Once upon a time, the gay stereo type was that all gay guys were gym junkies who avoid carbs. Magazines celebrated men with taut six packs, with not an ounce of body fat to be seen. But something has changed. It would seem that perfect cover models are quickly becoming a thing of the past and personally I applaud the magazines both gay and straight who feature talented, relevant, modern men on their covers who DO NOT have that aforementioned physique.

I train and work out, but I do not have rippling abs, bulging biceps, or a perfect ass that some guys have… But there is one thing I have that I think everyone should have – and that’s confidence. Confidence to be proud in your own skin. Confidence to not be self conscious around others who resemble gladiators and the confidence to hold your head up high.

In today’s gay male community, I find it quite a relief to see a big guy drinking a beer and eating a burger. Although I am an advocate for health and fitness and do not encourage a calorie packed, fattening type of diet – I do however nod my head to those guys who don’t care about fitting a stereotype. It shows a level of maturity, self respect, and confidence not found in many people around the entire LGBT community.

The interesting thing is, in my experience the guys with less than one percent body fat are usually some of the most boring, sluttiest and emotionally unstable men I have ever met! Not only do they obsess about everything that goes into their mouthes, they also worry about every inch of their body that they think might be imperfect.

But imperfection is a fact of life and embracing that is a good thing. Read that carefully because I said embrace, not encourage. Everybody should want to be fit and healthy not only to live as long as possible but also to make sure that time is of a high quality as well. But we shouldn’t get bent out of shape because we don’t look like the guy we see on TV or in magazines. They work hard to get those bodies and while we all have the potential to achieve it, it’s not be all and end all to look like that as it will not make us any happier.

The best part of life is we all different and come in all different shapes and sizes. So I encourage magazines, like Sports Illustrated, who has just featured a plus size cover model on their cover, to help the image and concept of beauty change.

Austin is supporting www.ballstocancer.co.uk/how-to-check/