Kimberley Walsh on banning botox and ditching body hang-ups since becoming a mum – The Sun

Kimberley Walsh walks off set looking a little, well, shell-shocked. Before our shoot today she had said she wanted to do something a bit risqué, something that pushed her out of her comfort zone and showed her in a new light.

But now she’s actually done it, she’s not so sure.

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“It was a bit of a shock to the system, I’ll be honest,” she says, laughing. “The last time I shot with Fabulous wasn’t that long after having Cole [her youngest son, now two and a half] and back then I was like: ‘Let’s be covered up, floaty, ethereal and play it safe.’

“And so today I said I was up for anything, but maybe I should have been a little bit more careful with my words!”

She has nothing to worry about because she more than pulled it off. Kimberley has
spent the last six months working on her fitness and has lost more than a stone through a combination of Pilates and sessions with personal trainer PMac, who she was coerced into hiring by Rochelle and Marvin Humes at Rochelle’s 30th birthday party in March.

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“Yeah, thanks for that guys,” she jokes. “I think about you both every time I’m sweating my bottom off! But it’s good, because it pushes you. I usually see him once a week just to keep me motivated.

“I guess when Cole got to about two I thought: ‘OK, I can’t use the excuse that I’ve just had a baby any more and maybe I should try and do something’.”

She insists there’s “no major regime” and that it’s not something she’ll ever become obsessed over.

“I’ll never be one of those people who treats their body like a shrine. I just try to be a little more aware of what I’m eating. I never ever say ‘diet’, because I’m not very good at saying no to things. If I restrict myself I actually put on more weight.

“So I’m just trying to be healthy and fit and I’m probably back to what I should be.

If it makes other women feel better about their bodies, I genuinely feel like that.

"I’d maybe got a little bit relaxed. I just didn’t care before. But something triggered and I felt like I cared again. I have to go with how I feel at the time.”

Earlier this year Kimberley, 37, posted two pap pictures side by side on Instagram, one taken on the last Girls Aloud tour when she was at her thinnest, and another in a bikini, four months after first baby Bobby, now five, was born.

She wrote candidly about putting things in perspective – in the second shot, she had just “created a human” and hoped that other mums would find comfort in seeing the reality of her post-pregnancy body. “I’ll take one for the team,” she wrote.

“If it makes other women feel better about their bodies, I genuinely feel like that,” she reiterates today. “When I see pap pictures of me and my normal woman’s body with some cellulite, I’m like: ‘Well, that’s fine if it’s going to make someone feel better to see it.’ Things like that just don’t bother me any more.

“In the early days of the band, if I saw a bad picture of myself it would have [upset] me, whereas now it’s a momentary: ‘Oh, god… OK, done, gone.’

“My stomach has held two babies, it’s wrinkly, it’s got that ‘mum tum’ skin and that’s not going to change. The kids have wrecked my body, there’s no denying it – I breastfed both of them and that’s quite clear.

"But all I think about when I see them is: ‘I actually made you!’ Women have kids every day and it’s amazing we can do that with our bodies. I’m not special for being able to do it, but it’s crazy that we can.

“And my kids love to remind me how much they love my ‘squashy tummy’.”

It’s quite a scary world for young people now.

The response to that post was overwhelmingly positive and it’s still having an impact eight months on.

Only the other day Kimberley received a message from a woman who was feeling low about her body six months after having a baby.

They ended up having a long chat via Instagram and the next morning, the woman messaged saying thank you, she was on to a new week and felt happier. Which, says Kimberley, is the nicer side of social media.

Of course, there is a dark side, too. The side that puts pressure on young people to conform to society’s so-called beauty standards. “It makes me quite sad when I see girls who have stuff done so young, who really don’t need it. I want to shake them and be like: ‘You didn’t need to do that!’

“You’ve got to do what’s right for you, but it’s quite a scary world for young people now.

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"I hate that surgery has become so normalised. I look at my mum who’s in her 60s and never had anything done. I just think she looks like a gorgeous woman who’s grown old gracefully.”

Astonishingly, Kimberley has been advised countless times over the years that she could do with a little tweak here and there.

“I get told I need it all the time. People in the industry say: ‘Just have a little bit there.’

"But it’s not for me. I’ve got very distinctive frown lines and I just know I’d look really weird and startled without them, so I don’t dare.”

She pauses and then adds: “You may interview me in five years and be like: ‘So you’ve changed your mind on that one!’

“But Justin [Scott, 37, Kimberley’s husband] is so against it, he would hate it. And I care what he thinks.

"He doesn’t think you should do anything to change your face or body or the way you came into this world.”

Justin and Kimberley have been together for 17 years and married for three, having met when they were barely 20 and both starting out in pop bands. Justin’s group Triple 8 split in 2005 and he now works as a property developer.

There was an instant attraction and I couldn’t have ignored it.

“It’s a long time, isn’t it?” says Kimberley. “I don’t think I can say I knew that I was going to marry him, because I was just too young. But there was an instant attraction and I couldn’t have ignored it.

“I’d just split up from somebody when we met and I wanted to be single for a bit. But then he was just everywhere I went because he was on the same record label and doing the same summer gigs. Everywhere I went, he’d be there and we couldn’t help but be drawn to each other.

“We’ve grown together and been able to navigate through all the changes. It’s just been nice to have that rock the whole way through.”

And grounding, too. Kimberley came through the crazy Girls Aloud years unscathed.

