Former EastEnders star Martine McCutcheon has opened up about the body shaming she endured as a young actress, saying: "People talked about my body like I was a piece of meat."
McCutcheon, who also starred opposite Hugh Grant in Love Actually, said it took a long time to deal with the criticism she received.
She told The Mirror: "I was always conscious of staying as thin as I could be. It looked better on camera, meant I could fit into size 8 samples sizes, and it was easier and more affordable with stylists. It was so nice to be sent a dress that actually fit."
She added: " Growing up in the public eye, you are judged by everybody and you work hard to try to keep everyone happy. Now I don't care what people think."
She said that the "hundreds" of derogatory comments made about her body stayed with her, adding: " People spoke about me like I was a piece of meat and I can't believe that's still going on in this day and age.
"I'm sure people still say horrible things now, but it's water off a duck's back because I have an anchor within myself. But it's so dangerous when you are younger."
McCutcheon, 39, said she no longer feels like she has to fit a certain mould, adding: "I am who I want to be, and most importantly the weight I want to be when I want to be it. If I choose to be a size 10 or a size 16, it's my choice. Women's weight fluctuates, and the constant comments on size are boring.
"We're bright women, intelligent and more savvy than ever, and I think more than ever we should have each other's back and move on."
The actress has released a plus-size clothing line for Fashion World and said she became more accepting of her body after she became a mother to her son Rafferty, one.
She added: "Getting pregnant and having Rafferty made me realise my priority now is to be healthy and stay that way rather than try to stick to something I could never maintain. I am so bored of the weight loss rollercoaster."