Clayton Echard Opens Up About How Bullying from Teammates Led to His Body Dysmorphia
Bachelor Clayton Echard stopped by the “Talking It Out with Bachelor Nation” for a candid conversation about this week’s episode.
During the first group date this week, Clayton shared a bit about his body dysmorphia with the women and co-host Mike Johnson commended Clayton for his vulnerability.
Mike said that he rarely hears men discuss body image struggles and thought it was very brave of Clayton to open up.
Clayton decided to share more with Mike and Bryan about when his body dysmorphia began.
He said, “I think it all started around seventh grade. It was a really pivotal year for me. Unfortunately, it was a year when I was not happy with who I was. I had friends who would make little comments, and sometimes it’s the dumbest little things that you remember.”
He explained, “I remember one time I was at a friend’s house and it was me, two other guys, and a couple girls. We were being stupid seventh-graders and I remember we took our shirts off to impress the girls, just being silly, and they told me to flex. When I did, they were like, ‘No, come on, flex your abs. Are you really flexing?!’ And everyone started laughing.”
Clayton said his friends would constantly make comments about his body, saying it was “weird” or that he “looked fat” despite how much he worked out.
Clayton explained, “I started getting these one-off comments time and time again, and I would work out two hours a day, seven days a week. Then I would see pictures of my friends who rarely worked out and they were in phenomenal shape. I didn’t know the importance of diet at the time, but because of that I kept working out harder and harder and it was never enough.”
Then when social media came into the picture, Clayton said his body dysmorphia got even worse because he would see photos of people he wished he looked like.
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Clayton candidly shared, “I was never happy with how I looked in the mirror. Every day I’d wake up and I’d look in the mirror and hate the way I looked. That set the precedent for the rest of my days and put me in a bad mood because I started off looking in the mirror thinking I looked terrible. I would tell myself not to take my shirt off because I would get made fun of.”
And it didn’t end in middle school or even high school. The Bachelor shared that this carried into college despite his being on the football team there.
He said, “My teammates called me ‘Bad Body Ech.’ They would constantly come after me for it and laugh at me. I’d laugh too, but deep down, it hurt me. I hated it and wondered why I couldn’t get the body that I wanted.”
To hear more of Clayton’s conversation on the “Talking It Out with Bachelor Nation” podcast, check out the full episode below and don’t miss part two of their discussion next week.
And if you or someone you know is struggling with body image issues, click here for resources.
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