I’m known as 'Melissa with the mum tum'…I swapped EastEnders for Insta & don't care what trolls say, I love my mum body | The Sun

SHE once played Lucy Beale in the popular soap EastEnders, but now, mum-of-one, Melissa Suffield, has swapped soaps for social media.

The 30-year-old mum lives in Kent, with her partner Robert and their two-year-old son River, and when she isn’t looking after her little one, she spends her days sharing body confident content on Instagram, showing off her size 14-16 figure. 

Melissa has size 34F boobs and isn’t afraid to show them off online and although she has over 55,000 loyal followers, there are some social media users that aren’t keen on her showing off her body, in particular, her ‘mum tum.’

Melissa told Fabulous: “The comments can be disgusting. The DMs that come in – there’s always some kind of horrible DM, at least once a day.

“It’s normally always men and it’s nearly always them telling me that I’m unhealthy, or that I’m promoting obesity.

“People will call me a fat c**t. But those kinds of insults don’t hit home with me. It doesn’t affect me too much but I can understand why others are. 

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“It’s not nice to read but lots of them will come from anonymous accounts and I think, if you're not going to put your name to what you’re saying, don’t say it.

“I’ve got to a place where I’m so used to it, I’ve been in the public eye since I was 11, so coming up to 20 years, so I’ve got a lot of experience with this field, so I’m prepared for it.

“I don’t care what someone I don’t know is saying about me. It doesn’t matter. 

“For me, if you don’t have anything nice to say to me, I have nothing to say. I just block them.”

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Melissa explained that she was 11-years-old when she joined the cast of EastEnders and has been on a body confidence journey since her teenage years. 

She noted: “It’s been 13 years since I was on EastEnders. It’s been a long time.

“I left EastEnders and went on to other acting roles and thought, actually, I love this, but I want to have something that’s more grounded in reality. 

“So I went into performing arts teaching, so still performing arts based works but was enabling me to make a real difference at a ground level, which is where a lot of passion came from for me.

“My journey with my body has been very up and down. I’ve gone through various emotions with my body. When I was 19, I was diagnosed with polycystic ovaries and I really hated my body then because I knew that I wanted to be a mum in my future and I knew that that could potentially hinder it.

“So I really hated my body then and that was more to do with the way it worked, rather than how it looked.

“There’s so many layers of why someone might dislike their body and I’ve been through loads of them, but a large part of them were to do with weight.”

People will call me a fat c**t. But those kinds of insults don’t hit home with me. It doesn’t affect me too much but I can understand why others are. 

Since becoming a mum in March 2020, Melissa’s relationship with her body changed even more and she began influencing online to show other mums that they are not alone. 

She noted: “Then when I became a mum in March 2020, and we went into lockdown, all at the same time, the influencing and content creation side of things just came naturally. 

“I was having thoughts and feelings about aspects of motherhood and the postpartum experience and I just wanted to put them somewhere, and as a result, people were interested in what I had to say and that’s where it’s grown from. 

“The crux of what I’m doing is putting my thoughts out there and hoping that it resonates with someone enough that it can lift their mood or make them feel less alone. I want it to be a very real space.

“I had never been bigger than a 12 before I got pregnant. I’ve made peace with the fact that at the moment, I’m existing in a body that is bigger than I was before.

“Sometimes I’ll be in a bigger body, sometimes I’ll be in a smaller body, whatever it may be, I am subject to change and we all are, so I constantly say on my Instagram, if you’re only happy with one specific way that you look, you will spend a lot of time miserable.

“For me, a mum tum isn’t a negative. That’s what it is in my case. 

“I had a little belly before but what I have now is specifically related to the fact that I carried a baby and gave birth. I happily call it my mum tum.

“That’s not to say that you need to feel positive and confident every day because I certainly am not.

“I always want to make sure that I’m putting out confidence and self-assuredness, regardless of what I look like, so I’m adaptable to change.

“I am confident in my appearance no matter my size, no matter the angle.

“I will have fleeting moments where I think ‘I wish I looked like that’ but for me, I will now think ‘I wish I looked like that, but I’m actually fine with this too.’

“So accounts like mine will encourage people that even if they think ‘I wish I looked like that’, to add ‘but I’m happy with the way I am too.’

“I don’t use any face altering or body altering apps ever. The only filters I would use are to enhance the light in the room. I wouldn’t change my appearance.”

While Melissa explained that she often receives lovely messages from fans about her content, she expressed that it hasn’t all been rosy.

She continued: “It’s always lovely to be complimented but I learnt a long time ago that it doesn’t mean anything if you can’t find the same compliments for yourself.

When it comes to trolls, I’m not bothered about when people say it’s vapid or narcissistic or whatever they want to say about what I do and what I post.

“It doesn’t matter how many people tell you you look great, if you don’t believe it, it’s always going to fall on deaf ears.

“I much prefer it when I get compliments from people that say ‘you helped me’ or ‘I bought myself this lovely bra because I saw you wearing it and I feel great in it.’

“I love hearing how I make people feel, I will never get tired of that and that’s what drives me to keep doing what I’m doing.

“When it comes to trolls, I’m not bothered about when people say it’s vapid or narcissistic or whatever they want to say about what I do and what I post, the fact is, there are people out there that are gaining something from this.

“Whether that’s five people or 500 people, that’s where I’m focusing my energy and my creativity.

“I don’t care about trolls’ opinions. I have no time for them. It’s a swift block and move on.

“I want to enjoy my life, I want to enjoy myself, I want to exist as joyfully as possible. It’s not always possible but I don’t care that someone thinks me dancing in my pants is narcissistic.

“Before social media, opinions were limited to op-eds, or chit chat around the dinner table. 

“We gossiped, and we were vocal about who we did and didn’t like, but it never went further. 

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“We didn’t have a direct line of access to people, and I think people confuse the right to speak freely and have opinions, with a feeling that you have to actually VOICE them, and that your opinions are so important that they must be heard. 

“We’ve blurred the line so much. You can say what you want about me, but I don’t have to consider it or take notice of it, and I certainly don’t have to respond to you. I don’t owe anybody that.”

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