Stacey Solomon:

Loose Women star Stacey Solomon tells Closer about em­brac­ing her fig­ure and the dam­ag­ing ef­fects of so­cial me­dia, plus ba­bies with Joe Swash

Closer (UK) - - Contents -

“I have body hang-ups, but I’ve learned to love my­self”

he posed in an un­air­bushed S un­der­wear shoot with her Loose Women co-stars and made a tongue-in-cheek video in a bikini showing off her “saggy boobs” and “muf­fin top”, so it’s fair to say Stacey Solomon does her bit for pro­mot­ing body con­fi­dence.

And when we sit down with Stacey for a chat, it’s clear how pas­sion­ate she is about women feel­ing good about them­selves in a world where we are flooded with images of air­brushed bod­ies on so­cial me­dia.

“It’s so easy to scroll down your news feed and think, ‘Why don’t I look like her?’” Stacey says. “But the truth is a lot of what we see on so­cial me­dia and in ad­ver­tis­ing isn’t real. Ev­ery­one has body hang-ups but it’s im­por­tant we show real bod­ies and start to ac­cept our­selves as we are.”

The 28-year-old pre­sen­ter was praised over the sum­mer when she posted a video to her 600,000 fol­low­ers showing off her “muf­fin top, saggy boobs and stretch marks” while on hol­i­day in Cyprus.

“The video was a bit silly,” she laughs. “But I thought, ‘How many peo­ple are on hol­i­day wor­ried about how they look in a bikini?’ Me in­cluded. And it shouldn’t be like that. We save up all year to go away and we should en­joy it. I guess I did the video for any­one who also feels like me when they’re on hol­i­day. And I never look at some­one and think, ‘Ooh, she’s got saggy boobs,’ so why do I as­sume that peo­ple are look­ing at me and look­ing for what’s wrong?”

OVER­COM­ING ANX­I­ETY

Stacey – who has sons Zac, nine, and Leighton, five, from pre­vi­ous re­la­tion­ships – is up­front about her con­cerns over the way we use so­cial me­dia. “I’m no dif­fer­ent to any­one else,” she re­veals. “If I take five pictures of my­self, I’ll pick the best to post, but I think we should at least be hon­est with it and say, ‘This has a fil­ter.’ Th­ese apps that air­brush you to within an inch of your life are ac­tu­ally quite dan­ger­ous. It’s sad peo­ple feel the need to make them­selves five times smaller.”

But the for­mer X Fac­tor star hasn’t al­ways felt this con­fi­dent – and ad­mits to suf­fer­ing from anx­i­ety in the past.

“I used to worry about what peo­ple thought about me,” she says. “I had anx­i­ety over ev­ery­thing. But as I’ve got older I’ve re­alised you have to re­lax and en­joy life. I am happy and healthy and learn­ing to ac­cept my­self and love my body has helped me let go of the anx­i­ety.”

And Stacey, who also took part in

Loose Women’s

body con­fi­dence cam­paign, says that af­ter years of self-im­posed pres­sure she has fi­nally learned to be kin­der to her­self.

“Th­ese days I have no prob­lem with my body,” she ad­mits. “I have bits where I think, ‘Ooh that’s a bit wob­bly or that’s a bit saggy’, but I have two chil­dren and I’ve breast­fed them both

so of course I’m go­ing to have lumps. I have hangups about my teeth and my acne scars, but you have to put things into per­spec­tive. Some peo­ple are so much worse off.” And Stacey be­lieves that learn­ing to love her­self has had a pos­i­tive im­pact on her re­la­tion­ship with I’m A Celeb! pre­sen­ter Joe Swash, 35.

WED­DING PLANS

Stacey says, “Joe and I have a great re­la­tion­ship and I think one of the rea­sons is that I’m so se­cure in my­self – I never look to him for re­as­sur­ance. I have been very in­se­cure in pre­vi­ous re­la­tion­ships and, for the first time, I feel I’m valu­able and I love my­self. It took me so long to feel like this – but I know I’m a catch! This is the best re­la­tion­ship I’ve been in.”

So much so that Stacey – who re­cently posted a funny video of her­self on­line try­ing on wed­ding dresses – says she would love to get mar­ried and have more chil­dren.

“Joe saw that video and rang me laugh­ing say­ing, ‘You’re try­ing on wed­ding dresses?!’” she re­veals. “But that’s just who I am. I can’t wait to get mar­ried – and I would say that if I was sin­gle too.

“Joe thinks I’m a goof, but you only live once and I’d rather have a laugh. I’d love more chil­dren, too. I’ve al­ways been re­ally moth­erly. My youngest is five now and he is get­ting more in­de­pen­dent, so it’s mak­ing me think I’d like another. That would be lovely.”

‘I’d love more kids – I’ve al­ways been re­ally moth­erly’

Women stripped The Loose shoot off for an un­der­wear She pro­mot con­fi­dence hol­i­day vide

She’d love to marry boyfriend Joe

She’s mum to Zac and Leighton

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