Reverend And The Makers’ Jon McClure has spoken about his battle with anorexia for the first time.
The Sheffield musician discussed his experiences with the eating disorder on a new episode of The Naked Podcast, which tackled big issues facing men. As is traditional on the podcast, the interview was conducted with the star and reporter Alex Oxley completely naked.
McClure said anorexia was something he struggled with as a teenager after he put on weight at the age of 14. “I started to develop this [attitude of] ‘I don’t want people to see me’,” he said, explaining all of his favourite rock stars at the time, including Jarvis Cocker, Liam Gallagher, and Damon Albarn, were “all dead thin”, causing him to “get shy about [his] body.”
“Around the age of 16 I got really funny with food – I skipped meals, I guess you would call it anorexia,” he said. “I went really thin and my parents had to step in. I think women tend to be more vigilant in this day and age for other ladies who are suffering with eating disorders. There’s still an assumption amongst a lot of blokes that it doesn’t affect men but it really does. I was keeping secrets from people and skipping meals and making excuses not to eat certain things. I was quite unhappy I think, looking back.”
The musician also spoke about the pressures men face to look a certain way, saying they were equally as burdened by the need to conform to a specific image as women. “Always in the back of my mind, there’s this conformity… you see adverts and you think, ‘I need to look like that,’” McClure said.
“I’m never going to look like that. The media, the fashion industry, they perpetuate a notion that people have to look a certain way. I think boys fall victim to that just as much as girls do. I guess a lot of fellas struggle in that regard… I think there’s still an assumption amongst a lot of blokes that it doesn’t affect men, but it does.”
He added that social media has led to increased pressure on young people as they now have to face online bullying as well as at school. “People can be cruel,” he said. “I see that on the Internet a lot – under the veil of anonymity people think they’ve got carte blanche to say anything they want to you. They can be very hurtful.”
McClure also encouraged men to talk about their feelings despite it not being “the done thing”, adding: “Sometimes I feel weird about my body and it’s alright if you do too.” Listen to the podcast above now.
Reverend And The Makers were recently confirmed as one of the acts to be performing at this year’s Tramlines Festival in Sheffield. They will join the likes of Two Door Cinema Club, The Courteeners, Nile Rodgers & Chic, Manic Street Preachers, and Rag’n’Bone Man on the line-up.