Musician Glen Donnelly is attracting worldwide media attention for his naked skydiving campaign to raise awareness for men’s body image issues.
On Aug. 27, the violinist who formerly played in the London Symphony Orchestra, celebrated his 30th birthday by jumping out of a plane, wearing no clothes, while playing the violin.
Donnelly launched a GoFundMe campaign ahead of the challenge with a goal of $15,000, to raise awareness about men’s body image issues.
“Men are pressured to silently suffer thanks to our modern idea of masculinity. While women are supported when they speak out and get help, men are often laughed at,” said Donnelly in a post on his GoFundMe page.
Donnelly told the BBC that he himself has struggled with body image issues since he was 18 years old when another musician commented on his “tubby” stomach.
“I started silently sucking it in 24/7, creating a mental and physical prison in my body,” Donnelly said.
The musician eventually developed body dysmorphic disorder, a condition that causes people to become preoccupied with imagined physical defects, which worsened to the point where he was forced to leave the orchestra in 2013 to seek help.
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After working with a psychiatrist, Donnelly began educating other people about the disorder, and has since started two charities and a Nude Movement, to promotes awareness about body image issues.
“In my moment of no return, I took control of my life and started doing things my way to heal my body and mind. I discovered taking my clothes off as a radical way to learn to accept myself, and now I want to help others,” said Donnelly on his GoFundMe page.
The Birthday Dive has raised almost a third of the $15,000 goal.