A 22-stone teenager who shed nine stone in a bid to find a girlfriend is now fighting off attention from the ladies – after becoming a Justin Bieber lookalike.
William Cookson, 17, was a virtual recluse when he tipped the scales at 21st 9lb and struggled to squeeze into his XXXXXL school uniform.
He was taunted by classmates and had never been kissed – so went on a drastic diet and exercise regime in a bid to find a girlfriend.
And after slimming down to 13 stone he developed an uncanny resemblance to teen heartthrob Bieber – and is now deluged with attention from adoring girls.
He said: “I used to get no female attention whatsoever. I knew a girl would never have looked at me when I was 21 stone and instantly have fallen for my personality, so I knew I had to do something.
“I must admit I never saw the resemblance when I was bigger but when I lost the weight, I started getting compared to him on my Facebook profile.
“People would comment on my pictures suggesting I look like him, I just used to laugh it off, but being compared to somebody who is adored by millions of girls isn’t a bad thing.
“I don’t think I would have even kissed a girl if I stayed the way I was, so I’m really glad I decided to lose weight. I’ve had three serious girlfriends and a few flings since.”
William, of Liverpool, ballooned in weight during his teenage years by gorging on fish and chips, Doritos and chocolate.
He was bursting out of his school uniform with a 48-inch waist and watched jealously as his pals started dating girls.
William said: “I always felt like an outcast because at an early age I was always bigger than my peers.
“My weight seemed to spiral out of control and I was too young to even notice.
“When I was fat I didn’t really used to go out, I was too scared of being insulted and what other people would think so instead I sat at home, watched television and used to eat instead of socialising.
“Harsh comments at school about how large I was really affected me, it was then I decided to do something about it.
“All of my the people around me were in relationships and I was always the one who was left out.
“I was sick of hearing girls moaning about how badly lads treat them, so I thought if I lost the weight I could show them that not every guy is the same.”
William, who is completing his A-Levels at Liverpool Community College, enlisted the help of an uncle who is a personal trainer to help him lose the weight.
He embarked on a strict gym regime, cut out all snacks and sticks to three balanced meals a day.
William is now regularly stopped by strangers who mistake him for popstar Bieber.
He said: “I must admit I never saw the resemblance when I was bigger but since shedding the pounds I’ve been told lots of times that I’m the spitting image of Justin.
“I think it’s the hair, although he has cut his differently now, he always used to have long hair and wear a hat like I do.
“I take it as a huge compliment. He has millions of female fans all over the world and is dating one of the most gorgeous girls in the world, so obviously he must be doing something right.
“Most lads would find it hard to admit but he’s an attractive guy, he’s dating a beautiful girl and he literally has enough money to do whatever he wants.
“Now I look like Justin Bieber my confidence has gone through the roof and I get lots female attention too.”