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Katie Piper on making mistakes, genderless toys and the healing power of juice

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Philanthropist and TV presenter Katie Piper imagines a world if she were Queen.

This queen’s diary would be very full. I thrive on adrenaline and stress. I love being busy and if I’m not I set myself new challenges.

I’d celebrate my coronation with a big tweet-up at my palace. There are people I’ve known for four years on Twitter but I’ve never met them. Because of the nature of my story [Katie suffered third degree burns after an ex-boyfriend arranged for acid to be thrown in her face], people share a lot of things with me and it would be cool to bring them all together.

In my coronation speech I’d thank my family for their unconditional love and for giving me the freedom to mess up. They’re the ones who say, “OK, that wasn’t the best decision but it doesn’t matter; we love you anyway, let’s help you move forward.” Becoming a mum [to Belle, one] has definitely helped me appreciate my own family. I cringe at how horrible I used to be to my parents when I was younger. For me, family doesn’t have to be biological; I consider my doctor [Dr Mohammed Jawad, who led Katie’s burns reconstruction surgery] as a second dad.

Working for charities would definitely be encouraged. It puts things in perspective but also restores your faith in society; it shows you the kind-heartedness of people. The work I do with my foundation [The Katie Piper Foundation, a charity set up to support people living with burns and scars] has been a big tool in my recovery. When you’ve got bad memories and you’ve seen the real evil in people, you want to cancel that out. My charity work has given me so many uplifting moments.

I’d decree that news programmes start and end with positive affirmations. I’m a huge believer in the power of affirmations. I’ve got them written on Post-it notes all over my house – by everyone from Martin Luther King and Helen Keller to paralympians who have overcome adversity. I’m the annoying one in our family Whatsapp group who sends an affirmation round every morning. They can state the obvious, but sometimes you need a reminder.

Promoting meditation would be on my royal agenda. Especially for me. I’m dreadful at relaxing. One of my best friends is really into Pilates and meditation and is trying to teach me, but I just start thinking of all the things I should be doing instead. I’ve been doing some research into the benefits of meditation and I discovered that some prisons are trialling mindfulness courses, which is such a brilliant idea.

 

He put the official ring on it!

A photo posted by Katie Piper (@katiepiper_) on

Children’s toys wouldn’t just be blue and pink. My little girl is a bit of a tomboy; if she was a princess she’d definitely be out climbing trees and scuffing her crown. When my fiancé (with Katie below) and I found out we were having a daughter, we wanted everything to be gender neutral and decorated her nursery with lots of primary colours and farm animals. We thought that if we gave her everything pink it would be like saying, “This is you, we’re choosing your identity and how you express yourself.”

I would close all cinemas. Well, not really, but I can never sit through a whole film [laughs]. Whenever I’m watching telly, I have to be on social media too. I must be addicted. I love documentaries, anything like The Undateables – we can all relate to how hard it can be to find the right person – or Immigration Street, which gives you a glimpse into a world you’re not necessarily in.

Social media would have to be accountable. People can say such horrible things online that they’d never say to your face. I would ensure that all social media had to have identifiable credentials, photos and locations.

This queen would make sure there were Nutribullets for all. I’ve got big into juicing and I recently went on a juicing retreat. I’m blind in my left eye but when I came back from the retreat some of the cells had begun to multiply in my cornea and my eyesight’s got better. It’s really made me think about what we put in our bodies.

If I could have one power it would be to remove the negativity from people. There’s nothing worse than being round an energy vampire who’s got one of those ‘Can’t do’ attitudes. The world would be a better place if we were all like, ‘Yeah we can do this’ and encouraged each other.

Katie Piper will be signing her book, Beautiful Ever After, at the Ideal Home Show in London this month

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