Friday, March 16, 2012 7:04am ET by  
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Steps' Claire: "I have spent so many years starving myself to be skinny"

Steps singer Claire Richards has given an open and frank interview about her weight.

Richards has seen her weight fluctuate over the years and speaking to The Sun, she says that she is proud to be a UK size 14-16.

She conceded that her initial audition for Steps - in which she was asked to lose weight - set things off. She said:

"At the audition I was told to lose weight if I wanted to be in Steps, so I did. That set me on the road of starvation for a few years. I have spent so many years starving myself to be skinny. You can damage yourself by doing that - and I probably have in some ways. I think it's really sad that there is so much emphasis on a woman's size, certainly in the music industry. It's not really fair, and it doesn't make your average woman feel that great about herself. It makes you feel low."

She also dispelled the myth that women of bigger dress sizes have to wear baggy clothes. She continued:

"You are brainwashed into thinking you can't wear nice clothes because you are a little bigger and you have to wear baggy stuff to hide whatever's going on underneath – and it's rubbish. I'm a size 14 to 16 and I have a waist, I have boobs and I have a bum. I can accentuate those assets and still wear a nice dress and feel good about myself. It is important to remember that a size 16 is the average size of a woman in the UK. It is odd how these women are made to feel like they are not the norm but they are."




Watch the video for Steps classic hit 'Deeper Shade Of Blue', below: