For a long time Gemma Collins has struggled with her weight but perhaps her biggest struggle is people’s reaction to her body. GC, 34, has been incredibly open about her almost decade-long battle with her appearance.
It began in her mid-20s after splitting up with a long-term boyfriend, ‘I wasn’t big until then. But I don’t smoke or drink a lot, so I turned to food. That was the way I coped.
‘My self-esteem was so low that every time I felt pain I’d eat. Food became my coping mechanism and I’ve never been able to break that cycle.
‘The way I was gorging on food was a sort of self-harm.’
Despite it very much being a personal struggle, many have taken it upon themselves to attack Gemma for her weight. Most prominently was human trash bag and professional hater Katie Hopkins on Celebrity Big Brother last year, who lived up to her reputation by spouting venom at Gemma by calling her a ‘proud fattie’.
But her Twitter and Instagram account have also been subject to a variety of trolls. Recently Gemma posted a picture of herself in support of #curvee, a body-positivity movement on social media, yet what she received in response was anything but positive.
‘I put up a picture on my Instagram in support of #curvee showing girls that inspired me and the comments were vile calling them things like “obese” and “lazy”.’
Yet calling Gemma ‘lazy’ is, in fact, a lazy descriptor, as she has been diagnosed with an insulin problem, which means her body struggles to break down sugars and so converts it into fat.
Not to mention personal problems that affect weight. Gemma suffered a miscarriage in 2012 the day before the National Television Awards, where she said, ‘I was dead behind the eyes’, and again she retreated into food.
But among all the Twitter trolls and Katie Hopkins’ going on about her, Gemma is happy how she is now. When speaking to OK!, she opened up about all the coverage of her weight:
‘I am sick of people going on about my weight. You wouldn’t tell Adele to lose weight, so don’t keep telling me to lose weight! Why are people obsessed with making me skinny? It’s never going to happen.’
But being skinny doesn’t matter to GC anymore, as she’s revealed to Now, her main philosophy is ‘it’s not abut being skinny, it’s about being healthy.’ If she’s healthy physically and mentally, that’s all that matters. You go Gemma. You tell them.