He has made himself into something of a pin-up boy by proudly showcasing his “man boobs” on Instagram. Could a calendar be far behind?
Financial adviser and blogger Stevie Grice-Hart, 26, from Southampton, England, is turning his vulnerabilities into strengths by posting them on Instagram and launching what he has dubbed a “Body Confidence Revolution.”
In addition to his Instagram account featuring photos of the former yo-yo dieter — now a vegan and at a healthy weight — with his rolls and stretch marks in full view, Blaine also posted a YouTube video titled “Our Differences Make Us Beautiful” in which he pooh-poohs the commonly held notion that everyone should conform to a specific standard.
In the July video he spoke of the “perfect summer body” that friends, family and acquaintances are wont to scatter throughout social media, not to mention the constant bombardment of perfect-body images from media in general.
“It reinforces the idea that that’s the only acceptable standard of beauty,” he said. “It makes everyone who doesn’t look that way, like me, feel completely terrible about our bodies. We only see a small percentage of what bodies can look like portrayed in the media.”
Grice-Hart, 5’ 10”, is trashing the notion of washboard abs and is instead celebrating, among other body features, the extra flesh in his chest area known colloquially as man boobs. Currently weighing about 170 pounds — having bounced between 250 and 140 over the years — he eschews as toxic masculinity the edict that men must sport a “ripped” physique.
The Instagram account has garnered international attention with posts such as the shirtless one in which he’s pinching his stomach above his gray sweatpants, captioned with a poem.
“Embrace the squishy belly you once thought of with disgust,” he wrote in the Oct. 23 post. “Embrace the scars and stretch marks you wish would turn to dust.”
Also plentiful are shots of him in boxers, thrusting out his chest to better display his manly upper chest area.
In a post on the UK’s The Mix, Brice-Hart recounted his journey from fat-shamed childhood to body acceptance. Thinking that losing weight would solve all his problems, he tried various fad diets and exercise routines, and started the Instagram account. There he “saw more super-ripped, muscular men to inspire me to get back to the gym — but I also found women beaming at me through my phone screen, with stretch marks, cellulite and belly rolls,” he wrote. “It changed my entire perspective. I saw women living their lives exactly as they were, embracing every inch of their bodies and loving themselves.”
He started a morning practice: “I would wake up, look in the mirror and wouldn’t let myself leave until I found something that I loved about myself, even if it was minuscule.”
A personal revolution was born.