She’s level-headed, laid-back and utterly at ease with herself, avoiding personal dramas to enjoy a normal, settled family life in north London. Having Justin by her side pretty much from day one must have helped.

“That’s true. I probably don’t give him enough credit for that because he’s not the sort to ask for it. He’s happy to be that person in the background, supporting quietly.

“But actually, I probably don’t appreciate how much he has made everything so smooth, always putting things into perspective, being practical and never letting me get above myself.

“I just think we’ve been together so long, you don’t even think about all of that stuff. But he’s a good’un.”

I love Justin even more because he gave me those two boys.

The property business is thriving – Kimberley is in charge of interiors – and Justin has worked hard to make it his second career after music didn’t work out.

“I’m glad he’s managed to find something he feels passionate about. He’s doing two houses at the moment. They’re both listed so they’ve been quite a labour of love, but he’s fully restored them and opened up the ceilings and exposed all the beams.

"I’ve loved seeing the transformation. And because he’s his own boss, he can see the kids in the morning and always gets back before they go to bed. That’s a luxury, so I feel lucky that we’ve got that set-up.

“Justin loves the boys so much. And obviously I love him dearly, but I love him even more because he gave me those two boys.”

The Last…

  • Book you read? The Gruffalo to my sons.
  • Box set you watched? Killing Eve.
  • Movie you watched? The Lion King.
  • Time you cried? In rehearsals for Big.
  • Time you were drunk? My sister’s 40th.
  • WhatsApp you received? From Mum, to check I’m OK.

Will they have more children? “There’s definitely a chance. I’d like a couple more, but it’s come to a point now where it’s so lovely and easy I’m going to have to persuade Justin pretty quickly otherwise it’s going to get too easy. And he’s not going to want to go back to the sleepless nights.”

She might be a performer, but Kimberley is no show-off and physically recoils when asked why she doesn’t post more selfies on Instagram.

“Nicola [Roberts] is like: ‘Why don’t you post more pictures of yourself, mine’s like a shrine to myself!’ But I’m just embarrassed.

“I overthink it. If I give it more than five seconds’ thought, it just doesn’t seem worthy to post, so then I don’t bother. And I look at other people’s and it’s really posey and I’m a bit like: ‘Oh, that’s a bit cringe.’ So why would I do that myself?

I’m really excited to just be getting back on stage.

"I like keeping up with friends and people that I know, but I do find the whole thing a bit weird, I’ll be honest. It’s part of my work, but I’m a bit cynical about the whole thing.”

Kimberley is currently starring in a nine-week run of Big: The Musical in the West End alongside former boy bander and fellow Strictly star Jay McGuiness. It’s another reason she was keen to get fit – eight shows a week requires stamina, especially as she’s already spent a full day on mum duty by the time she gets to the theatre each evening.

“The time I’m normally counting down to couch and wine time is when I’m now going to work,” she says. “I’m really excited to just be getting back on stage. I didn’t want to do any shows while Cole was little, I can’t bear not putting him to bed.

"But he’s two and a half now and it’s a short run, so I thought it would be the perfect way for me to get back on stage and do what I love for a short time.

“And I grew up watching the film. I was chatting to Jay about it and he’s obviously a little bit younger than me, so I don’t think he was quite as obsessed with it. I was like: ‘Yeah, there’s that rap that the two boys do!’ and I started reciting it, and he was like: ‘Wow, OK. You took that to a whole new level.’”

Bobby started school on the day Big: The Musical opened and despite being “an absolute emotional wreck” at the prospect, Kimberley knew he was totally ready for the next stage.

“He just seemed like he needed something else now in his life. I’m almost a bit scared of the whole new chapter – I’m entering into the system. That’s it, there’s no going back.”

I actually am now this outdoorsy person I never was before.

She has a lot going on besides Big. For starters, her childrenswear range Kimba Kids, a joint venture with her brother Adam, has just launched with clothing store Alex And Alexa. And there’s a new partnership with Regatta Great Outdoors, which sees her bringing out her own collection of outerwear.

“I already wear some of Regatta’s stuff, because I’m outside with the kids all day. They do the best, warmest coats. I’ve suddenly realised that I actually am now this outdoorsy person I never was before.

"Since having kids I’ve found myself in some sort of farm, park or woodland every day, so it could not have been a better partnership for where I’m at right now in my life.

“Sometimes I think my boys are quite happy inside, but I’m the one who needs to get out because they’re trashing the place so I think: ‘Let’s get out of here.’”

What’s not on the cards, at least for the time being, is a Girls Aloud reunion.

Not even the Spice Girls getting back together and this summer’s resurrection of Girl Power was enough to give Kimberley any ideas, although she remains great friends with Cheryl and Nicola. She’s no longer in regular contact with Sarah or Nadine.

“The Spice Girls were amazing – what they stood for was incredible. But I just don’t think we’re there yet.

I can never say never, but I don’t think it’s going to be any time soon.”

Besides, she says, she struggles to imagine herself bopping about as a pop star these days.

“It would feel a bit like going into a parallel universe, I’m not gonna lie. It is so far away from where I’m at now in my life. The memories are lovely but it’s all sugar-coated. You don’t think about any of the bad stuff and I don’t know if I’d want to risk spoiling it either.

“If it’s not broke don’t fix it, just stay in the zone you’re at. For now I’m happy, and I’m fine just going on my little path and seeing where that takes me.”

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Kimberley Walsh plays 'Have You Ever?' with Fabulous Magazine
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