Great Britain

How Stacey Solomon became a mum icon with candid posts about leaky boobs, dry spells with Joe Swash and her ‘hairy body’

WITH a £4million fortune, a swanky Essex home and her own fashion lines, Stacey Solomon's life seems to be - on the surface - a world away from those of most British mums.

Yet the stunning TV star has become the ultimate mum icon thanks to her candid posts about motherhood - from body hair and leaky boobs to the bloody reality of giving birth.

In fact, despite her fame and riches, mother-of-three Stacey, 30, has proven she's JUST like other mums - with stretch marks, cellulite and bouts of adult acne to boot.

And she loves all of it.

"You are the only you and that is perfect IMO (in my opinion). Cellulite is pretty, stretch marks are glitter, extra skin extra so it’s got to be good right?" Stacey wrote in a recent Instagram post.

Unsurprisingly, the Loose Women panellist has amassed millions of fans with her body positivity and admirable honesty. And experts say she's a "wonderful role model" for new parents.

"Stacey Solomon is perfect in her imperfection," Dr Sophie Niedermaier-Patramani, in-house paediatrician at baby food subscription service Little Tummy, tells Sun Online.

"Rather than painting an unrealistic picture of motherhood, which is often a stressful trigger for new mothers, she shares her ups and downs and, most importantly, how she enjoys her family despite the downs."

Rather than painting an unrealistic picture of motherhood, Stacey shares her ups and downs

Dr Sophie Niedermaier-Patramanipaediatrician

Here, after Stacey recently joked about needing an "electric trimmer" to get through her hairy "bush", we look at how she's become an inspiration for mums across the nation.

Like many parents, Stacey has a beautiful blended family.

The former X Factor star, who rose to fame (and won third place) in the TV singing contest in 2009, was just 17 when she became pregnant with her eldest son Zachary.

As well as Zachary, now 12, she also has Leighton, eight, from another previous relationship, and one-year-old Rex, whom she welcomed with partner Joe Swash last May.

'All over fuzz'

Though she adores her children, Stacey doesn't hold back when it comes to painting a very honest picture of parenting - including the impact it's had on her body and sex life.

While pregnant with Rex, she shared close-up shots of her hairy baby bump - which she described as an "all over fuzz" - and unshaven legs with her 3.7million Instagram followers.

At the time, the expectant mum joked: “For anyone who is offended you’re more than welcome to pop over and assist me in shaving [my legs] as I’m unable to reach below the knee.”

Blood-spattered birth picture

Fans gushed that the star was "showing what a REAL pregnancy is". And when Rex was born, Stacey received even more praise for sharing a blood-spattered hospital picture.

In the powerful image, the singer can be seen looking exhausted as she lies in bed, wearing blood-stained clothing and with her newborn son clutched to her chest.

Ahead of the birth, Stacey had told Sun Online that she wasn't concerned about her appearance during labour, saying: "I will be puking up and there will be placenta everywhere and I will have a baby coming out of my vagina, I don’t think I will care."

From stunning stretch marks to leaking boobs

Other inspiring Instagram pictures have shown Stacey cradling little Rex with leaking boobs, showing off her cellulite and stretch marks, and going on a rare date night with Joe - to Ikea.

And in one particularly moving snap, Stacey is pictured smiling as Joe kisses her post-birth stomach, as she admits she misses her bump and doesn't feel like she appreciated it enough during pregnancy.

"Joe and I didn’t have one picture of him with my bump," she told her fans.

"The thought of not having that memory has been really getting me down so today, Joe and my Dad helped me get a picture of what’s left of my bump to cheer me up. I love them so much."

And social media isn't the only platform that Stacey - author of Happily Imperfect: Living Life Your Own Way - has been using to get across her inspiring messages about motherhood.

In a column for Fabulous in 2018, she admitted she hadn't shaved her lady garden in 10 years because she favours the natural 'rainforest' look. "I find shaving in general an utter chore," she wrote.

Dry spells in the bedroom

The same year, she remarked that she liked her "little muffin top" and boobs, saying: "OK, they might be lower than the average 28 year old’s, but I think they’re all right. I just think: ‘Oh my god, I’ve produced and breastfed two children. How amazing is that?’”

More recently, on Loose Women, Stacey also revealed she and Joe sometimes had stretches where they went without sex, admitting they'd look at each other and go: "Sod that."

"We just think: 'It's not going to happen.' We're knackered," she said.

It was an admission many exhausted parents could likely relate to.

