Thanks to a winning combination of hard work, eating well and (no doubt) some excellent genes thrown in for good measure, Vogue Williams has one of the most awesome bods you’re ever likely to see.
And yet not even she is immune to the social media body shamers who reduced her to tears on a recent family holiday by gleefully pointing out the so-called cellulite they’d spotted on her thighs in pap pictures taken on the beach.
Irish model and presenter Vogue, 34, was left temporarily shattered by the experience, which took her right back to the time she battled low self-esteem on a daily basis.
“Today I cried about my body,” she posted candidly on Instagram. “I usually let this go over my head but they were so nasty that I allowed it to really get to me.”
Vogue urged people to be kinder to each other and the support in response was overwhelming, with nearly 90,000 likes and 7,000 messages of solidarity.
Today, a few weeks on, Vogue is in a reflective mood but no less bewildered by how thoughtless and cruel internet bullies can be.
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She says: “I was so annoyed with myself for letting it affect me and for reading the comments. I find social media a really nice place 99% of the time, but I had people sending me the pictures and writing things underneath with these laughing emojis. Imagine slagging someone off because of their body and sending it directly to them?”
She laughs and shakes her head, still incredulous.
“And, you know, I look at those pictures now and I literally have the tiniest bit of cellulite on my arse. The pictures weren’t even that bad – it’s probably worse in real life! With hindsight, I’m glad people saw that I’m just like everybody else. I don’t have this 100% perfect body – nobody does.”
At first she wasn’t sure whether to post about it and draw even more attention to an already difficult situation. But in the end she wanted to speak honestly about the effect it had on her.
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“I wanted to be defiant and also call it out for being so ridiculous. Because a couple of days later, everyone was saying I was far too skinny. So what am I? Am I fat? Am I thin? I mean, stop it! As a woman, if people are picking out your faults it’s hard not to react. But I won’t let it affect me like that again.”
Husband Spencer Matthews, 31, told her to stop reading the comments, as it was serving no purpose except to torture herself.
“Oh, but I always read the comments, I can’t help myself,” confesses Vogue. “Spencer said: ‘Who cares what these random people think?’ He literally does not give a s**t and it’s a nice way to be. He’s like: ‘I don’t know them, I don’t care at all what they’re saying about me.’ And in turn, he’s super-happy.”
Go figure. She recalls being messaged once by a follower telling her that she ought to get a boob job.
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“She was like: ‘You look great, but I think you’d look better if you just got your boobs done.’ I mean, are you serious? I actually put her message up on my page, obscuring her identity, and she messaged me again, saying: ‘How dare you put up what I said to you? I was only trying to be helpful!’
"Um, you’re telling me to get surgery, it’s not helpful, babe. A troll is a troll at the end of the day and they never feel very remorseful. Maybe it makes them feel better about themselves.
“And social media gives people access they wouldn’t normally have. So instead of just thinking something, they’re like: ‘Oh, I’m just going to say it’, and it’s sent and gone. They probably won’t even remember they said it.
“If you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, you shouldn’t say it on the internet. And whether you think someone is too fat or too skinny, it’s absolutely none of your business.”
Vogue says she’s wasted so much time and energy over the years agonising about her body when there really was never anything to worry about.
“I look back at pictures of myself and I’m like: ‘I look great in that picture!’ But at the time I thought I was so fat and my legs were disgusting and I didn’t like all these things about myself. How did I think that about myself?
“I’m happy with my body, it’s the shape and size that it’s supposed to be without too much effort. People think I spend every single day in the gym, but I actually go to the gym four times a week and that’s it. That’s what keeps me healthy and it’s nice for my mind as well, not just my body.
“And I eat! I don’t even know what a macro is. I know what’s healthy and what’s not. Some days I’ll have a really healthy day and other days I’ll have pizza.”
Vogue is half a stone lighter than she was before she had baby Theodore, now 17 months (“I’ve started running so maybe it’s that, but certainly nothing I’ve done consciously,”), and she reckons self-acceptance has come with both age and motherhood.
“I never thought I would ever get to the stage where I felt like actually, my body looks OK. But I’m happy. I think something changed during pregnancy. At first, I found it quite hard with all the changes to my body. Like, whoa! There’s a huge difference. But as it went on I started to feel more comfortable and I think something switched then.”
Settling down with former Made In Chelsea star Spencer was also a big turning point in Vogue’s life. They met three years ago while filming The Jump and she was determined not to fall in love with him – being in the midst of a divorce from Brian McFadden, having had her heart broken in the past and knowing about Spencer’s womanising and party boy reputation.
But resistance proved futile, and she recently posted a throwback picture on Instagram from three years ago when they were still “friends who very much tried to be [just] friends” and before they realised it was in fact, possible to marry your best mate, have a baby and be “delighted with life” together.
“He’s definitely my best pal,” she says. “And I’m his. We actually think it’s bonkers to not see your partner as your best friend. They’re the person you spend most of your time with! We have so much respect for each other, but basically we just have a lot of fun together. He makes me laugh all the time. Some of the stuff he comes out with when we’re at home, I’m like: ‘Oh my god, if anyone heard you say that!’
“We do have our own separate lives as well, we’re not always in each other’s pockets. Our parents think we’re the same person. I’d like to disagree, but it’s probably why we get on so well.”
