Content creators are the new celebrities. Sure, big-time movie stars might still be better rewarded for their efforts and have more prestige in society, but they’re not the ones kids will relate to these days. They’re not constantly releasing hours upon hours of material, some of which are produced in direct contact with the audience.
Content creators have a leg up on traditional creators regarding the ability to catch the proverbial eyeball. But with great power – to stay in the realm of entertainment – comes great responsibility. The more attention content creators attract, the bigger their platform gets. As a result, their words and deeds become amplified.
Some creators decide to make this into an opportunity to do some good. Nathan Freihofer is one of them. Mostly known for content related to working out, lifestyle, and humor, Nathan Freihofer has also been diving into more serious topics recently.
“Between the ages of 15 and 21, I’ve suffered from anorexia,” says Nathan Freihofer. “I’ve decided to start talking about it and use my platform to show people, especially young guys, that it happens to men too and that there are ways for them to get through it.”
What prompted Nathan Freihofer to start using his digital fame – his TikTok following numbers in millions – is the lack of male voices in the discussion around anorexia. So, in the throes of the eating disorder, he did what many people his age do and tried to look for someone to relate to online.
The silence he found is well documented and recognized even by organizations that advocate for eating disorder awareness. According to information from the National Eating Disorders Association, NEDA, roughly a third of people suffering from eating disorders are men. NEDA recognizes the likely underdiagnosing of eating disorders in men. This fact is alarming, given how studies suggest that the mortality risk for males with eating disorders is higher than for females.
So Nathan Freihofer decided to open up and share his story in a half-hour video on YouTube. Starting at the beginning, he recalls how an undiagnosed thyroid issue, combined with his obsessive streak in his character, pushed him into a spiral of behaviors that he believed would keep him from gaining weight. Today, he also believes it affected his growth, and he’s sure it affected him in other ways.
“I always say that the goal is to help. I’d love it if no one ever again had to go through it, but I know I can’t root out anorexia,” Nathan Freihofer. “And I know I’m not a medical doctor, so I can’t give medical advice. So I offer people my testimony, show them what I looked like back then, and they can see what I look like now. I also tell them how I changed my relationship with food, where I don’t obsess about it at all and don’t obsess about things in general. The idea is to inspire and motivate people, and if only one person gets on the road to recovery because of my video, that’s good enough for me.”