Holly Willoughby says she was fat-shamed while modelling at the age of 17

Holly Willoughby says she was fat-shamed while modelling at the age of 17


Holly Willoughby has revealed that she was fat-shamed as a 17 year old model by an agency.

The This Morning presenter disclosed the details in her new book, Reflections. The 40 year old admitted that despite being ‘tiny’ an Australian booker commented that ‘healthy eating while travelling” around the country had affected her size.

Holly admitted she was in “complete and utter shock” by the behaviour and had to “listen to her gut” to quit the glamorous career.

Holly went on to explain in her book that as a teenager she did work experience at Model 1, an agency in London. Eventually, after she made "lots of tea" an agent spotted her and suggested modelling after noticing her “cheeky smile”.

The star started to go to casting calls across London and even worked on a few commercials. She described the experience as a “learning curve” that took her out of her comfort zone and boosted her confidence.

Holly decided to go travelling around Australia and met with an agent while she was in Sydney. She said: "I hoped I'd do some modelling there and maybe live in Sydney for a bit. The booker was really nice.

"Afterwards, I spoke to my London agency to see what she'd said, and the comment I got back was: 'We'll put her weight down to healthy eating while travelling.'''

"I just thought, wow. I could look in the mirror and see what I was seventeen and tiny… so to hear a comment like that was a complete and utter shock."

Holly noted that was the moment when she decided to take a step back from modelling. The star penned: “I saw for myself the brutal and, in my opinion, ugly side of what I'd always thought was the most beautiful place, and I realised then that it was no for me.”

She explained that she knew she would have to “drastically” change her diet to fit into the shape that agents at the time required, and she said “forcing her body to be a certain shape wasn't a good way to live”.

After that experience, Holly decided to dip her toe into presenting and went to a TV casting call with her friends for a show called S Club TV. She said despite being an "utterly rubbish presenter," she got the job.

In her new memoir, Holly urges readers to celebrate and “nourish” their bodies with food. Despite intense media coverage, Holly rarely talks about her fitness or diet, saying it makes her “very frustrated” to do so.

In 2017, Holly told Prima Magazine that she avoids talking about her diet to not influence individuals suffering with eating disorders.

She said: "I actually avoid talking about my diet and exercise regime because I have interviewed so many people affected by eating disorders and I know that some people in chat rooms can really fixate on other people's diets.

“I just can't contribute to that.”

“As long as I'm healthy, that's good enough for me. I'm quite active and I try not to let the way I look be the main focus because it's not the most important thing.”

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