People who are in the entertainment business are forever under this pressure of looking attractive. There is a certain body type that one needs to have if one wants to work in films. When it comes to women, they need to be slim and trim whereas men need to be tall and muscular. These are usually the kind of actors we see on screen.
Imran Khan spoke about this in depth. He shared some very personal aspects of his life including dealing with body image issues, insecurities, working out way too hard and consuming steroids to look like the quintessential Bollywood hero. He also opened up about battling depression.
View this post on Instagram
In an Instagram post, he started off by revealing that he has a very good metabolism because of which he has always been skinny. Despite working out every day and consuming a high-protein diet, he has been more on the skinnier side and not the muscular side.
“I’ve always been skinny. I’m one of those hyper-metabolic people, my body just burns through whatever I consume. Oh no, what a terrible affliction! In my late teens, guys around me started joining gyms and working out. They started to expand, their biceps stretching the sleeves of their t-shirts. I wore a size S, and my sleeves were still loose. I didn’t need to be muscular to play Jai Singh Rathore… but I was convinced that I was too skinny, which is why Jai mostly wears two layers of clothing throughout Jaane Tu. For my next film, Kidnap, I hit the gym in earnest, and began my journey with body building,” he wrote.
Even though he was working out very hard in the gym, film producers would ask him to bulk up even more. Thus started his trist with steroids.
“Over the next few years, the sculpting and maintenance of my body became part of my lifestyle. I worked out regularly, but still I would hear ‘So… you’ll bulk up a bit before we start shooting, right?’; ‘You’re looking weak’, ‘You look like a little boy, not a man’, and ‘The heroine looks bigger than you’ (ouch for both of us!). In hindsight, I think I looked fine… but at the time, I felt insecure. I wanted a powerful, heroic physique. So I tried harder. Exercise means nothing without nutrition; 6 meals a day, totalling 4000 calories. Chicken breast, egg whites, sweet potato, oats, flax seeds… all good stuff, but still not enough to make my biceps look like the heroes I saw onscreen. No, for that I needed to supplement with whey protein, creatine, leucine, glutamine, L-carnitine… and ultimately, even anabolic steroids.”
Imran Khan also revealed that he has been battling depression, as a result of which he gave up on his entire routine of working out. This caused him to lose his muscular physique and appear very skinny which further led to rumours of him consuming drugs.
“In recent years, as I battled depression and stopped working out, I became skinnier than I’d ever been. When I was photographed, it sparked a media discussion about my wellbeing, and speculations of drug abuse! I felt deeply ashamed, embarrassed to be seen by anyone in this state. So I retreated further.”
Nowadays, he has been taking care of himself more and even though he is a little jealous of muscular men, he has come to terms with how his body looks like.
Have a look at his full post here:
View this post on Instagram
I’m so glad that in the past couple of years, the conversation surrounding body-positivity has become more widespread which has helped countless people in accepting themselves and how they look in front of the mirror. We hope that the present is kinder to Imran Khan as well. 🙂