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Katie Piper on learning to love her post-partum body

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Kayleigh Dray
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Katie Piper – who recently gave birth to her second child – has penned an inspired response to body-shaming trolls.

As well as politicians, Olympic TV hosts and women who dare to exercise in public, new mums are often exposed to misogynistic waves of comments about their bodies. 

And Katie Piper has had enough.

After being snapped by paparazzi as she arrived at the BBC radio stations, the philanthropist quickly became the subject of an obnoxious social media debate, which saw many comment on Piper’s “unflattering” outfit choice and the time she is taking to shed her baby weight.

Taking to Instagram to share the photos herself, Piper wrote: “Yes I am aware these are not the most flattering pictures of me. I didn’t realise my top would go see-through in the camera flash and my posture isn’t great either.

“My baby is now 12 weeks old and I’m probably a stone and half heavier than normal but that is also normal. I’m ignoring the troll comments, eating healthy, exercising when I can fit it in and enjoying my baby.”

Piper finished on a powerful note, saying: “For those people that sent me messages saying I shouldn’t have worn this outfit – I will wear what I want and not what pleases others.”

Piper – who had sulphuric acid thrown into her face in 2008, leaving her partially blind and with horrific burns and lifelong scarring – also told the Mail Online that she’s in no hurry to “lose my baby bump, which is still there!”

“The life experience of our appearance is not everything that defines us so I don’t feel under the same pressure as I think some people in the public eye do to be thin,” she said.

“I’m happy to wear clothes that show my bump that’s still there, it doesn’t bother me. I know this is a period in my life and if I want to do something in the long run about it I can.”

The TV personality and author also opened up about the incredibly important role that fashion and clothing played in her recovery, explaining that it helped her to “create an identity” when her sense of self had been stripped away.

“I have kind of relied on it as a way to reinvent myself, create an identity, that whole fake it until you make it,” she revealed during a recent appearance on ITV’s Lorraine.

“For me clothes are a huge part of who I am, the message I put out to the world as to how I want to be treated.”

The attack left Piper feeling as if she had lost a huge part of who she was: her eyelids burned away, as did most of her nose and part of an ear.

Surgeons used pioneering technology in a bid to rebuild her face – but this meant that Piper was forced to wear solid plastic pressure mask for months, as the constant pressure helped to improve the texture and shape of her new skin.

“When I was in the mask I couldn’t wear make-up,” she said, “so clothes were important [in helping me to feel myself again].

“I definitely think [that clothes helped me through those darker periods.

“They’ve been a bit of light relief, a way to recognise I still exist underneath after all the trauma.”

Images: Getty

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of Stylist.co.uk, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends. 

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