The BBC One reality series was accused of favouring the young after it replaced judge Arlene Phillips with Alesha Dixon and axed professional dancer Karen Hardy.
However, Bellingham argued that the criticism levelled at the show's producers is unjustified.
"The whole ageism thing has got rather out of hand and is being taken out of proportion," she told DS. "It's an angle, but hopefully when the programme starts people will forget about all of that and just watch it for what it is - which is entertainment."
The actress also explained that she is proud to be representing senior women on the show.
She said: "I don't feel a pressure, I feel rather pleased to be representing them. I've just spent the year taking my clothes off in Calendar Girls trying to say to women of a certain age - all things are possible. This is just moving on from that."
Meanwhile, Bellingham's professional partner Darren Bennett insisted that the pair have a chance of winning as long as they train hard and maintain discipline.
"What people forgot and the media forget - is that there is a complete representation on Strictly Come Dancing," he said. "We've had Esther Rantzen, Stephanie Beacham, Gloria Hunniford, John Sergeant - the list is endless. To presume that people are taking part just because of age is ridiculous because we've always had people of every age.
"Can an older person win the show? Well I think at this point anyone can win. Strictly is a marathon and not a sprint and I think it's how you train, maintain your discipline and if you can do that methodically, then you can win."
Strictly returns on Friday, September 18 to BBC One.