Love Island’s Curtis Pritchard opens up on fat-shaming and says men don’t talk about weight struggles enough – Exclusive
Love Island’s Curtis Pritchard is all smiles while starring in his new campaign for Debenhams. The 23 year old ballroom dancer looks every inch the professional model in the shots, which also feature other famous faces including Wayne Bridge, David James, Jamie Roberts and Greg Rutherford.
Curtis has called his collaboration with Debenhams "a dream come true", telling OK! online in an exclusive chat: “I’ve always shopped at Debenhams. I remember my mum used to take me when I was younger to buy a jumper or this or that or a coat or maybe some school stuff.
"As the brand has evolved and as I’ve got older I’ve found myself genuinely still shopping there. I’m 23 years old now and I still go in there for stuff all the time. So to work for them now obviously and to be modelling, and be in their clothes plastered all over the windows around all the Debenhams is going to be a dream come true.”
However, the reality star does still struggle with his body image. Curtis revealed that his health and eating habits have been “up and down”, and because of this, he has recently become the new ambassador for WW, the company formerly known as Weight Watchers.
Of the collaboration, the professional dancer said: “It’s sort of something that I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve wanted to get a healthy lifestyle because my eating has been up and down all the time.
“I’ve been fat-shamed in the villa, and this and that. Obviously it's not very nice, it does affect you slightly, and that shouldn’t be happening in this day and age but, it was sort of good for me… it means I can live that healthy lifestyle now.”
Speaking of the body image pressures that the spotlight brings, Curtis revealed: “I would say that what was said to me, in the villa and stuff, I feel it has highlighted stuff because its a bit like why is this needed? It is not needed in the world at all for people to be belittling people and it's bullying basically.”
He then went on to explain that there is not enough dialogue between men about body images issues, saying: “There are bigger things going on in the world, bigger things and men I would say do cover up issues about weight a lot more than women. I would say it makes you feel emasculated basically, it just makes you feel small. “
Curtis reportedly gained two stone in the Love Island villa, which he is hoping to shift through the WW programme. However, he has a message for other men that may be struggling, saying: ”You don’t need to worry, lets change it join the WW then you can live a healthier lifestyle.
"But even if you don’t want to join WW don’t worry about your weight and don’t be insecure about it. Try and lead a healthier lifestyle an that will drop down and you’ll feel better.”
Curtis credits his girlfriend Maura Higgins with being supportive through this journey and it seems he will repay the favour by helping her prepare for her upcoming stint on Dancing on Ice.
The ballroom dancer said: “I will absolutely, to be fair. I’ll give her tips on the upper half of her body, the bottom half is Dancing on Ice and that is not my profession, so I would back away from that half!”
Curtis Pritchard and Maura Higgins
However he does fancy her chances, saying: “You know what, Maura can dance. I've not seen her on ice skates, apparently she’s not too bad, but on the floor, with her own shoes and feet, she can move!
"She connects her arm to her body to her leg. She moves all in, with coordination, in a very rhythmical way. So I think she’ll be very good on the ice.”
Curtis Pritchard is part of the Debenhams AW19 menswear tribe which introduces key pieces from the new season. The collection is modelled by five familiar faces including David James, Greg Rutherford, Jamie Roberts and Wayne Bridge. The collection launches in-store and online from 30 September.
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