Guilt over multiple baby daddies

While Stacey has - with her usual no-nonsense honesty - previously admitted to feeling guilty about having kids with different dads, she says her boys are all loved immensely.

She told Closer Magazine last year: "I did feel guilty about having babies with different dads. I didn't want my kids to have a negative or confused upbringing.

"There's a stigma about having babies with different partners - I've definitely felt pressure from people - people I don't know, and even people I do know."

But she added: "My boys are incredibly loved - by me and their fathers, and by Joe, who is just another positive male role model in their lives."

Ex-EastEnders star Joe, 38, also has a 13-year-old son, Harry.

And in a sweet Instagram post earlier this year, Stacey remarked: "Brothers. No such thing as half in this house, and that includes ALL FOUR of our pickles.

"They may have different hair, different skin tones, different eye colours, and different parents but they have the SAME LOVE for each other and that’s all that matters.

"Forever blended and proud to be."

Stigma of teen motherhood

As a teenage mum, Stacey was initially filled with self-doubt. She has admitted she judged herself more harshly than the outside world when it came to bringing up eldest son Zachary alone.

"I always felt the stigma [more] of being a young mum and any of those doubts that me alone wasn't enough for my child came from within rather than from anybody else," she previously said on Loose Women.

She added: "I felt that I personally attacked myself and and didn't believe in myself enough to raise children. I was more conscious of people thinking 'look at that kid with a kid.'"

After giving birth to Zachary, Stacey struggled with post-natal depression (PND) - one of many health conditions she's spoken candidly about in a bid to make other women feel "normal".

PND struggle

"I felt like I was a really bad person for feeling that way," she told Lorraine, admitting that she felt "selfish" and like "so many people out there have obviously got it so much worse".

'Happy motherhood' coach and fellow PND survivor Ivana Poku, 36, tells Sun Online that she feels a "huge connection" with Stacey, whose "honesty and openness are admirable".

"Social media is full of 'perfect' images of happy mothers that are often far from reality so seeing a real face of motherhood - Stacey - is amazing and very much needed," says Ivana, from Hertfordshire.

Indeed, Stacey's social media platforms tell the story of a normal, doting mum - from the highs of family trips and cuddles on the sofa to the lows of stressful days and anxiety attacks.

A 'wonderful role model'

"While some in the public eye paint a picture of blissful perfection, Stacey is a breath of fresh air, and a wonderful role model for new parents," says Dr Niedermaier-Patramani.

Taking to her Instagram Stories last week, Stacey - who won I'm A Celebrity in 2010 - told her followers: "Just got a massive wave of anxiety for no reason whatsoever.

“Had a great day, nothing has happened, it’s just decided to rear its head and say 'Hi Stace, I thought it had been a while since your palms sweated profusely and your heart felt like it was holding its breath, so here I am..."

The former Queen of the Jungle added: “Might as well use it to my advantage and bake a cheesecake. Because sitting still right now isn’t an option.”

And her bank balance hasn't done too badly, either.

Netting a fortune

Though Stacey's exact fortune is unknown, it was revealed in March that she will bank a million this year thanks to her TV appearances and fashion lines.

The star - who has shown an admirable devotion to affordable fashion despite her millions - recently launched a new Primark kidswear collection, which her own boys helped her to design.

And because her Instagram following is so massive - with a further 1.4million followers on TikTok - experts say she could rake in more than £15,000 for just one sponsored post.

Trolls' jibes

Like most celebs, Stacey has been targeted by cruel trolls over the years - with one last week criticising her on social media for showing off her arm hair in a manicure snap.

But the star has remained defiant throughout, replying to the latest incident with: "I love my hairy arms. Truth be told, I save an absolute fortune on thermals in winter thanks to these bad boys. Hail the hair!"

In a separate post, she told her fans: "I can't stop laughing at my arm hairs. Honestly they'd have an absolute heart attack if they saw my bush, need an electric trimmer to get through those."

Regardless of trolls, there's no doubt Stacey will continue to inspire millions of mums as her boys grow up, reach milestones, make more happy memories, and eventually flee the nest.

As paediatrician Dr Niedermaier-Patramani tells us, "Stacey shows us what most are scared to admit; that motherhood can be exhausting, overwhelming and terrifying, but amidst all those emotions are moments of pure magic that make it all so worthwhile.

"We need more Staceys in the world!"

Defiant Stacey Solomon says she has a 'hairy bush' she'd need an 'electric trimmer' to tame as she hits back at trolls

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