In a frank and revealing autobiography, Claire Richards 34, from Steps has told her fans that her issues with weight started back when she first joined the group, as she was warned to lose weight at the audition, if she wanted to be in the band. In excerpts from her book that are being serialised in The Sun, she says, “At the audition I was told to lose weight if I wanted to be in Steps, so I did.
That set me on the road of starvation for a few years.” And this was when she was a skinny size 10. now that she is a gorgeous voluptous size 16, which frankly suits her much more, she says she is much more happy and refuses to bow to that sort of media pressure. “I have spent so many years starving myself to be skinny.
You can damage yourself by doing that — and I probably have in some ways. I think it’s really sad that there is so much emphasis on a woman’s size, certainly in the music industry. It’s not really fair, and it doesn’t make your average woman feel that great about herself. It makes you feel low.
You are being told by magazines that you shouldn’t look like that, you should be skinny — and that’s just not the way it is.” She added, “Being a size 16 doesn’t mean you don’t look good.” We agree, we think she has never looked better. And when you realise that size 16 is the average size of the UK woman, Claire is a fantastic role model for our younger generation.
Claire has been working hard on her dance moves and is considered to be pretty fit for the two hour show that Steps will perform. But there are still stories circulating that she is struggling, despite her putting in the same effort as the other band members. “The stories circulating about me struggling with dance moves are complete rubbish.
I don’t know where that has come from. Maybe someone has thought, ‘Oh, she’s bigger than the others so she must be struggling’. It’s not an issue. It is just one of those things. People have just got to be nasty sometimes. I am putting in as much work and effort as everybody else. It is tough — it’s a two-hour show, dancing for pretty much the whole thing.
Just because I am a bigger size, I am no less fit than anybody else. It’s cr*p. You can run every day and be fit and then be put in the situation that we are all in and you are using muscles you didn’t even know you had. It’s not as simple as someone being fit and someone not being fit — or someone being a size 16 and someone being a size 8.”
Claire admits in her book that after the group split up she hardly keft the house for over 4 years, spending hours in front of the tv and not daring to venture out. These days she lives in Middlesex with her hubby Reece, 43, who works as an electrician and their children, Charlie, four, and two-year-old Daisy. She is much happier and says, “My husband loves me, my kids love me and nobody I am working with thinks it’s an issue.
If I look out into that audience when I’m up on stage with Steps, at least there will be women out there just like me who will feel a bit better about themselves because I am not a size 8.” Despite this she insists she is not trying to be a role model for the larger sized lady. “I am not trying to make a stand about my figure — but I’ve been a size 8 and I was miserable.
I probably could have gone down to that size again — but what’s the point if you are not going to be that for ever?” And she refuses to diet anymore. “I don’t want to be yo-yoing any more — and if that means I’ll just be a bit bigger, that’s just the way it’s got to be. It’s not like I am starting out now.
Steps wouldn’t be the same if I wasn’t in it, so they can’t say to me now, ‘You have to lose weight otherwise you can’t be in the group’. There is no way anyone could tell me I’m too big or I have to lose weight now – because they can’t do the tour without me. As a group, we always said if one of us didn’t want to do it, then it wouldn’t happen. They are certainly not going to kick me out for being a size 16.”
It seems that Claires’ fan are very supportive about her as she receives many tweets and onlnie comments about her weight. She says, “I would say that 95 per cent of people are saying, ‘I think she looks great’.
From doing the TV show Slave To Food last year about the kind of trouble I have had to deal with about my weight, I was surprised by the response I got. I had people saying, ‘Thank you, you are so brave for doing that show. I can now look at a person on telly and say that she is just like me’. Many women have said to me, ‘Hearing you talk about this stuff is like looking in the mirror.’
There aren’t many of us out there who will be honest and say, ‘I struggle with my weight’. I don’t really want to struggle any more, so this is me — and if you don’t like it, tough.”
Enough said. Claire Richards’ autobiography ‘All of Me’ is available to preorder for a discounted price of £10.19. RRP £16.99
Source – The Sun