Zayn Malik has shocked his fans in his new book Zayn and revealed to the world that he struggled with his body image and social anxiety during his time in One Direction.
“It wasn’t as though I had any concerns about my weight or anything like that, I’d just go for days — sometimes two or three days straight — without eating anything at all. It got quite serious, although at the time I didn’t recognise it for what it was.
“I think it was about control. I didn’t feel like I had control over anything else in my life, but food was something I could control, so I did.
“I had lost so much weight I had become ill. The workload and the pace of life on the road put together with the pressures and strains of everything going on within the band had badly affected my eating habits.”
Everyone can image just how stressful it would be to be on tour for weeks at a time and can imagine that the amount of hype that surrounded 1D would be stressful for anyone, let alone a 21 year old. During this time Zayn even faced allegations of drug use due to his gaunt appearance.
He also speaks about his issues with anxiety, and how he plans to overcome them in the future:
“The plan is to start performing smaller venues and work my way up from there. This anxiety isn’t going to get the better of me.”
Two years on, and Zayn definitely seems to be doing much better now. He released his debut solo album Mind of Mine earlier this year, has completed a bunch of high-profile song collabs and is loved up with everyone’s favourite it-girl Gigi Hadid. While this is something that is difficult to talk about, especially for a man, but it is such an important step for him to bring these sorts of issues out of the shadows.
If you, or anyone you know, is suffering from issues like an eating disorder or anxiety, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.