Former One Direction band member Zayn Malik opened up about overcoming an eating disorder and his mental health during a recent interview, and his reasons for doing so are so important.
Following his departure from One Direction back in 2015, Zayn Malik has been particularly candid about the struggles he experienced during his tenure in the band. The star, who released his own solo album, Mind of Mine, last year, has opened up about his relationship with food in the past, and has previously spoken about his mental health and how he’s had to cancel concerts due to his anxiety.
Now Zayn Malik has told why he believed it was important for him to speak out about his experiences, and we’re totally applauding him.
In an interview with The Sunday Times Style magazine, Zayn explained how he’d overcome his past struggles, and chatted about why he felt like he should share his experiences.
“[Anxiety] was something I was dealing with in the band,” he expalined, before also talking about how, in 2014, he was struggling with his relationship with food.
Last year, Zayn released his book, Zayn: The Official Autobiography, in which he wrote about his eating disorder.
“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,” Zayn said to The Sunday Times Style magazine. “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,” he added.”
The singer spoke about how, retrospectively, he didn’t view his experiences with food “as an eating disorder.” Instead, he explained, that “[e]very area of my life was so regimented and controlled, it was the one area where I could say, ‘No, I’m not eating that.'”
“Once I got over the control, the eating just came back into place, super naturally,” he said. “I came back to the U.K. and spent some time with my mum and got some TLC, and she cooked me food and I got back in touch, mentally, with a lot of the things I’d lost.”
As Zayn said, by speaking out about his own past issues others have been inspired and drawn strength from it, something that we believe is so important. It’s great to see Zayn bravely using his platform to speak openly and honestly, and we totally respect and love him for it.