Maisie Smith more confident after Strictly Come Dancing stint

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Maisie Smith faced her fears on Strictly Come Dancing credit:Bang Showbiz
Maisie Smith faced her fears on Strictly Come Dancing credit:Bang Showbiz

Maisie Smith credits 'Strictly Come Dancing' for helping her to love her body.

The 20-year-old actress took part in the show last year and after spending years keeping her legs covered up, the skimpy costumes she had to wear forced her to "face [her] fears straight on" and she's now much more comfortable with herself.

She said: “'Strictly' was a game-changer for me. I’ve always hated my legs and my cellulite. When I was at school, I was the only one who had it. When I went to parties I wouldn’t get my legs out. I would wear trousers all summer.

“It wasn’t until I did 'Strictly' last year and they literally said, ‘You have got to wear a leotard.’ I was shoved in the deep end and it helped me, because I completely faced my fears straight on.”

The former 'EastEnders' star admitted she used to put a lot of "pressure" on herself about the way she looks and was thankful the soap explored the subject when her character Tiffany Butcher got lip fillers because of her insecurities.

She told Fabulous magazine: "I feel pressure all the time. As a teenage girl heavily active on social media, I’ve definitely felt the same [as Tiffany]. I’ve experienced a lot of body-image hatred – not from anyone else, but from me. I put a lot of pressure on myself to look a certain way.

"From quite young, I worked out in the gym because I didn’t like my body. I put a lot of make-up on to cover my face. I enjoyed that story line, because I completely related to it. I have felt that exact way before, so it was nice to address it. You can think someone’s beautiful, but they don’t see it.

“I’ve got such wonderful family and friends, who are constantly saying: ‘You’re perfect just the way you are.’ But it’s impossible to see that yourself. I’m trying to learn to love myself and I’m definitely getting there. I’m feeling more confident, but I still have a long way to go. I work out most days, but that’s for my mental health as it makes me feel better.”

Now Maisie has left 'EastEnders' after 13 years, she's enjoying the freedom to change up her look.

She said: “I’m unemployed now for the first time in my entire life!

"The first thing I did was cut my hair. It’s quite weird being able to just [change my look]. I got a lip piercing, just because I could. Now every day is a different look, which is exciting.

“I was working 12-hour days and now I can get up when I want. I’ve signed up for different dancing, fitness and singing classes. I want to work on my craft and keep my mind a little bit active.”

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