Ashley James EXCLUSIVE: CBB star reveals teenage bullies made her feel 'ASHAMED' of her body... and says she's now looking for her 'soulmate' after six years of being single
Ashley James has candidly revealed that teenage bullies used to made her feel ashamed of her hourglass curves, and it took many years before she finally accepted her body.
Speaking exclusively to MailOnline the Celebrity Big Brother star, 32, admitted she struggled to find clothes to fit her large bust, as she officially launched her sustainable fashion line with Little Mistress.
During the candid interview, Ashley also revealed that she's finally ready to find her 'soulmate' after six years of being single, but doesn't plan on using dating apps as she's pinning her search for Mr Right on finding a genuine connection.
Candid: Ashley James has revealed that teenage bullies used to made her feel ashamed of her hourglass curves as she unveiled her sustainable collection with Little Mistress
Ashley has long been an advocate for body confidence and has regularly posted lengthy social media posts about struggling to accept her curves.
She told MailOnline: 'Living in the time of social media, it's hard enough going to school or university or work but then you're seeing people from offices all around the world and people who have different finances or pace it's really easy to feel self-conscious and compare yourself with other people.
'For me especially my personal experience, I had really big boobs at the age of 13 and I was made to feel ashamed. I wasn't allowed to wear the same clothes as my friends, and at 13 you really don't understand why…. Like ''If you show them off you're looking for male attention or you're a s**t'' or whatever it is.
'It took me years and years and years to think ''oh I don't need to have a boob job.'' This is my body and my body is not my morals and doesn't dictate whether I'm an attention seeker or not.'
Open: The Celebrity Big Brother star exclusively told MailOnline she struggled to find clothes to fit her large bust, and it took years for her to come to terms with her shape
Talk a walk on the wild side in Ashley's dress by Little Mistress
Stop everything: Ashley James’ collection for Little Mistress has launched!
The sustainable fashion line contains everything we need in the run-up to party season, and we’ll happily start with this leopard print dress.
Made from 15 plastic bottles, this stunning mini features a square neckline, bodycon fit and ruched detailing for an ultra-sexy finish. It effortlessly pairs with heels, making it ideal for a night on the town! Click (right) to buy it now.
If you would rather check out competition first, scroll down to our edit below for similar dresses from PrettyLittleThing, I SAW IT FIRST, Missguided and SHEIN. All you have to do is pick your favourite!
Ashley also revealed that since her career has taken off she has focused more on how she dresses, but prefers not to worry about her weight.
She added: 'I wasn't particularly fashion conscious, I didn't care about my appearance as much but as more I didn't really know what to wear.
'I do photo shoots or I have stylists for events so I've learned much more about dressing in a way that suits me. I used to have one dress that I would wear going out for university. I didn't have a lot of clothes or money.'
Confident: Ashley has long been an advocate for body confidence, but admitted she doesn't like to focus on her weight
Speaking about averting focus away from her weight, she added: 'I'm on a trip with a few girls and one of them was saying ''I've put on a stone'' and I said how do you know and she said ''scales.'' I was just saying '''why do you care?''. She said ''but my clothes don't fit'' and I said ''buy a bigger size then.'' It's frustrating to make people realise it's about confidence.
'It's not just a number or a scale or a size in a piece of clothing, we all know i could be a 6, 8, 10 or 12 depending on where I go shopping.'
Ashley also exclusively revealed that she is finally ready to find love after six years of being single, but having grown comfortable with supporting herself, she has no plans to settle in her search for Mr Right.
She previously dated The Xtra Factor host Matt Richardson, but the couple split in 2014.
On a mission: Ashley also exclusively revealed that she is finally ready to find love after six years of being single, but has no plans to settle in her search for Mr Right
Ashley added: 'I've been officially single for six years and I feel like I'm really pleased I've had that time in a way because I've got to do loads of things that people miss out on, like I'll do couples' things with my friends.
'I put a lot of investment into my friendship but I definitely feel like I'm ready to meet the right person, but I'll never settle. Being on my own has given me an appreciation of knowing I can be happy by myself.
