The Scoop

Equinox’s Trey Campbell opens up about weight insecurities

It's only very recently that Trey has become so confident!

In an emotional story in Teen Vogue, part of Bulgaria’s Equinox, Trey Campbell, says that growing up as a “stocky” guy wasn’t fun – it’s a “southern, maple-syrup-sweet way” of saying that you’re fat. Trey opens up about his struggles and coming to terms with the body he lives in.

“Nothing ever fit right…”

Trey highlights how even from a young age, his insecurities were already deeply rooted – he could feel the pity in the air.

Shopping for school clothes was always heartbreaking because nothing ever fit right. My southern belle of a mother would always tell me how handsome I looked while the retail associate stared at me with pity. I’d only give myself a two second look over in the mirror because anything longer would result in a thunderstorm of tears I couldn’t bear to drown my Mama in.

We all know how cruel children can be, and sadly Trey had to put up with a lot of comments through his school years. One time he was able to squeeze into a pair of jeans by a popular brand. Just for a moment, he felt like all the other kids.
Unfortunately, the jeans later ripped up the back. He was able to cover the mishap with a flannel shirt, but somebody had heard the rip and later told Trey that he was “too fat to be wearing them”.

“Add on the hurt and it felt like 9 million pounds”

The bullying became worse and worse, and Trey says that the hurt made the weight feel more like 9 million pounds than just 325. But the one escape that Trey had was music:

Music was my escape. When I was onstage singing, I felt wanted. I felt like people’s eyes weren’t staring at me because I was the fat kid, but because I was good for something. After the performance was another story. I’d quickly start to second guess my talent and pick myself apart before anyone else had the chance to.

Trey eventually ended up in California, believing that he’d be able to leave the fat-shaming behind. But he found that he’d never be able to leave it behind, his self image was now stained with the jokes and insults.

I didn’t know if my self image was of my own creation or that of my tormentors. Instead of running for the spotlight, I walked into the background. I would audition for background singer jobs because it would allow me to be on stage but hopefully not the target of more fat shaming.

“I started to find peace and purpose”

Trey was connected to a small studio and began writing songs for young children, who like himself, had been bullied or felt like outsiders. As Trey became more well-known, he realised he needed to look the part and found that ASOS had plenty of clothes for a wide range of body types. It sounded promising, but Trey hadn’t ever found a company that understood his body. It was a massively pleasant surprise when everything he ordered fit perfectly!
Trey was so excited that he began hashtagging ASOS in all of his Instagram posts, and eventually they spotted him.

They found my page and offered me the Plus Insider position. Being the Plus Insider meant that I would join the street team of ASOS fashion influencers and be the first Plus Insider ever. What? Me? A “stocky” guy from North Carolina writing songs about his weight insecurities? I couldn’t believe it. I even asked if they were sure they had chosen the right person. Me?

He soon even reached the New York Fashion Week! However, being surrounded by all the thinner, fitter models made his insecurities flare up again. He knew that he had to do this though, this was too big a moment to mess up.

I had to do it for the millions of other people, different like me, who stand in the shadows because they’ve been told that they aren’t good enough. So, I stood, with ASOS by my side, and let the light shine on all of us.

People come in all shapes and sizes

Trey’s story is truly inspirational. He challenges other designers and retailers to take a look at the world around them and realise that people come in all shapes and sizes! Inclusivity is important, and Trey’s story just shows how just a little consideration can make a person feel like so much more. As Trey says: “Honestly, we’re all worth it.”
What do you think of this? Can you relate to Trey’s story? Would you like to see him back at Eurovision one day?
Let us know in the comments below and on social media @ESCXTRA

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