From baby weight to chicken legs, these four brave men reveal their body hang-ups over their shapes

These may sound like female body issues but new research has found many men now have the same concerns.

More than 80 per cent of blokes are insecure about their appearance and seven out of ten even refuse to let their partners see them naked.

The study of 3,000 men aged 18-30 found just 17 per cent described themselves as “body confident”. GEORGETTE CULLEY speaks to four men about body hang-ups and their partners reveal how it affects their relationship.

'If a man complains he's called a wuss'

SECURITY guard Reece Palmer-Lacey, 25, from Greenwich, South London, hates his “chicken legs” and thinks it is difficult for men to talk about their body issues.

He has been dating Olivia Woodward, 19, a tattoo designer, for six months.

He says: "As a bloke, talking about your body issues and anxieties is a big deal. Society seems to accept women complaining about their size or shape but when a man complains they’re called a ‘wuss’.

"I hate my legs. I get anxious and have no self-confidence if I wear shorts.

"They are less hairy on the thigh and more hairy on the shins and I feel like that is some measure of masculinity.

"It feels like I have two sticks poking out the bottom of my body.

"Social media makes it worse.

"You see so many pictures of men in the gym with muscled thighs and I feel like a chicken-leg failure.

"The pressure on blokes my age to have the perfect body is intense.

"I am glad we’re finally talking about it because I want other men to know it is OK to not be OK with your body."

SHE SAYS: “A lot of men try to hide their feelings and act tough.

“Reece talking about his body issues has definitely brought us closer.

“Talking about his ‘chicken legs’ doesn’t make him less masculine. In fact, it makes Reece braver and more of a man.”

'I put 1.5st on when Illy was pregnant'

LAWYER Ramiro Javeri, 30, put on weight when his partner Illy Kar, 25, was pregnant.

The pair live in Barnet, North London, with their 18-month old son Zak.

He says: "WHEN Illy was pregnant she started to have a lot of cravings and I was eating for two, too. I put on about 1.5st in nine months. After Zak arrived I struggled to shift the bulge.

"I used to be slim and quite toned, more muscly and less fat. The extra weight made a massive difference to how I felt and looked.

"When it came to buying new clothes I was in denial, too.

"I refused to buy bigger sizes as I didn’t want to accept I was bigger.

"I also wanted an incentive to lose the weight, but nothing fitted and I’d feel uncomfortable.

"It’s hard for men to talk about their body hang-ups.

"To me, an ideal body would be Superman actor Henry Cavill because he’s ripped but not too big."

SHE SAYS: “When Ramiro opened up to me, I wanted to support him.

“I love him for who he is but I don’t like him feeling uncomfortable with himself. I try to encourage him to eat healthily and work out.

“He likes to have a dessert each night but I’ll tell him not to as I know it’ll make him feel worse afterwards. If he’s feeling down about his size then I try to compliment him and remind him that I have body issues, too.

“Men shouldn’t feel ashamed for having these hang-ups – everyone wants to look and feel their best.”

'Nobody wants to look like a sausage'

BUSINESSMAN Richard Bye, 45, says he is hung up on his back fat and stomach. So much so that he co-founded a cycle-wear brand called Fat Lad At The Back with wife Lynn Bye, 50.

The pair, who live in Ilkley, West Yorks, have two sons Jake, 23, and Josh, 19.

 He says: "MY hang-up is my back fat. It is like an extended muffin top but on my sides, more around my back.

"I don’t like the way it shows through clothes. I feel like people can see it through T-shirts or shirts, especially if they are tight.

"I’m very active but I can’t seem to shift that bit. I’m naturally a fat lad so I actually named my company after myself.

"As a keen cyclist, I used to struggle to get Lycra that fitted and was quite self-conscious about it.

"If you can’t find appropriate clothing to fit, it’s a major barrier to being active. Nobody wants to look like a badly packed sausage.

"The only imagery you see of men are hench ones on the covers of men’s health magazines and it’s hard.

"Lynn doesn’t notice my perceived weight issues any more. She just gets fed up with me going on about it all the time."

SHE SAYS: “When I first met Richard he was 18st. He now weighs 14st.

“He’s obsessed with food. He’d eat breakfast and then immediately be thinking about lunch.

"He even went to a hypnotist to stop him from eating four chocolate bars a day.

“To me, Richard looks great and his weight is part of his personality.”

'I put vest back on when on beach hol'

DRIVER Matt Morrell worries that his partner Bianca Larman, 34, a full-time mum, would prefer him to be bigger.

The pair have a son, Mason-Matthew, one, and live in High Wycombe, Bucks, with Bianca’s two children, Brandon, 14, and Dylan, 13, from a previous relationship.

Matt, 24, says: "I feel self-conscious when I take my top off. While my thighs are just about acceptable my calves and ankles are really skinny.

"I have a very physical job lifting and carrying beds all day. You’d think it would make me really muscly but it doesn’t. I have tried to put on weight and drunk protein shakes but didn’t like them.

"We’ve just returned from a beach holiday and a guy walked past us with a really ripped body.

"I felt so demoralised I put my vest back on. Over the past five years the pressure has increased on guys to have muscular physiques. It doesn’t help that adverts only use skinny men if they want to make fun of us.

"Bianca is encouraging but her observations do make me feel insecure. She gets messages from random guys on social media. Some are personal trainers. I can’t compete."

SHE SAYS: “Matt is a good-looking guy with a great smile. My former partners have always been big. I know it worries Matt that he is physically unlike any other man that I’ve been with.

“I wouldn’t change him but I do hate the fact he is so thin because at times it makes me feel fat.

"Even though I wouldn’t give him a ‘bulk up or we are over’ ultimatum, I do moan at him to make an effort and I try to feed him up.

“I know his biggest fear is that one day I’ll no longer be attracted to him, but it won’t happen.”

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