“YOU’VE triggered anorexics and should apologise,” an online troll sneered after spotting Kate Lawler’s seemingly innocuous holiday selfie.
“You look like you’ve got a serious calorie deficit,” said another toxic Instagram message after the former Big Brother winner-turned-radio presenter posted the snap.
Trolls accused Kate Lawler of promoting anorexia after she posted a holiday snapCredit: Instagram
But a selfie of smiling Kate, who posed in a strapless orange top and sun-hat, also attracted positive comments from her 484,000 followersCredit: Instagram/@thekatelawler
“She really looks skeletal” and “What message are you trying to send to young girls?” said others.
The shot of a carefree tanned, smiling Kate in a strapless orange top and sun-hat attracted positive comments too, from her 484,000 followers.
But many accused the mum-of-one of promoting anorexia.
Some even likened her physique to that of fellow Big Brother contestant Nikki Grahame, who died in 2021 aged 38, after a lifelong battle with the eating disorder.
“I honestly couldn’t believe it,” Kate says. “To compare me to her is outrageous and so insensitive to Nikki’s family.”
It’s one reason Kate, 43, is hitting back at the “body shamers” who pepper her social media feed with abuse.
She wants to lambast what she calls the “double standards” of a society in which plus-size women are hailed for flaunting curves, while slender ones are trolled.
She says: “If someone is on Instagram showing their curves and grabbing their rolls, it’s all, ‘You go girl, well done you!’
“They’re celebrated, called real women. Well, why can’t a real woman be a healthy size eight? It’s crazy.”
Size eight is Kate’s current dress size. At 5ft 6in, she weighs 8st 4lb and has a BMI of 19.2.
The NHS states a healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9. She says: “I’m slim, not skinny, and I’m healthy. My BMI is within the ideal range.
“I’ve varied between 8st 4lb and 8st 8lb since the Nineties.
“I went down to 8st in my twenties when I wasn’t looking after my body, but the only time I was bigger was in Big Brother in 2002.
“I put on a stone because I was sitting around for weeks eating junk and drinking sugary, alcoholic drinks.
“This is just my size. Other than walking the dogs, I don’t exercise. I’ve got a fast metabolism.”
Kate rarely gives her weight much thought, which means she had no idea of the furore her holiday selfie would cause.
She says: “I thought I looked quite, so I decided to post it, simple as that.
“In hindsight, my arm does look quite small, but it’s the angle. It was a holiday snap, I was happy.”
A few hours after posting the selfie, she went back on Insta and saw there had been a reaction.
She says: “I scrolled down and saw all these negative posts about my weight. I couldn’t believe it.
“I was shocked by people asking me if I’m OK, saying I obviously had a severe calorie deficit and that whether I meant to or not, I was triggering anorexia.
“Someone asked, ‘What message are you trying to send to young girls?’ That really annoyed me.
“I wasn’t sending a message, I just posted a selfie. And if I was sending a message to young girls, it would be to eat a balanced diet, treat yourself well and exercise.”
But it was the comments comparing Kate to Nikki that really shook her.
“Poor Nikki,” she says. “I have never hugged someone so tiny and frail, so those comparisons really shocked and horrified me.”
Kate last year married Martin “Boj” Bojtos, her partner of ten years and, without her knowing, he had waded in to hit back at the trolls, writing: “I love that people are concerned about my wife’s weight when I cook for her,” – followed by a laughing emoji.
“Guys, chill — it’s the camera angle. Put the phone down and go outside for a bit,” he added.
Kate says: “He can see it for the madness it is, given he cooks me wonderful meals every night.”
Kate subsequently posted another slender snap, showing herself in a plunging white vest — her way of doubling down on the trolls.
She says: “I wasn’t going to be body-shamed into not posting pictures where I think I look nice.
“For people to think I’m trying to send a message to young girls when I have a daughter myself, it’s upsetting. It’s frustrating.”
Luckily, Noa is oblivious to the fuss. Kate says: “I just hope that by the time she grows up, a lot of this madness will have gone. It’s crazy.
“Obesity rates are rising and we all know the horrific side-effects that come along with that.
“So how can I be made to feel bad for having a healthy lifestyle?” Could it be down to jealousy?
“I’d like to think not, but who knows?” she says.
“I’m envious of tons of women’s bodies, but it wouldn’t lead me to say such negative things.”
Despite the hurt the trolls caused, Kate has nothing to say to them. “They are not worth my time,” she shrugs.
“But there are people in my Instagram community who are so caring and kind and I know they are coming from a good place.
“To those people, I say, ‘I eat well, I’m on the go, I have a high metabolism and if I had an eating disorder you would know about it.’
“In fact, I feel like I have the healthiest relationship with my body I’ve ever had.”
Kate is calling out the ‘double standards’ of a society in which plus-size women are hailed but slender ones are trolledCredit: Instagram
She says: ‘I wasn’t going to be body-shamed into not posting pictures where I think I look nice’Credit: Instagram