Loose Women stars including Saira Khan, Katie Price, Coleen Nolan and Janet Street-Porter have stripped to their swimwear to promote their new campaign, #MyBodyMyStory.
Each panellist took part in a totally unairbrushed photoshoot with photographer Bryan Adams, who has previously photographed women including The Queen and Kate Moss, and recorded a short clip explaining their thoughts about their body through motherhood and more.
The show’s body positive movement has attracted widespread praise from viewers, with one writing: ‘So good the @loosewomen are promoting body confidence. Everyone should be able to love their bodies. Just wish I could myself, onwards and upwards ❤️ lots of love and respect to you all 😘’
‘Love this.. real ladies, real bodies.. showing every girl/women to love the skin your in and we are all beautiful,’ another agreed.
Here’s what each of the Loose Women had to say about themselves, and their reasons for backing the campaign…
‘I have produced five babies so I can’t knock my body – it’s a pure temple, a proper machine,’ said former glamour model Katie, who is mum to sons Harvey, Junior and Jett, and daughters Princess and Bunny.
‘There’s no body the same – I’ve got scars, they’re good memories. We’re all imperfect, all bodies tell a story. I don’t regret any of it. Everyone should embrace who they are. At the end of the day you should be loved for who you are.’
Coleen, 52, described her ‘constant battle’ with her body: ‘It goes back to when I was only a child and an uncle picked on me saying I was the “heavy one”. I know I’m not at the low weight I’ve got down to several times in the past but ultimately I’ve decided life’s too short to spend it on a yo-yo diet, I’ve made peace with the way my body looks and, quite frankly, I like cake just a little bit too much!’
She added that she was ‘scared before the shoot’, but ultimately ended up embracing it: ‘I hope other women with body shapes like mine feel they can also be proud of themselves – there’s no perfect person in the world – we all come in different ages, shapes and sizes and life is too short to spend it hating yourself because you not a size 8 or 21 anymore.’
Stacey, 27, admitted that she had lots of things she didn’t really like about her body: ‘saggy boobs and stretch marks and the thing that really bothers me is my love handles. In pictures I put my arms in a certain place, to hide them, they are so bumpy. I know people say to me “Oh, slim girl problems” – but it really bothers me.’
However, she added that she didn’t want her two sons to worry about how they look, adding that her nine-year-old was already talking about ‘building muscle’. ‘I hope this photoshoot shows women and men is that in most celebrity pictures there has been some form of airbrushing or retouching – so they shouldn’t compare themselves to unrealistic ideals,’ she explained.
59-year-old Linda highlighted her favourite part of her body as her nose. ‘I hate my legs,’ she counteracted. ‘I have big legs – me and my sister always have had big legs. I never get them out from above the knee. The tops of my legs are covered in red and navy veins. I hate having pictures taken of me in a swimsuit without a sarong. It upsets my kids when unflattering things get published. I also hate my breasts – they are so big and heavy. I never normally take my clothes off – even for my husband.’
However, she said that her recent weight loss after following a sugar-free diet had spurred her on, and that she was feeling the best she had in years. ‘I’m far from body confident, but I think it’s really important to show these pictures to inspire all women to appreciate their body at any age.’
‘I have wasted more time than I can to think of over my body issues,’ said mum of two girls Nadia. ‘I’ve always hated being naked. I felt quite panic stricken at the thought of getting my body out in front of myself never mind a rock god!’
‘Stepping into the studio in my bra and pants was beyond cringe. There I was stretch marks, cellulite and all the battle scars of life for all to see with the knowledge that there would be zero airbrushing. And to be honest that’s why I wanted to do the shoot.’
Nadia wants to practice what she preaches for daughters Maddie and Kiki: ‘What the hell does it matter what we look like as long as we are smart, brave and kind?’
‘I think it’s really important not to pretend we’re all perfect… from under my boobs down to my pubic area I have a lot of scars – from my C-sections and previous operations to do with pregnancy, and my hysterectomy scars,’ Andrea stated.
The shoot was the first time Andrea had uncovered the scars from her operation in this way, which she said was ‘weird’, but added: ‘I hope people see the pictures for what they are; real women, not edited or airbrushed, letting their body tell their story. Since the shoot my confidence has really increased.’
Saira spoke about the way her Muslim background had influenced her relationship with her body: ‘I was brought up with the mentality to not draw attention to my body. I battled against my curves when I was younger as I didn’t want boys to notice me for being sexy – I was brought up to never bare my skin in front of men – it took me a long time not to feel guilty for wearing a dress or baring my arms,’ she revealed.
‘I have talked about being “touched up” when I was 13 years old and that experience led to a disconnect between sexuality and my body. I have never done a bikini shoot but I’m really excited and honoured to be part of this campaign, and to just be honest with other women about how I am. I want to say “this is NORMAL” particularly to women of colour.’
Jane, who highlighted her ‘sticky out’ ears and her stretch marks as areas she was self-conscious of, called the photo shoot a ‘fantastic experience’.
‘I’m skinny but I have lumps and bumps. I have a C-section scar, crepe-ing on my tummy. It’s a couple of kids and it’s life. I’m kind of happy with that. This shoot has been an eye opener – I thought about my body in a different way.’
‘It’s really important to do this campaign because I want women all over Britain to learn to love their body!’ Janet exclaimed. ‘Our bodies are brilliant – it’s your weapon!’
Have you felt inspired by the Loose Women #MyBodyMyStory campaign? Let us know in the comments below!