It is a major gripe from curvier ladies, that many plus sized brands use skinny sized models to showcase their catalogues. So it must be a welcome break from tradition then, to see Steps singer, and current Celebrity Big Brother housemate involved in the plus sized label – Fashion World. The relatively new brand are using Claire as their main ambassador to show off their range of clothing, but signs are, from social media and press reports, that fans of the brand are not happy with them using her.
Claire is renowned for her weight issues, and has gone from a slim and toned figure whilst she was singing in Steps, to her more curvier weight now. This, fans of the brand, would not be a problem, but Claire has been quite vocal in the past about her battles with food, and her toxic relationship with it. She has even documented her trials with food, by appearing in reality shows such as Claire Richards: A Slave To Food.
She told Closer magazine: “When I first started out in Steps at 19, I really cared about what other people thought of me and the pressure to be thin was horrific. I’d bake a cake for my friends, then refuse to have even the thinnest slice, It was an illness. I switched myself off food because i thought, if I gained weight, I’d be chucked out of the band.”
And since she has appeared on Celebrity Big Brother, her issues with food have resurfaced, as she has been seen to comment frequently that she hoped she would lose weight whilst appearing on the show, and she has taken control of the kitchen, which forced Sam to nominate her earlier on in the series, saying that he wanted to have a go at cooking some time, but Claire seemed to take over in that department.
Fashion World however, are not mentioning Claire’s on and off battles with food, instead they are using Claire to help pick out her fave items from their fashion collections, and Claire is happy to offer up some advice as to what she thinks is the key to looking good. “What’s in your wardrobe is key to how you look. You want the right colour, the right cut of fabric and your clothes have to work with your body shape.”
And Claire says that she loves Fashion World because they make it so easy to shop with them: “As if having all the key ingredients for a perfect wardrobe isn’t enough, the icing on the cake is that it is so easy to shop with Fashion World! Returns are free, you can order up to 6pm for next day or nominated delivery, you can avoid often crowded changing rooms and try clothes on in the comfort of your own home and you can even spread the cost if you need to.”
However, despite Claire looking pretty fabulous in the plus sized outfits, many people are discussing what they see as a problem with a person who has had such a chequered relationship with food, fronting a campaign for Fashion World. Comments include:
- ‘Compulsive over eaters do not need ambassadors; they need help big time. She is not a healthy weight;; She is obese and that is fact. She can kid herself all she likes however she is just greedy. Ask a doctor if obese is healthy and you will get your answer.’
- ‘She obviously has severe mental illness issues, depression or anxiety. To pick that person as brand ambassador… no thanks. Although I’m size 10 so maybe she is inspiring to others. But I am a mental illness sufferer and like sees like!’
- ‘She was told on her TV show that she was impacting her health. She needs to get her weight into a healthy range which it is not currently. She also needs to do a normal amount of exercise with it. Checking her health is improving is as important as her weight as we all need to look after ourselves.’
- ‘She looks like a big doughy dumpling. I wonder how clogged up her arteries are from all that fat and how b***ered her knees are from carrying all that excess weight.’ Not the reaction I’m sure Fashion World were hoping for.
As far as Claire is concerned however, she thinks the new partnership has revamped her wardrobe. “Sometimes I just despair when I have to get new clothes, as I can never find what I want on the high street, everything I like doesn’t come in my size and as I only have 20 minutes to spare before heading to the next meeting or school run, I just don’t have time to have a proper look.
Fashion World has totally changed my attitude to buying fashion and has revolutionised my wardrobe! Finally I can find clothes which look great, are suitable for all occasions and come in my size.”
To view Claire’s pick visit the Fashion World site.