Westlife

Mark Feehily on being fat shamed in Westlife and forced to come out as gay before he was ready

Mark Feehily has opened up about being fat-shamed at the start of the popular boy band, revealing he was repeatedly told “you’re fat, lose weight”.

Mark appeared on the Late Late Show on Friday night for an extensive interview with Ryan Tubridy from his career to his family life.

Speaking about being body-shamed as the “fat” of the group alongside Shane Filan, Kian Egan, Nikki Byrne and their debut Brian McFadden, Mark said criticism of his weight came from people in the industry, but he is now subject to cruel comments on social networks.

“Before going on TV [they tell you] you know there’s 14 million people watching this, there’s actually 15 million people watching that one.

He continued, “Look, it’s the music business, and things are a little different now, but back then people would have no problem saying to you, ‘you’re fat, lose weight. weight”, like just before going on TV.

“Now instead of being someone in the record industry, it’s Instagram or it’s Twitter.”

He went on to describe a particularly nasty magazine article that had a “circle of shame” pointing out “what’s wrong with a celebrity” and Feehily said “it completely destroyed him”.



Mark Feehily on The Late Late Show Friday Night

Luckily, Mark said people in the music industry no longer accept that it’s okay to criticize artists like that.

He said: “The point is that a lot of things have changed and we don’t accept this stuff anymore. It’s not seen as acceptable anymore, and that’s the important thing.”

Mark also recalled a time when he was forced to confirm his sexuality after a newspaper threatened to ‘unmask’ him, a practice that is also thankfully a thing of the past.

“One day I got a phone call from someone who works around us and they said The Sun knew you were dating someone, a man, and basically they were going to print the story .

“They want to know if you want to go talk to them and explain your situation or not, but it’s in the paper anyway.

“It was unexpected, I don’t look back in anger, but I don’t think anyone should be forced out that way.

“Fortunately, in the media industry, they wouldn’t even think of doing something like that now. It was something that happened twenty years ago, but it doesn’t happen now.”

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