They married in June 2018 in front of a small group of close family and while Vogue was pregnant with Theodore. Then they did it all again last summer with a second wedding and a huge party with all their friends, which was documented on their E4 reality series Spencer, Vogue And Wedding Two.
“I love getting married. I’d do it every year if Spencer would! It definitely made a difference not being pregnant. Afterwards we had about 50 people back to our house until 7am, which I’m sure the neighbours hated us for. But it was our first party in three years so they can’t really complain too much. I was so dying after it, but it was so much fun.”
Spencer’s reputation she’d been initially so wary of turned out to be based on ancient history. There are, says Vogue, a lot of misconceptions when it comes to Spencer.
“Oh, yeah, definitely. All that was from a TV show when he was, like, 20. I’m glad no one knows what I was up to when I was 20, that’s all nicely hidden away. And I had a great time, by the way!
“But I think people are clicking and realising he’s actually grown up – now he’s a much more serious person. He’s a really lovely, charming, fun, nice guy. There’s no nastiness to him.”
He’s also an old romantic and they’ll be celebrating Valentine’s Day this week with some child-free time.
“You know what? I’d love to go the cinema to watch Little Women. That is my dream date! Restaurants on Valentine’s night aren’t the greatest. The food is never the best and everyone is brought in like cattle. So, yeah, lunch and a movie sounds perfect.”
Work-wise, Vogue has never been busier. She’s setting up a permanent UK base for her successful tanning range Bare by Vogue and has also just co-hosted the Plastic Surgery Undressed series for the BBC, where people considering cosmetic surgery watch the brutal reality of an operation before deciding if it’s really the route they want to take.
“It was really heavy stuff. You might think: ‘Oh, it’s just a nose job, it only takes an hour’, but there’s so much more to it. When we watched the girl getting it done, I remember thinking: ‘No, I’m really happy with my nose now, thanks!’
“It was so intense. I don’t think it’s going to turn anyone on to plastic surgery, but might turn a few people off. They think it might make them feel better about themselves… But does it ever end? Changing your features is a huge deal.”
She also feels strongly about the need for celebrities to be honest about the “work” they’ve had done.
“Kylie Jenner saying she’s only had lip fillers… Yeah, right. She looks like a different human being. But this is what people see and think they want to look like.
“And some people are like: ‘Not retouched!’ And it’s like: ‘Dude, you’re taking that on a Huawei smartphone that’s completely turning you into a cartoon anyway, because the camera automatically retouches you.’
“[But] if it makes people happy, you can’t knock them for it. I don’t have a problem with anyone getting surgery if they’re making a well-informed decision.”
Would Vogue ever consider it herself?
“Well, my mum would kill me! Before I did the show I thought maybe I’d get a little boob lift after I have my last baby. But now? I don’t think that’s for me. It’s definitely made me think twice about it.
“And I know there are some parts of me that will never fully change. Like, no matter how much I go to the gym, I’ll always carry a little bit of extra weight on the sides of my legs – that’s just my body make-up. You know what, it’s fine the way it is.
“I wouldn’t say no to Botox when I need it, but I love a good facial and have this amazing collagen wave treatment every month, which is how I keep my skin [in good condition]. I don’t drink that much – if you stop drinking, your skin changes from this greyish colour and you look bright again. If you do the upkeep and have a good routine then you’ll be all right holding off on the Botox for a while.”
Speaking on the subject of not drinking, teetotal Spencer has been busy launching his alcohol-free gin business The Clean Liquor Co, but Vogue hopes there will still be time for a third series of their reality show. She would also like to try a spot of TV presenting together.
“I’d love to do that. I’d be happy to steal Holly and Phil’s job! That would be my dream to get to do that with him every day. Spencer is really busy now with his business, I think he’s just found his real passion and it’s doing really well. TV is my passion and I just want to keep pushing with presenting because it’s so exciting.”
She adds that they’d both like another baby. “Put it this way, we’re not not trying. But we’re not pushing ourselves either, because Theodore is still little and we’re not in any major rush.”
The body trolls might have got to her, but the parenting police – who are so quick to chastise Vogue on social media whenever she does anything they deem less than correct – don’t bother her in the slightest.
“I just laugh. They’ll say: ‘I can’t believe you have Theodore in a front-facing car seat!’ Really? I can’t believe you care!
“Being a mum is peaks and troughs – mainly peaks, to be honest with you, but no one tells you how incredibly hard it’s going to be. Your life changes, your priorities change. My friends probably think it’s terrible but I’m always cancelling on things and it’s just a sacrifice that we make.
“It’s the most rewarding and exhausting thing you’ll ever do. And I wouldn’t change anything.”
● Watch Plastic Surgery Undressed, Tuesdays, 10.35pm, BBC1 and on BBC iPlayer.
Book you read?
I love cookbooks! Is that weird?
Box set you watched?
We’re in the middle of The Outsider, and it’s amazing.
Movie you watched?
Outsider, but only by mistake. My sister told me to watch The Outsider and we found the wrong thing. It’s violent and I hate violent movies.
Podcast you listened to?
Caliphate, which was really interesting.
Time you were drunk?
Shockingly, it was at the end of October.
Time you cried?
Looking at the stuff on Instagram about the Australian bush fires.
Time you had sex?
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