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'It's no surprise Peter Stringer was uncomfortable in his DWTS outfits when people hold attitudes like Megan Barton Hanson's'

Initially, Peter didn’t feel very confident in his DWTS outfits.

0_Peter-Stringer Source: RTÉ

BEFORE RTÉ’S NEW series of Dancing With The Stars Ireland had even kicked off, there was plenty of talk about Peter Stringer, who bookies had down as favourite to win.

When the show began at the start of the month, Peter was probably the most talked about contestant after the whole debate about whether or not he was being objectified by the judges, who made remarks about his physique.

Now, ahead of the last episode of the month, Peter revealed that he was pretty uncomfortable when he was first confronted with his wardrobe for the dancefloor. Talking to the Irish Mirror, Stringer said:

I walked in the first day into the wardrobe department and I saw that pink suit that I was wearing for the original VTs and I thought to myself, “I actually can’t wear this.” Just the thought of wearing it. I put the suit on and I looked in the mirror and thought, “What do I look like?” 

Seeing everybody else in similar outfits made things a bit easier, he added.

But then you stand beside everyone else, you put yourself into that group and everyone else is wearing bright green or bright yellow, you blend in. You just go with it. 

However, what made the biggest help to him was the boost in confidence he got from his wife Debbie, who was nothing but supportive when she saw him in his dancing gear. 

My wife Debbie convinced me to do this in the end, she gave me the confidence to do it and she said, “Look, everything they throw at you – whether it’s sequins or pink – just go with it and own it.” You realise that if you feel uncomfortable in it and look uncomfortable in it, everybody else will see that as well. 

The fact that Peter Stringer initially felt uneasy about his appearance proves that anybody can feel that way. There are plenty of people out there who’d probably imagine that they’d have all of the confidence in the world if they were as athletic and successful as Peter Stringer, so it’s commendable that Peter had the guts to admit that he was actually self-conscious the first time he put on his DWTS garb.

In some small way, he’s subverting the expectations we’ve been taught to have for men who look like him. As macho as Stringer might seem, he’s just a regular guy who worries about his appearance like everybody else. He wasn’t immediately comfortable with donning a garish outfit that might be deemed feminine by some, simply because it’s pink, but he got on with things and spoke out about it, setting an example for others. 

It’s nice that Peter has managed to do this, and it’s also nice to see that he has the support of his wife behind him too.

Dancing On Ice 2018 Source: Ian West

It’s almost in complete contrast to what we witnessed in December when Megan Barton Hanson spoke about how she felt about what her Love Island boyfriend Wes Nelson was set to wear on ITV’s Dancing on Ice. If you need a quick refresher, Megan said she expected Wes to be ‘repulsive’ in his ice-skating costume, and said she was ‘nervous to see him in sequins’, as she’d ‘cringe so hard’, since that’s ‘not manly’. 

Megan’s comments were so unnecessary, and it’s bizarre that she’d happily make them publicly, but maybe it was for the best as they may have gone unchecked otherwise. Matt Evers, partner of Gemma Collins on Dancing on Ice, was quick to demonstrate just how manly ice-skating really is and called her comments “unfair”. The fact that Megan did make the comments for the world to read suggests that she believes her views are widely held – and they probably are.

For every man who wants to try something not typically very masculine, there might be a woman discouraging him or asking, “What would you want to do that for?” For every man who mixes things up by wearing something a little bit out there, there might be five of his mates roasting him in the group-chat, rather than giving him some encouragement that might be the difference between him gaining or losing a tiny bit of confidence. 

That type of attitude makes things just a little bit harder for all men, not just Peter Stringer or Wes Nelson. 

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About the author:

Kelly Earley

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