Gemma Collins Abandons Tweakments Due to Parents’ Input
THERE’S only one woman who can give Gemma Collins a run for her money in the diva stakes – her mother.
If The GC is the undisputed Queen of Essex then mum Joan is surely the Grande Dame — and her expensive tastes mean there can be no half measures this Mother’s Day.
Gemma Collins’s mum Joan gives the GC a run for her money in the diva stakes
Gemma and her mum Joan both have expensive tastes and finish each other’s sentences
Gemma says ‘Mother likes to be spoiled, so I’ll be taking her to The Savoy’Credit: @gemmacollins
“She’s a woman who likes the finer things in life,” says Gemma, 42.
“So that means fabrics from the King’s Road and shopping trips to London’s Burlington Arcade. Gone are the days where I could give her a bunch of daffodils for Mother’s Day.
“Mother likes to be spoiled, so I’ll be taking her to The Savoy — she refuses to eat the scones at The Dorchester because she says they’re s**t.”
Gemma and Joan have swept into the Fab Daily studio for a very special Mother’s Day shoot — and they are every bit as fun and unfiltered as you’d expect.
Like a finely tuned double act, they finish each other’s sentences and are clearly exceptionally close.
When Joan’s rheumatoid arthritis makes it difficult for her to stand, Gemma firmly encourages her to her feet while reassuring her about how good she looks.
“Every day is Mother’s Day for my mum,” she adds. “She wanted De Beers earrings and so that’s what I got her.
“She has the real handbags out of Louis Vuitton and I have the fakes from Turkey. What the mother wants the mother gets.
“She’s the matriarch, darling, don’t you worry about that.”
‘Never stopped crying’
TV favourite Gemma has made no secret of longing to become a mum herself.
But today she reveals she is coming to terms with the fact that babies may not be part of her future after all.
“It’s just not happened for me,” she says. “I don’t know if I want to go down the road of IVF because I’m a firm believer in that if it happens, it happens.
“If I get to about 50 and it was something I really wanted, I’d do a Naomi Campbell and get a surrogate.
“I’m sure one day we’ll be able to go into a shop and pick up a baby off the shelf — it’s so bizarre out there, isn’t it? I could probably get a robot baby in the future.”
Gemma is already a doting step-mum to partner Rami Hawash’s four-year-old son Tristan and auntie to her brother’s two boys.
She remains philosophical about the chances of having her own child, saying: “I’m not going to stress myself out. If it’s meant to be then great but I’ve got my nephews, I’ve got my stepson, I’ve got all my friends who’ve got kids and I’m the fun auntie. And kids are a big responsibility.”
Gemma and partner Rami Hawash are not in a rush to have a child togetherCredit: @gemmacollins
Gemma is already a doting step-mum to Rami’s son TristanCredit: @gemmacollins
Mum Joan, 67, reckons Gemma would be a natural, but isn’t putting any pressure on her for more grandchildren.
“Oh, she’d be a fantastic mother,” she says. “She’d totally spoil her child. It would be so lovely. Can you imagine?
“I’m hopeful and it’s a matter of waiting, but it doesn’t always happen. Not everybody has kids today. A lot of them don’t want them because of the state of the world.”
Gemma nods, and adds: “Could I still be as busy as I am if I had a child to attend to? I don’t think it’d be that easy.
“Mum and Dad have said there’s no pressure and, as Mum says, kids aren’t for everyone so she doesn’t make me feel uncomfortable about it.”
However, Gemma gets exasperated with what she sees as a trend among celeb mums to “whinge” about how dreadful motherhood is.
“I don’t get all these young girls now,” she explains. “They all seem to moan about it, ‘Oh, it’s so tiring! Oh, I’ve got a kid and it’s so hard!’
“Well, imagine being in a council house with no income and a leaky roof. Come on. I’m not discrediting their feelings but they’ve got nannies and 4×4 cars.
“Back in my mum’s day, they were harder times. Like, the Victorian times.”
Joan interjects, outraged. “Hey! I wasn’t around in the Victorian days!”
“I know, Mum,” Gemma bats back, “but what I’m getting at is all these girls in their million-pound houses with access to nannies, moaning about having kids. Get a grip! Your generation, Mum, you just got on with it, didn’t you?”
Joan says she always knew daughter Gemma would be a starCredit:
Joan and husband Alan already had a son Russell when Gemma came along in January 1981 and she vividly recalls her daughter’s arrival into the world.
“The first words from the midwife were, ‘Oh my God!’,” says Joan. “I honestly thought I had a baby with two heads. But it was Gemma’s length. The midwife said she’d never delivered a baby so long.
“The average babies are 19 to 21 inches and Gemma was 24.”
