Clayton Echard knows what you may be thinking.
How could the lead of The Bachelor feel insecure or lack confidence when dozens of girls are fighting for his attention and affection? But during his journey on ABC’s reality show, the 29-year-old shared his personal struggles with body dysmorphia disorder and quickly realized he wasn’t alone.
“I had a really positive response,” Clayton exclusively told E! News. “A lot of people were in my DMs telling me, ‘I’m a man and I also struggle with this’ and women said, ‘Hey, it’s so great to see men are talking about this and we struggle with this as well.’ I realized from that point on that it’s my sense of purpose.”
Now, Clayton is using his platform to raise awareness about his experience with the disorder, described by the Mayo Clinic as a condition in which you can’t stop thinking about one or more perceived defects or flaws in your appearance—a flaw that appears minor or can’t be seen by others.
Since learning about his condition, Clayton said he has begun focusing more on what he can control instead of what’s out of his hands.