Fearne Cotton calls out body-shaming comments about her weight: ‘I am much more than what my body looks like’

Fearne Cotton has responded to critics who have said her body looks “too thin”.

The TV presenter, 41, who struggled with the eating disorder bulimia when she was in her twenties, posted a selfie to Instagram with a long caption that addressed the recent criticism she has received about her weight.

She wrote: “Sometimes I think, I cant be a***ed to respond to the insane amounts of noise on here, but when it comes to judging bodies I feel something has to be said.”

Referencing her previous Instagram post published yesterday (28 January), where Cotton is pictured in a black dress and long-sleeve white t-shirt paired with Dr Marten ankle boots, critics bombarded the comments saying the presenter looked “too thin” and that her weight looked “worrying”.

Addressing the comments, Cotton condemned critics for driving a narrative that women have to “look a certain way to be accepted”.

She wrote: “Online arguments or discussions around what bodies look like (see my last post) are not helpful. If we are judging other peoples bodies or making accusations we are driving a narrative that women have to look a certain way to be accepted. This sort of attention is not cast upon men, ever.”

Addressing her legs, which were the most discussed in the post, Cotton continued: “No matter what my size, pregnant or other wise, I have knobbly knees and spindly ankles. I have always held my weight around my midriff. Its different for everyone.”

“But also Im not sure why I am defending myself here,” she continued, adding: “Due to having been bulimic in my twenties I am extra sensitive to these sorts of discussions as I have worked hard to heal, recover and get to a place where I love food, eat for energy and pleasure, exercise to give my strength now Im in my forties and feel so grateful for my health.”

In a video posted to Instagram addressing the conversation further, Cotton told her followers: “Just wanted to say to all the genuinely lovely people sending messages me asking if I’m OK after my post yesterday. I’m beyond fine. Doesn’t touch the f****ing sides quite frankly.”

The TV presenter emphasised that she has been speaking out on social media to stand up for women “because our bodies are still overly scrutinised and judged”.

Then, using celebrity interviewer Louis Theroux as an example, she claimed: “I don’t see anyone commenting on the shape or size of Louis Theroux’s legs because they’re too busy listening to what he’s got to say. Or anybody commenting on my lovely dear friend Joe Wicks saying ‘you look a bit too lean there Joe.’ Doesn’t happen. So here’s to all women and all women’s bodies and knobbly knees.”

She pointed out that she hopes to be “helpful” and a “supportive ally” to women in the disability community who receive “heaps more s*** to deal with in terms of body image and barriers”.

“I’m with you ladies, I’m with you,” she concluded.

Followers, colleagues and friends greeted Cotton in the comments, emphasising their support for the TV presenter and thanking her for speaking up.

Davina McCall wrote: This is so good … you are so right … and they never put men’s ages next to their names in magazines or newspapers … I really love you Fearne”

TV presenter Katie Piper agreed: “Never happens on men’s posts. It’s just us, our faces, our bodies and our outfits. Well said Fearne.”

Bloody adore you and so agree,” echoed singer Paloma Faith.

For anyone struggling with the issues raised in this piece, eating disorder charity Beat’s helpline is available 365 days a year on 0808 801 0677. You can visit their website here. NCFED offers information, resources and counselling for those suffering from eating disorders, as well as their support networks. They can be reached by phone on 845 838 2040 or their website here.