Loose Women star Stacey Solomon tells Closer about embracing her figure and the damaging effects of social media, plus babies with Joe Swash
“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?”
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
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.
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’
She’s mum to Zac and Leighton