Q&A: Kelly Brook talks body confidence
As Kelly Brook models her New Look clothing range exclusively in the latest issue of LOOK magazine out now, she reveals all about body confidence and embracing her curves.
Well, Kelly, you and your body have been making headlines since you were 19. Presumably, you've never really been unhappy with your curves...
In my teens, I was self-conscious about being curvy. At 14, my bra size was 32D and I struggled with that. I wanted to be a ballet dancer! None of the other girls had them and I remember thinking: "Why can't I just be normal?"
We'd kill for your curves! Do you compare yourself to other women?
I like looking at their style and make-up. Lana Del Rey is my fashion crush right now, but I don't get body envy. I wouldn't want a figure like Alexa Chung's, because I wouldn't be able to dress like me. But it's important to celebrate a range of sizes - some girls are naturally skinny, others are bigger. My body is a big part of my identity. Having a healthy relationship with my own style and sense of self is vital.
Do you ever get nervous when you're modelling swimwear?
Sometimes I feel self-conscious. I start thinking I need to eat better and get to the gym. I find trying on bikinis in shops really scary - the lighting is far from flattering. It's quite a traumatic experience! But I think most girls panic a bit about wearing a bikini. It's just a case of getting yourself ready to look and feel the best you can.
Have you ever deleted holiday pictures of yourself?
Yes, of course! I retouch pictures of myself on Photoshop, and Instagram's great - I love a filter.
That's so good to hear! But do you work hard to look so good?
I'm lucky - I can eat what I want in moderation and I don't have to exercise religiously. I'm just sensible and healthy, and I never sit still for long! I've always been active, so it only takes my body a couple of weeks to get back into a routine. I think that really helps with my body confidence.
How much exercise do you do?
I try to work out a couple of times a week if I have time. Core fitness is really important, so I do Pilates or yoga once a week. I have to work hard on my stomach and the tops of my legs, and I do lots of cardio if I want to tone up fast.
How fit are you then?
I could be a lot fitter! I don't have a personal trainer, but I do go running with my boyfriend sometimes.
Has dating an ex-rugby player affected your attitude to exercise and nutrition?
Yes, I've been out with a couple of athletes now. A lot of footballers and rugby guys I know are actually quite lazy and eat takeaways. I always want to be healthy for me. But, of course, living with an athlete means we both need good food to do what we do.
What's your usual daily meal plan?
For breakfast, I'll have toast or porridge - always with coffee, because I need the fix! For lunch, I'll have a sandwich or sushi. In the evening, I'll cook something - we'll have a salad with marinated fish or steak. My attitude is if I want it, I eat it. I never deprive myself. If there's chocolate cake, I'll definitely have a bit. But I always make sure my fridge is full of healthy food to stop me ordering takeaways if I get home late.
So, it doesn't sound like you've ever gone on a strict diet or 'cleanse'...
Never. If you're doing a diet for six weeks, there's no point - you'll be back where you started soon after you stop. I could never cut out a food group like dairy, it's not sustainable. And I don't calorie count. You need a healthy relationship with your whole lifestyle. That means working out how much exercise is realistic for you, cooking healthy meals and being sensible.
What's your biggest weakness?
Tea and coffee. I have about five cups of tea with two sugars every day. And I probably drink a bit more alcohol now I'm older - it's the only thing that gets me through stress! My biggest beauty splurge is massages and acupuncture. I also go to an amazing facialist called Vaishaly Patel.
So, is there a downside to having such a gorgeous figure, like all the attention you get from men?
I think that's why I'm a serial monogamist, because it keeps me out of trouble! A couple of boyfriends have asked me to cover up. I listened to them for a bit, then went back to dressing how I liked. There's no real downside to having this body!
Would you ever have cosmetic surgery?
Never. I don't like that fake look. I have the same insecurities as any girl, but as I've got older I've become more confident. I'm not worried about ageing - if you're 34, you're meant to look 34.
So what's your advice for women who want a body like yours?
Eat loads of pasta and cake, and hope it goes to the right places. I'm joking! You have to try to live a healthy, balanced life. I'd rather eat and have boobs, a bum and a bit of overhang than be really skinny and have sad, saggy boobs and a flat bum. You have to make a choice and then love yourself.
For more pictures of Kelly, visit Look.co.uk/kellybrook .
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