ASHLEY James has revealed that she's been forced to ignore cruel trolls who slam her for stripping off in lingerie and accuse her of "doing it for male attention".
The reality star – who is currently expecting her second baby with boyfriend Tom Andrews – said she feels empowered wearing sexy underwear and is not ashamed to put her "big boobs" on display.
Ashely, 35, who has teamed up with Tu Clothing’s Boudoir Lingerie Collection, said it's unfair that men are praised for having a dad bod while women are scrutinised for their appearance after birth.
Speaking exclusively to The Sun about being shamed for posing in sexy lingerie, Ashley said: "I think there is always shame and judgement, I was a lingerie model, so I've posed in lingerie for over a decade.
"Especially with breastfeeding there is this idea or connotation that your attention seeking or doing it for male attention.
"Ultimately people can think what they want but a lot of people who judge it are projecting their own insecurities or lack of self worth.
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"The majority of comments are really positive and helps women.
"Even showing beautiful lingerie, that’s for women because I know having big boobs as a teenager and in my 20s, I didn’t know where to buy nice lingerie, I didn’t know what fitted, I never saw anyone that had big boobs reflected back in adverts.
"So if people want to think its for the male gaze – a) they’re wrong and b). I wish there wasn’t such a sexualised or that female bodies including boobs weren’t as hypersexualised so that men didn’t even bother looking.
"Ultimately not everyone is going to be liked by everyone and none of us should police ourselves because we are worried about judgement.
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"I know why I do what I do, especially as mums it’s such a vulnerable time, everyone's experience are so different, none of us should worry about what other people are thinking because most people who judge, that’s their own issues, it’s got nothing to do with us."
Discussing her response to mum-shaming trolls, Ashley added: "I think there is always negativity, for the most part I just ignore it as for the most part they are just projecting or having a bad day.
"Nobody has to follow anyone they don’t like, it’s impossible to please everyone and that’s the same online and offline, so all you can do is be yourself.
"But I guess when you're on social media, sometimes I would address it if it’s something I think need addressing, other times I either block or delete, there are going to be people who are judgemental and negative.
"It’s never nice and I think people are more bold to say things online that they don’t say in real life. But its just learning that its not personal and that’s a life lesson and ultimately happy people don’t judge or criticise other people, they might in their head but don’t express it."
The former Made in Chelsea star hit out at the assumption that she wears sexy underwear for men.
"It is very empowering wearing nice lingerie, I think growing up our bodies are so sexualised and lingerie is kind of seen as something that we do for men – but actually I was single for six years and the days that I wore nice lingerie I felt really good about myself and I had an extra strut in my step," the media personality said.
"I wasn't for anyone else, it was for me looking good, in the same way that we might put on our makeup.
"We all like to be comfortable and the days that we feel good, we feel better in ourselves, for me lingerie really does that."
Ashley, who said she is excited to welcome her baby girl later this year, said post-baby bodies should be appreciated more.
"I loved my post baby body – I felt in awe of what my body had done," she said.
"Even now when I look at Alf, I can't believe that my body made him and I think that’s really what we should focus on, because I had a few health challenges in my postnatal recovery because I was stitched up incorrectly and various things, actually I found the focus on how our bodies look quite frustrating because I was actually grateful and hopeful that my body would work again.
"There is beauty in so many different shapes and sizes, it’s not just one body type that is beautiful.
"I really enjoy that process, it's quite miraculous watching life form.
"I think where it gets harder, when you're pregnant society is very welcoming of you, but my frustration is that postnatal recovery where we should be celebrating people who give birth and what their body has done, because it is amazing and such a huge thing to go through childbirth.
"But the minute that the baby is out, a lot of the focus is around weight loss and bouncing back and that's such a superficial surface level conversation around postnatal recovery because as always our bodies are so different and the recovery are different.
"For some people it looks like they haven't had a baby straight away, but for some people it takes longer or they never get their bodies back.
"It's not a reflection of health or mental wellbeing, regardless of someone aesthetically looks, they could be dealing with a whole host of issues like incontinence or postnatal depression.
"There is too much pressure for mums to lose weight, especially when dad bods are socially acceptable."
Ashley is the face of Tu Clothing’s new Boudoir Lingerie Collection. Prices start at £8 for knickers, £17 for bras, and £25 for a matching set and it is available to purchase online and in selected Sainsbury’s stores.
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With the average bra size in the UK having risen to a 36D up from a 34B in recent years, Tu has created a collection for all shapes and sizes, catering for sizes 32A – 42GG, offering luxurious, empowering and supportive lingerie that is affordable and great quality.
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