It was perhaps an early sign she was going to make her mark.
Although, Joan says for the first few years Gemma was quiet, well-behaved and almost too good to be true.
“But then she turned three and all hell broke loose,” Joan grimaces. “She just used to cry all the time. You’d only have to say, ‘Gemma?’, and she’d burst into tears. Never stopped crying.”
How long did that phase last? “Until I was 42,” quips Gemma.
Despite the dramatics (or maybe because of them), Joan was always certain her girl was destined for fame.
It’s been no surprise to Joan that since bursting into the public consciousness 12 years ago during the second series of Towie, Gemma has gone to become a household name and easily the biggest breakout star of the show.
“She was always so different from everybody,” says Joan.
“And I thought, I swear she’s going to be famous one day.
“She’s got personality and that’s what sells. Gemma’s never short of anything to say and she’s got presence.
“I was meeting her on Oxford Street once and there were thousands of people coming towards me, but I could spot Gemma a mile off in that crowd because she walks with confidence. She carries herself differently.”
That confidence has been instilled from day one. Gemma says the most valuable lesson her mum taught her was self-acceptance.
And it’s not only carried her through some of the darker days of fame, but it’s also the reason she’s decided to stop having cosmetic tweaks and using Instagram filters.
“These days everyone is becoming avatars of themselves and it’s bloody weird,” she says.
“Mum always told me that it’s not about the size of your waist, boobs or lips, at the end of the day it comes down to your personality.
“I’ve had lip fillers and a bit of this and that and my mum has said, ‘Gemma, me and your father don’t recognise you, you look weird’.
“So she’ll always tell me the truth and she’s right. Just be yourself.
“Obviously we want to look our best but there’s more to life than worrying about if you’ve got a wrinkle.
“Me and mum are certainly not Victoria’s Secret models — we like a cream cake or two — but we are who we are.”
Joan agrees. “It shows character if you’ve got a face full of wrinkles and crossed-over teeth. That’s what makes a good picture, doesn’t it?”
As well as looking and sounding a lot like her, Gemma has inherited many of Joan’s personality traits, too. My mum tells it like it is, so I’ve definitely got that. She’s very psychic and witchy and she won’t have bad energy around her.
“She won’t even drive through certain areas if it affects her vibe.
“So I can’t have anyone around me who hasn’t got the right energy. I only want to be around fabulous people, and I like things done in a certain way.
“People don’t need to be offended by that, it’s just because I don’t need to not live my best life. Every day should be fun, good vibes and fabulous.”
She says Joan’s characteristic bluntness is often deployed when Gemma’s famous “GC” alter ego overstays her welcome and she needs taking down a peg or two.
“Oh yeah, my mum can do that in two seconds flat,” she says. “Who do you think you are? Are you talking to me? I’m the one that made you famous!
“I think that’s really important — you can’t constantly fluff someone up.”
Gemma says mum Joan will bring her down a peg or two if she needs itCredit: Alamy
Their relationship was put under the spotlight last year during Gemma’s powerful Channel 4 documentary where she detailed a 20-year struggle with self-harm.
Gemma Collins: Self-Harm And Me, saw cameras film a heart-breaking conversation between mother and daughter, which led to saw some viewers accusing Joan of dismissing Gemma’s pain.
“Mum got a bit of a flak for that,” sighs Gemma. “But we’re living in different times now.
‘I’m ready for movie’
“I say to my nephews all the time, ‘How’s your mental health?’, but back then we never discussed self-harm and she wouldn’t have understood.”
In the midst of the backlash, Joan told Gemma she was never going to do television with her again.
Gemma says: “I said, ‘Mum, take a deep breath, have your ten cups of tea and you’ll be fine. That’s TV and you’ve got to have a thick skin’.
“And if it helped even a few families then we did a great thing.”
It might have been a bruising experience but Joan is supportive of whatever Gemma does and proud of everything she has achieved.
“I always have been,” she says. “If she ever brought anything from school, it didn’t matter if it was crap, to me it was the best.
“I just want her to be really happy and go for what she wants to do in life.”
Gemma adds: “I think you’d like to see me in films, Mum.” Joan replies: “Oh yeah, it would be nice to see her in films. She’s got a fantastic memory, so that would be good for learning lines.”
Gemma again: “I’d like a movie role and I’m ready for it. Let’s face it, I can do it.” She adds: “My mum has been pivotal to my success and she’s also my best friend.
“You only get one mum and if you’ve got a nice one, you need to cherish her.”
All I can add is, I hope the calibre of scone at The Savoy is up to scratch.
The Insidexpress is now on Telegram and Google News. Join us on Telegram and Google News, and stay updated.