'I'm in a position where I don't need to financially rely on anyone, but still I'm a hopeless romantic and I've had my heart broken.
'It's hardest because the older you get the fussier you are, but I'm ready and I'm looking forward to meeting my soulmate, but whether that's next week or in two years I don't know.'
When asked whether she's planning to find her man through a dating app, or in the old-fashion way, Ashley said: 'I don’t really have a physical type so I find it hard with online dating apps, I find it’s important having a connection, what if the love of your like puts up a gym selfie?
'I’d think he’s put up a gym selfie absolutely not. I feel with the dating apps I think they’re great and I know people that are married from meeting on dating apps, but any time I’ve met someone it’s from an instant connection.
'I wouldn’t be opposed to it but for me natural connections is important, but I wouldn’t say I’m a traditionalist, I don’t want to get married but I’d love a big family.'
Wow! Ashley's interview came as her sustainable collection with Little Mistress was officially unveiled, with the garments created from recycled plastic bottles
Ashley's interview came as her sustainable collection with Little Mistress was officially unveiled, with the garments created from recycled plastic bottles.
The star explained that she after seeing the damage that plastic pollution had been doing to her oceans first-hand, she was determined to offer a positive contribution to the rapidly increasing fad of fast fashion.
She said: 'One of the things I find challenging and difficult is having big boobs and curves even though I’m quite small, it's really hard to dress your body in a way that’s flattering and makes you feel sexy, it’s a hard balance.
'Every bit of my collection is really fitted and it celebrates the hourglass shape. It’s all really fitted around the waist and shows cleavage but a nice amount of cleavage, it’s sexy but you can wear it out in the day.
'I wanted to do colourful so I went for a really bold blue for the suit and one of the dress' and leopard print since I love leopard print. I was trying to push the boat out a little bit but make sure it’s something you can wear for different occasions.'
Determined: As an advocate of body confidence, Ashley also spoke about how she tackles social media abuse
Ashley added: 'I do a few talks at unis and schools and I was shocked to know that one of the girls told me if they get tagged in an outfit on Instagram they won’t wear that outfit again, for me that’s crazy.
'People are buying and getting rid of things very quickly, and we need to find a solution to the overuse of plastic. We can all do our bit, but if we can find a way to do fast fashion but do it in a way that’s helping in its own way.'
As an advocate of loving the skin you're in, Ashley also spoke about she tackles social media negativity, and explained that her Celebrity Big Brother housemate Ann Widdecombe, 72, offered some much-needed inspiration.
Lovely: The star admitted that she is inspired from her Celebrity Big Brother housemate Ann Widdecombe, 72, when embracing her individuality (pictured on the show in 2018)
She said: 'It depends on my mindset but sometimes will respond [to comments] and say I don’t know why you said that it’s really upset me and they’ll say ''oh I’m sorry I was just looking for a response.'' Or other times I just ignore it.
'Weirdly the most unlikely friendship what really helped me was when I did CBB Year Of The Woman was in there with Ann Widdecombe.
'We are so politically different in our opinions and the first time we clashed, but once we started to see eye to eye, and I still meet up with her now, she’s really given me the confidence to not care what people think. If someone calls me an attention seeker or you have big boobs it doesn’t really change what I’m about.
'In Ann’s house in Devon she’s got you know when you’re a politician there’s the comic the satire comics, Ann’s whole corridor when you go into her house is all these cartoons of her a tarantula and saying how tough she was during her political career.
'And I was like I can’t believe you have this… and as different as we are I feel like I’ve learned a lot from her, I guess growing up in a snowflake generation she’s taught me to care less what people think and it’s made me stronger and happier.'
As a working presenter and DJ, Ashley said she wouldn't rule out taking part in another reality show, and would love to boost her competitive streak by taking part in I'm A Celebrity or The Island with Bear Grylls.
TV star? As a presenter and DJ, Ashley said she wouldn't rule out taking part in another reality show, and would love to take part in I'm A Celebrity or The Island with Bear Grylls