Craig Revel Horwood says having plastic surgery to remove his ‘man boobs’ helped him “feel invincible.” Appearing on White Wine Question Time, the Strictly Come Dancing judge spoke openly about suffering with body issues as a young dancer.
“I used to judge myself alongside people,” he told podcast host and pal Kate Thornton.
“When you’re dancing, you’re dancing in front of mirrors all day so you’re constantly comparing yourself to the next person. If you’re not happy with your body size or shape it becomes difficult. I had body dysmorphia and I became anorexic.”
The star, who was born in Australia, said he would starve himself and only learnt about nutrition and looking after his body when he became a gym instructor. Not only did he learn about different body shapes, but he also learnt not to compare himself to others.
“As soon as you stop comparing yourself and start becoming yourself, you can live a much more normal life,” he said. “It took me ages to learn that and that seriously was something that was wrong.”
However, the former West End star said that when he gave up dancing, he had to deal with another body issue.
“When I gave up dancing, I was eating the same amount as I was when I was dancing and then of course I started to put on weight and I started to get ‘man boobs’ which I couldn’t stand anymore,” he revealed.
Revel Horwood said that while he tried to cover up the excess fat up by wearing braces under his T-shirts to hold it down, eventually he decided to go for plastic surgery.
“I had breast tissue that I couldn’t get rid of no matter what,” he told Thornton.
“This happens to a lot of men and they won’t talk about it. It’s called gynecomastia and it’s breast tissue under the nipple. No amount of muscle can make that go away, so I had to have it surgically removed.”
He continued: “It’s horrific as men aren’t supposed to have them, but it is a natural thing. The procedure is very simple, they just cut around the nipple and take out the breast tissue and do a bit of liposuction around that area.”
The results spoke for themselves.
“When I took the bandages off, I just started crying in the mirror because it was the first time I’d had a flat chest,” he declared.
Having surgery on his chest wasn’t Revel Horwood’s first brush with plastic surgery – he had a nose job when he was just 18, citing it as “best thing that ever happened to me.” He urges everyone, especially men, not to be shy about going down that route, as it can really change your life.
“I understand exactly what men that have that condition and going through and, you know, the beauty is it can be rectified,” he explained. “I think it's really important that they can change their lives because it gives you a sense of freedom”
Read more: Craig Revel Horwood reveals wedding plans
For him, he believes that plastic surgery enabled him to finally love himself more – and allow himself to open up to others.
“They [the surgeries] made me feel confident and they gave me a new lease of life,” he said.
“They made me feel invincible, and that’s really important. I was free of something – baggage! It was one thing less to think about. It makes you love yourself so you’re free to love others.”
Hear Craig Revel Horwood talk about his days working in the West End, what Strictly Come Dancing will look like on its return and his greatest inspiration on this week’s episode of White Wine Question Time. Listen no on iTunes and Spotify.