Strictly Come Dancing professional Amy Dowden has opened up about body shaming comments from people over her Crohn's disease.
The medication for the inflammatory bowel disease has side effects which include dramatic fluctuations in weight due to water retension, and she has spoken candidly about the negative comments she's received body shaming her.
Speaking to Hello!, the star said: "I was either too skinny and people assumed I was anorexic, or I'd bloat from my medication... Although it made me feel better, it creates water retention, making my hips, thighs and bottom bloat and my face puffy.
"I want to look my best on the dance floor, but when you get photographed in an unflattering light and people make spiteful comments about your size, it can be very hurtful...
"I'm urging people to stop and think before they speak or write an unkind message. Some people are too quick to comment about the way someone looks. They have no idea what the target of their remark is going through."
She recalled one comment a dressmaker made to her when she was just 21 that led to her becoming very self-conscious, but is thankful that the Strictly team are very supportive.
"Everyone has been so kind," she added. "If I'm not feeling well, the boys are so thoughtful and say: 'Nobody's lifting Amy today.'
"Dianne (Buswell) is always checking on me and when I had to go to hospital, Oti (Mabuse) got into a car the moment she finished filming and turned up at 11pm to see me. Another time when I was ill, Katya (Jones) took me to hospital and sat with me until 5am."
Katya spoke about the hospital trip last year during an Instagram Live with Amy, stating: "I'm so glad that I feel I can be there for you at any time. I've gone through it with you."
Strictly Come Dancing airs on BBC One. It's due to return later in 2021.
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