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'Strictly' Lisa Riley: 'I didn't want to be the fat joke act'

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Strictly Come Dancing star Lisa Riley has revealed that she was desperate not to become the show's 'joke contestant' due to her weight.

The ex-Emmerdale actress, who is partnered with Robin Windsor, said that she joined the BBC ballroom contest to give plus-size women "courage" to flaunt their sexuality.

Strictly Come Dancing Week 5: Lisa and Robin

© BBC



"I knew exactly what people were thinking when I came on stage - 'Here's the joker'," the Daily Mail quotes her as saying.

"But from the moment I was first asked to take part I was adamant I didn't want to be that person.

"What I wanted to show was that it was okay for someone like me to do a competition like this, to dress in sexy clothes and have fun. There are so many judgements about larger women, even though there are a lot of us.

"People think we're lazy, that we just sit and eat and that's just a massive over-simplification. There's a lot of prejudice attached to it. Many would give their left arm to be thinner. Not me."

Strictly Come Dancing: Robin and Lisa

© BBC



Riley also questioned the mentality behind current female beauty trends such as tanning.

"I hate this obsession with looking a certain way," she said. "These days you've got to have your tan, your extensions - it's a sheep mentality.

"It's okay to be orange and fake, but not to be bigger. But who decreed that? And the result is a vast number of women thinking, 'I can't be that', and becoming insular, losing their confidence. And it's wrong."

Riley recently stripped down to a Beyoncé-style leotard for a magazine shoot, in which she joked about looking like the 'Single Ladies' star during her pregnancy.

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