Former Olympian turned actor, Gus Kenworthy, has revealed that he experiences bouts of body dysmorphia. Kenworthy, 31, was talking to British magazine Attitude to coincide with his recent appearance in a music video from queer artist Karin Ann.
Since coming out as gay in 2015 Kenworthy has graced the cover of queer magazines around the world, usually in a state of undress. He has been at the forefront of a new generation of queer athletes choosing to come out at the peak of their careers.
That Kenworthy feels anxiety over his appearance might surprise many, but he suggests it’s common to all gay people.
“I don’t think I have the perfect body. I have absolute body dysmorphia, the same way that every gay person does.”
He says he takes photos of himself when he’s happy with his body to post to Instagram. However, he doesn’t always feel comfortable with the way he looks.
“There are moments where I’m, like, super happy with how my body looks and I’m being stricter about what I’m eating and better with my training,” Gus explained.
“And then there are moments where I’m not feeling good about it. And the way that Instagram works is that’s probably not the time I’m going to post a photo. So it creates this kind of distorted version of reality.”
He said he’s flattered that others regard him as a sex symbol.
“In terms of being viewed as sexual, I don’t care. I’m flattered and fine with it. I’m a very, very sexual person and I’m very open about it.”
Slovakian Gen-Z alt-pop singer Karin Ann is a rising queer icon. The two-part video for her new single, “A Stranger With My Face” comes from queer directing duo TUSK (Olivia Mitchell and Kerry Furrh). It’s well worth a watch – and not just because of Kenworthy’s appearance.
Kenworthy praised the project.
“I just think [Karin Ann’s] story is so great and love the fact that she is an openly queer artist and is pushing that narrative and this video is pushing that narrative. I was so excited to be a part of such a cool, queer project.”
Kenworthy represented the USA in the 2014 and 2018 Winter Olympics. He won a silver medal at the 2014 event and came out as gay the following year. He switched to Team GB for his final Olympics in 2022 (he was born in England). As an actor, he appeared in American Horror Story: 1984 and had a cameo in this year’s movie, 80 For Brady.
“There’s nothing cooler than being yourself and embracing the things that make you unique.”