I JOINED STRICTLY TO FEEL SEX­IER AND FREER AND WORK ON LET­TING GO

Grazia (UK) - - 10 Hot_ Stories -

‘I’ve been in po­si­tions where I couldn’t ex­er­cise, so when I can be free with my body and run and go to the gym and dance, I never take that for granted.’ Hav­ing her daugh­ters, Belle, four, and Pene­lope, 10 months, has made her even more de­ter­mined not to hold her­self back, so they grow up see­ing what’s pos­si­ble.

She’s also pas­sion­ate about be­ing ‘truth­ful about what I put out there’ in a world in which we’re more used to see­ing en­hanced im­ages than real ones. She doesn’t dig­i­tally al­ter the im­ages she posts on so­cial me­dia be­cause, she says, ‘I want to be open and trans­par­ent.’

Like in­creas­ing num­bers of women, she’s had enough of In­sta-fak­e­ness. ‘I had a big detox a cou­ple of months ago where I un­fol­lowed loads of peo­ple on In­sta­gram when I re­alised I was fol­low­ing too many ar­ti­fi­cial pages,’ she says. ‘Now I fol­low a lot of ac­tivists, mum blog­gers, plus-size mod­els and dis­abil­ity cam­paign­ers, so every day my feed is filled with real peo­ple do­ing im­por­tant things. It’s a more rounded view of what’s re­ally hap­pen­ing out there.’

This week, she’s launch­ing a pod­cast called Katie Piper’s Ex­tra­or­di­nary Peo­ple, in which she in­ter­views peo­ple who’ve re­built their lives af­ter life-chang­ing events. ‘Peo­ple like that come up to me in restau­rants or in the street and tell me phe­nom­e­nal things. So I de­cided to do a pod­cast about their sto­ries, the emo­tions, the chal­lenges and their ad­vice about how to move on.’

She hopes her Strictly jour­ney con­tin­ues. ‘I joined be­cause I wanted to feel sex­ier and freer and work on let­ting go,’ she says. ‘I think it’s go­ing to be good for me.’ ‘ Strictly Come Danc­ing’ is on Satur­days and Sun­days on BBC One

Above and be­low: Katie with dance part­ner Gorka Mar­quez. Right, from top: Vil­lanelle in a dress by Molly God­dard; the de­signer; ac­tor Jodie Comer at Molly God­dard’s LFW show last month, wear­ing one of her de­signs

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