.
About the author:
Steven Martin is a plus size male model from Germany. Represented by Bridge Models London, Ego’s Models Amsterdam and EastWestModels Germany, he started his modelling career as a teenager, turning to plus size modelling just a couple of years ago.
Having been profiled by the likes of Buzzfeed and the Irish Examiner, Steven firmly believes that it is time for more plus size models in the industry,
“People want to see themselves represented in the media, and at the moment there is only one type of male model showcased. This doesn’t speak to the average Joe [or] the mass market, so it is time for change.”