Update: The first official look at Gustin in season 5's costume has been released.
Grant Gustin has taken to social media after a leaked photo gave viewers a glimpse of his season 5 costume in The Flash. Clearly unimpressed by the leak, Gustin used the opportunity to speak out against the body-shaming response to the photo.
Just a day ago, a leaked photo revealed a test version of the Flash's news season 5 costume. Reception was fairly mixed, with some fans celebrating a clear homage to a classic design from the comics. Others, however, were less impressed, as they pointed out how thin Gustin is. It's not been the first time Gustin has been criticized as somehow being too thin to play the part of the Flash, but it clearly still rankles.
The actor shared a post on Instagram in which he pointed out that this "bullsh-t photo" showed a test version of the suit. "Things have been adjusted since that leaked shot was taken," Gustin observed, "and more things will continue to be adjusted until it feels right." Moving on from that point, though, Gustin focused his ire on fans who still seem determined to body-shame him.
There's actually a tremendous sense of irony around the fact some fans insist Gustin is too skinny to play the Flash. In the comics, the Flash is noted for having an impossibly fast metabolism, and as such he constantly needs to eat in order to recharge his body. People with fast metabolisms typically can't put on weight. So the decision to cast the naturally-slim Grant Gustin as the Flash was a pretty logical one. It's likely most super-speedsters would be thin.
Gustin makes a valid point when he observes that there's a cultural double-standard, as though it's okay to criticize a man's body but not a woman's. Body-shaming has become less acceptable for female actors, but it still happens all-too-often with men, and that needs to change. In this case, it's clear that Gustin's weight has been an issue for the actor throughout his life. "I've had 20+ years of kids and adults telling me or my parents I was too thin," he noted. Gustin describes a personal journey in which he came to accept himself for who he is, growing in confidence to the point where he could audition for the part of the Flash. Five seasons in, he's proven he was the right choice.
But Gustin's concern is for others who are naturally skinny, the kids who watch The Flash and dream of one day being a superhero. In his own way, he believes he's doing his bit for representation, reminding the world that anybody can have their time to shine - whatever their body shape or metabolism may be.
Source: Grant Gustin/Instagram