John Whaite reflects on masculinity ahead of semi-final ‘Shoehorned into boxes’

Strictly: John Whaite on learning the Couples Choice

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John Whaite, 32, has spoken out on masculinity and “what it means to be a man” as he explained the meaning behind his upcoming couple’s choice dance ahead of tonight’s semi-final. The Great British Bake Off star took to his Instagram account, where he has garnered 243,000 followers, to pen his reflection.

In the lengthy post, John said men are “shoehorned into boxes of masculinity” and not allowed to express themselves in the way they would like.

The picture featured John and his Strictly partner Johannes Radebe during their rehearsals paying close attention to choreographer Lukas Mcfarlane as he spoke to them.

John wrote: “This week has been completely knackering, but one of the best weeks of my little existence.

“We’ve learned a speedy jive to Coldplay (who I now LOVE – I’m late to the Coldplay game but let me tell you I’m now loving their stuff) and we’ve had the pleasure of working with @lukas_mcfarlane (and Amy and Josh) to create our couple’s choice.”

John continued: “We wanted our couple’s choice to symbolise a couple of things.

“First, returning to a place where originally you couldn’t be yourself but after the support of friends and the kindness of strangers, you return confident in who you have become.

“And a huge part of that tale is about what it means to be a man – many men grow up shoehorned into boxes of masculinity.

“They’re told not to be camp, not to play with dolls, not to cry, not to express emotion.

“We wanted to demonstrate that men can be sensitive and kind and gentle, that we don’t have to be aggressive and numb and cold.”

The Strictly star signed off: “I hope you enjoy our story.”

The emotional post gathered more than 10,000 likes.

Strictly fans who were moved by the symbolism behind the dance took to the post’s comment section to express their support for John and Johannes.

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Joelrobison wrote: “Coldplay is my absolute favourite!

“Can’t wait to see this epic combination of powerful expression!”

Also_enid added: “I can’t wait to see it.

“I work with children aged 2-5 and it’s a core personal mission of mine to remove those gender boxes.

“I can affect a small number children, you have a massive platform.

“I’m so proud of you both for using it!” (sic)

Last week, John accidentally dropped Johannes at the end of their performance.

The duo performed a Salsa to We Are Family by Sister Sledge.

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